Shaun Castle seated in his wheelchair in front of a wall.Shaun Castle

No Aisle Chair

On July 24th, I flew on Delta Airlines from Pensacola, Florida to Washington, DC with a stop in Atlanta. I only had a very short layover time of 45 minutes upon arrival. When I landed in Atlanta for my connecting flight to Washington, DC, I was waiting on an aisle chair to transport me from my seat to my wheelchair that was waiting for my in the jet bridge. After waiting for the entire plane to empty, I asked if there was an aisle chair waiting to help me get off the plane. I was told that they were waiting on one to show up. I waited another 10 minutes with all of the flight attendants and the Captain apologizing to me while telling me that this wasn’t right and I needed to complain to someone. After another five minutes of being told there were no aisle chairs available for me and they didn’t know when one would be there, I finally told the staff at Delta just to get my wheelchair as close to me as possible and I would use the arms of the other seats to get myself to the front of the plane. I got myself to the front of the plane and into my chair while risking my health by needing to transfer on my own all the way down the aisle and into my chair. I have no use of my legs and have heavily damage shoulders which make this kind of issue even harder for me. After I exited the plane, I was told there was no sign of any aisle chair coming and that the crew was extremely sorry for the incident but that I should absolutely report what had happened because in their words, “It was not right that I had to do that.” I agree.

Shaun Castle, PVA Deputy Executive Director, VA