A woman with MS has claimed she was left in severe pain and crying when Delta airline staff allegedly tied her to a wheelchair with a dirty blanket.
Maria Saliagas, 53, traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, to Greece with her husband earlier this month.
The first leg of her flight, from the US to Amsterdam, was uneventful but when she arrived in the Netherlands to get on another plane, the straps she is normally given to fasten her into her wheelchair instead of a seatbelt were unavailable.
As an alternative, her son Nathan said Delta staff tied a dirty blanket that had been used by another passenger around her waist.
Maria Saliagas was strapped into her wheelchair with a dirty blanket while traveling from Atlanta to Greece to visit family on April 1
It was tied so tightly over one part of her arm that she was left with bruises, the family claims.
‘They took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it, and she has bruise marks on part of her arm because it was so tight and she started crying,’ Nathan told DailyMail.com on Wednesday.
A harrowing photograph taken during the journey shows his mother weeping in her chair with the blanket tied around her waist.
Nathan claimed that as his mother cried, she was told to ‘shut the f*** up’ and that someone threatened that she would be ‘left there’.
‘This highly inhumane and disgusting treatment by Delta Airlines is unacceptable and a need for change,’ he fumed.
He also said that a supervisor accused her of lying about her discomfort and saying that it was not true she almost fell out of her chair.
‘That’s like me trying to tell you what’s on your mind and justifying how I’m right; it’s impossible,’ he said.
He said his mother had been left ’emotionally traumatized’ by the experience.
Delta did not respond to those specific allegations.
A spokesman said it regretted how the family felt about the ordeal.
‘We regret the perception our service has left on these customers.
‘We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations,’ a spokesman said.
The family said they were offered 20,000 SkyMiles in compensation which they refused.
Instead, they want to see the airline change its policy on how staff treat disabled passengers.
Delta said it regretted the woman’s ‘perception’ of her journey and said they had offered her compensation