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United apologizes after disabled Calif. man crawls off flight

D'Arcee Neal, who has cerebral palsy, was returning from a meeting about disabled accessibility policies with Uber, and dealt with a personal example himself with United Airlines.

After a five-hour flight from San Francisco to Washington last week, Neal waited for his wheelchair.

However, Neal needed to make it to a restroom as soon as possible since his disability made it too difficult to use the airplane bathroom.

He was told repeatedly to wait for the wheelchair, but couldn't wait any longer, he said. Instead, he got out of his seat and crawled his way up the aisle and to the gangway with no assistance. Instead, "they just stared," he said.

A United Representative called Neal the day after to apologize and offered him $300 in compensation, which he accepted.

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About the Author

Fiza Pirani is a web producer and writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is also currently investigating immigrant and refugee mental health stigma and health care access as a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.

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