Still Crawling After All These Years?


A June report of a Vanilla Air passenger having to crawl aboard the plane because no wheelchair lift was available is somewhat troubling to me. I mean, let’s be honest, in this day and age that shouldn’t happen.

But then some folks say, “Oh it was on a remote island in Japan, so what do you expect?”

Quite frankly, I expect basic human rights.

And then there are those people who say, “Well that could never happen in America, because we have laws against that.”

Yes, we do have laws, but unfortunately it has happened in spite of those laws.

In fact, back in 2013, Baraka Kanaan was told that the aisle chair and wheelchair lift were not available when he arrived from Maui in Nantucket on his Delta Airlines flight. After employees told him that they could not assist him, he crawled off the flight. He of course complained and was told that it would never happen again. Unfortunately it did — on his return flight. And as if to somewhat soften the blow, employees offered to put down some cardboard so he wouldn’t get dirty when he crawled aboard the flight.

And yes, folks this happened in America. Sad, but unfortunately very true.

On the plus side, Vanilla Air has since reported that they now have a wheelchair lift at Amami Airport. And that’s great, but it shouldn’t have to come to making a passenger crawl aboard before basic equipment like this is acquired. I’m sure Hideto Kijima — the Vanilla Air passenger who was forced to crawl aboard — would agree.

In any case, I hope they keep the lift maintained, because I don’t want to hear about any more people having to crawl to get on a plane. Crawling is for babies in their play areas, not for adults on airplanes!