Delta passenger with multiple sclerosis says airline employees tied her to wheelchair

Woman with Multiple Sclerosis Says Delta Employees Tied Her to Wheelchair

ATLANTA — A woman with multiple sclerosis says Delta Air Lines employees tied her to her wheelchair because she can't sit up on her own and they didn't have the chair she needed.

Maria Saliagas travels to Europe with her husband every year. When she was diagnosed with MS five years ago, she didn't want to break her tradition of traveling with her husband.

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She said Delta normally accommodates her by making sure staff members have a proper wheelchair that has straps to help her sit up straight.

When she flew out of Atlanta on April 1 and arrived in Amsterdam, Delta didn’t have a chair with straps, so employees tied her to a regular wheelchair with someone else’s blanket, said her son, Nathan Saliagas.

“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. That’s when that picture was taken,” Saliagas said.

A Delta representative sent WSB-TV a statement about the incident, saying:

“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.”

The family returns to Atlanta on April 30.

When the family complained to Delta, they said the airline offered them 20,000 free SkyMiles, but they said that's not enough.

They want to see a policy change regarding how Delta handles passengers with disabilities.