Air Canada slapped with C$ 98k fine as no wheelchair forces disabled man to drag himself off plane

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaDec 28, 2023 | 14:39

Air Canada slapped with C$ 98k fine as no wheelchair forces disabled man to drag himself off plane

Air Canada is currently facing significant criticism for leaving a disabled passenger to fend for himself. He was forced to drag himself off a plane in Las Vegas when the airline failed to provide a wheelchair for him. As a result of this incident, the Canadian Transportation Agency has imposed a fine of C$ 97,500 (Rs 61.5 lakh) on the airline.


What happened

Rodney Hodgins, 49, and his wife, Deanna Hodgins, had travelled to Las Vegas on August 30 to celebrate their anniversary.

However, things took a turn in the wrong direction for them when the couple landed in Las Vegas, and Rodney Hodgins was asked by the crew to pull himself off a plane as the airline failed to provide a wheelchair.

When informed by a flight attendant that a wheelchair couldn't be arranged, Rodney initially thought it was a joke.

Subsequently, the couple mentioned that the flight attendant inquired if they could manage to reach the front of the plane on their own.

'Of course I can't. I'm in a wheelchair. I can't walk'," Rodney told Canadian media outlets.

But in the end, was forced to use his upper body strength and drag him past 12 rows of seats, while his wife held his legs.

"He (the flight attendant) said it to me a second time, so that's when I got up and I told my wife move my legs and I dragged myself to the front of the plane."
- Rodney Hodgins

Now, the Canadian Transportation Agency has imposed a fine of C$ 97,500 (equivalent to Rs 64,50,000) on the airline.  

Not the first time 

A similar incident unfolded in September with Air Canada where they were not ready to place the needs of their passenger first. This happened when Shanu Pande and her 83-year-old father, Harish Pant, embarked on a journey from India to Canada.

  • Approximately seven hours into the flight, as the aircraft soared over Europe, Pant was suffering from excruciating chest pain, severe back pain, and unrelenting vomiting.
  • In a desperate plea for immediate medical assistance, Pande turned to the cabin crew of Air Canada, and asked them to divert the flight and facilitate an emergency landing to get her father the urgently needed medical attention. But the crew did not do so, instead the plane continued for 9 hours before finally landing in Montreal.
  • Paramedics were present upon arrival, but tragically, Pant died during the medical treatment he received at a hospital in Montreal, Canada. 
  • Shanu Pande blamed the airline for her father's death. 
Last updated: December 28, 2023 | 14:40
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