[tabi] Fw: [leadership] FW: [Ccb-l] FW: [Wcb-l] Graduate of Guide DogFoundation Booted fromUSAir this morning.

  • From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2013 06:53:15 -0500

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Donna Pomerantz 
To: leadership@xxxxxxx 
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 4:10 PM
Subject: [leadership] FW: [Ccb-l] FW: [Wcb-l] Graduate of Guide DogFoundation 
Booted fromUSAir this morning.

Jeff sent the below version of the article out to our CCB lists as well.

We saw several stories about this on two networks here in the Los Angeles Area 
as well.

I think Peter Altschul sent something out from one of the Guide Dog Schools ... 
this is definitely flying around all over the email as well as TV coverage 
throughout the states.

Have a good weekend everyone.


From: Ccb-l [mailto:ccb-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jeff Thom
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 8:53 AM
To: ccb-l@xxxxxxxxxx; acbcapchap@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Ccb-l] FW: [Wcb-l] Graduate of Guide Dog Foundation Booted fromUSAir 
this morning.



From: Sue Ammeter [mailto:sue.ammeter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:23 PM
To: 'Jeff Thom'
Subject: FW: [Wcb-l] Graduate of Guide Dog Foundation Booted from USAir this 




From: Wcb-l [mailto:wcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Vivian Conger
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:15 PM
To: wcb-l@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Wcb-l] Graduate of Guide Dog Foundation Booted from USAir this 





Vivian and Barbee (That's Barbee with 2 E's)





Blind man Albert Rizzi and his guide dog booted from US Airways flight to LI 
Originally published: November 14, 2013 10:15 AM Updated: November 14, 2013 
12:58 PM 
 The link actually has a video and you can hear Albert. 



A legally blind Bellport man who serves as a member of the Suffolk County 
Disabilities Advisory Board said he was discriminated against Wednesday night, 
when he and his guide dog were removed from a US Airways flight from 
Philadelphia to Long Island MacArthur Airport.' Albert J. Rizzi, 49, said a 
flight attendant had both he and his service dog, Doxology, ushered off the 
regional flight by security because his dog was not under his seat. A US 
Airways spokeswoman, Liz Landau, told Newsday on Thursday that Rizzi's removal 
is under investigation -- and that Rizzi was removed after he became "verbally 
abusive" with the unnamed flight attendant. She said that Rizzi had been 
advised his service dog was required to remain at the seat "for safety 
reasons," but said the dog failed to do so. Another passenger on the flight, 
construction worker Carl Beiner, 43, of Islip, said the flight attendant had "a 
superiority complex" and that Rizzi never caused a disturbance. "He was doing 
the best he could," Beiner said, noting he had not met Rizzi before the flight. 
Beiner said the flight attendant "took exception, said he was rude -- which 
nobody saw." Rizzi told Newsday the dog, whom he calls Doxy, was not under the 
seat because his assigned last-row seat aboard the de Havilland Dash-8 
turboprop flight had no under-seat area. He said Doxy was first placed under 
the seat of a nearby passenger, but when the flight experienced a departure 
delay of more than 11/2 hours the yellow Labrador retriever wandered out to the 
aisle -- and lay on the floor with his head under Rizzi's legs. Landau 
acknowledged that the Dash-8 aircraft that operated as Flight 4384 to MacArthur 
did not have an under-seat area for the last-row bench seat. "The last row is a 
bench," she said. Rizzi said he and Doxy were headed home from San Francisco, 
and the US Airways Express flight was a connection to Islip. "It's 9:43 p.m.," 
Rizzi said. "The plane hasn't taken off yet. The dog is out from where he was 
[under a nearby seat]. The dog's head is under my legs. "The flight attendant 
comes over," he said. "She's very curt with me and says, 'I told you that dog 
needs to be stowed under the seat.' " Rizzi said he took offense to the phrase 
"stowed," but said he tried to remain calm -- and explain the dog had no proper 
place to stay, since his seat had no under-seat area. "I said, 'We're not going 
to get to the point where you tell me I'm being argumentative, so you can throw 
me off the plane.' " He said, despite his plea, that was what happened. When 
told Rizzi said he had asked to be accommodated in a seat with an under-seat 
area -- and that he said there were open seats on the small commuter plane -- 
Landau said: "That's the first I've heard about that." But, asked if Rizzi 
should have been seated in a seat with an under-seat area, instead of the 
last-row seat that lacked one, Landau said: "I would think so." She said US 
Airways has a training program, Puppies in Flight, which instructs employees 
and crew how to best accommodate customers using service animals. Landau said 
she did not know if the attendant had taken the course. Rizzi said the 
remaining customers voluntarily left the Ronkonkoma-bound aircraft as a protest 
to him being taken off. But Landau said customers may have been asked to 
deplane -- and, the flight canceled -- after the crew expressed concerns over 
flying to Islip with upset passengers aboard. Beiner said the remaining 
passengers were asked to leave the aircraft by the crew -- after they 
complained to the flight attendant about her handling of the situation. Beiner 
said there were at least four open seats on the plane, including the front 
bulkhead seat -- a seat that should be provided to passengers with service 
animals, according to Federal Aviation Administration rules. That seat was "18 
inches" from where the flight attendant was seated, Beiner said. "After he 
[Rizzi] was taken off the plane, people started telling her [the flight 
attendant] she was wrong, she should be fired," Beiner said. "People were, 
like, 'Put the man back on the plane.' People were voicing their opinion. She 
burst into tears. Then she said: 'I can't fly with these people.' " That was 
when, Beiner said, the crew asked passengers to deplane. About an hour later, 
he said, it was announced that US Airways would transport anyone who wanted to 
get to Long Island that night via a bus from Philadelphia to Islip. Like Rizzi, 
Beiner said he took that bus. He said the delay -- the bus arrived at MacArthur 
at about 3:45 a.m. -- meant his parking fee more than quadrupled, from $6 to 
$25. Beiner said he also learned Thursday that US Airways was refusing to 
refund the airfare to passengers who elected to take the bus, even though, he 
said, the airline canceled the flight. US Airways, citing its investigation, 
did not comment about the refunds. Rizzi, the founder of My Blind Spot, a 
not-for-profit whose mission is to "build respect and empathy for, and reduce 
bias towards, individuals with vision impairments," lost his eyesight to 
meningitis eight years ago. He was appointed in June 2012 to the Suffolk 
Disabilities Advisory Board by Legis. Jay H. Schneiderman. "There are plenty of 
blind people, people with challenges, who don't have the ability to stand up 
for themselves, to fight for themselves," Rizzi told Newsday. "If I allow 
myself to be beaten down, then I allow people who come behind me to be beaten 
down . . . I'm here to change the way people see ability. Sometimes, the fear 
of disability causes intentional blindness -- people turning a deaf ear and a 
blind eye to it." Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 of NY State Leading 
the Way in Independent Travel!



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