It took a blind woman from West Plains, Missouri two years to save up for a trip to visit her daughter and grandchildren, but shortly after Lorrie Reeves Goss boarded the Los Angeles-bound flight, she was kicked off the plane without explanation. Ms Reeves was flummoxed when, after thoughtfully swapping seats with her neighbour so she could enjoy the window view, she was approached by an attendant who made her pick up her cane and then forced her off the aircraft.
Humiliated at being ordered to sit in a wheelchair on the runway at Springfield airport, Ms Reeves is now shocked to be defending herself against Allegiant Air’s recent allegations that she was ‘combative’ and ‘intoxicated’.
Using the stick to find her way to the bathroom before take-off, Ms Reeves told KY3 she had countered: ‘I will after I’m seated,’ pointing to her visual impairment.
The unnamed staff member then asked her to unbuckle her seat belt and follow him.
Jessica Wheeler, an Allegiant communications employee stated: ‘The passenger was being disruptive to the other passengers around her, and unfortunately, I do not have specific details about exactly what disruptive means.’
She continued: ‘When flight attendants tried to address her, she appeared extremely intoxicated and smelled of alcohol. She was combative to the flight attendants, and it was at that point that the flight attendants made the judgement call to remove her from the flight.’
Ms Reeves confessed to having two drinks during the two-hour wait in the airport but that she ‘didn’t understand what the heck I done wrong.’
Ms Wheeler went on to explain that Allegiant flight crews make decisions together and always put the safety of those on board first.
‘Obviously, this is a judgement call. Our in flight crew is trained to make these calls,’ she reasoned.
For Ms Reeves however, the case is not so simply dismissed. Though she’s flown alone with her disability for years, she says she is now scared to get on a plane again by herself.
The refund offered by the airline is not an appropriate compensation for the