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Delta Passenger Says Staff Tied Her To Wheelchair

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By Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek

A Delta Airlines passenger with multiple sclerosis says airline employees tied her to her wheelchair with a "dirty blanket," leaving bruises on her arm, because they did not have appropriate equipment on her flight.

Diagnosed with MS five years ago, Maria Saliagas told WFTV she and her husband have made an annual trip to Europe ever since to maintain their tradition of traveling together.

Saliagas said she and her husband fly regularly with Delta and are usually provided with a wheelchair that has straps to help her sit up straight.

This time, on an April 1 family trip from Atlanta to Amsterdam, airline employees told Saliagas that they did not have a wheelchair available for her.

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Instead, employees "took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it," Saliagas's son, Nathan Saliagas, told the broadcaster.

"She has bruise marks on part of her arm because it was so tight and she started crying," Nathan said.

A Delta representative told WSB-TV it regrets the incident and has reached out to the Saliagas family.

"We regret the perception our service has left on these customers," the Delta spokesperson said. "We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations."

The family said that when they complained to Delta, the airline offered them 20,000 free SkyMiles as compensation, but they said that was not enough.

They demanded that Delta also implement a policy change ensuring employees have protocols in place for working with passengers with disabilities.

The family is expected to return to Atlanta on April 30. It is unclear whether they still plan to fly with Delta.

Delta has not responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

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