Delta Air Lines has issued a public apology after a media report said that one of its flight crews recently humiliated a Marine double amputee who was flying home from a hunting trip for wounded warriors.
“We have the utmost respect and admiration for our active duty military and veterans who make tremendous sacrifices to protect and sustain the freedoms we enjoy every day; and our Delta team is typically very good at showing their respect through various means of recognition. Unfortunately, we failed in this situation,” Allison Ausband, Delta’s customer care vice president, said in a statement Friday.
The statement said an internal review is under way to determine what occurred so that appropriate action can be taken.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown, who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan last year, was boarded last onto a Delta flight going from Atlanta to Washington on Sunday and was squeezed into a narrow aviation wheelchair that clumsily hit seats as he was being wheeled to the back of the plane.
Several veterans in first class offered to give their seats to the 29-year-old Marine but were rebuffed by the flight crew and were told the plane had to leave, according to retired Army Col. Nickey Knighton, who was on the flight and filed a complaint.
“[He] was obviously humiliated by being paraded through the aircraft and was visibly upset,” Col. Knighton told The Post.
“I touched Brown on his shoulder and asked if he was OK. Tears ran down his face, but he did not cry out loud,” Col. Knighton wrote.