A woman suffering from a disability that sometimes requires her to be in a wheelchair claims an American Airlines flight attendant initially refused to provide her with assistance to her seat because “she doesn’t look sick.”
While traveling from New York to Chicago, Samantha Lasiewicz, who suffers from a disability known as POTS, was with her sister when she claims the pair asked that Lasiewicz be brought to her seat in a wheelchair.
Lasiewicz said POTS causes her blood pressure to drop and spike suddenly, affecting her body’s ability to regulate its temperature and making her prone to passing out in the middle of normal activities.
“[The flight attendant] looked at me, he looked at my sister and said, ‘She doesn’t look sick. She can just get up and walk,’” Lasiewicz said.
The family said the flight attendant accused Lasiewicz of holding up the flight and only gave in after a verbal altercation.
In a statement an American Airlines spokesperson said its customer relations team “is in direct communication with the customer to better understand what happened in this situation.”
“It is not our policy to ask passengers about the nature of their request for assistance,” the statement read.
Lasiewicz said the incident left her feeling “embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated.”
She hopes that by coming forward with her experience, she can raise awareness and educate others in the service industry about her condition.
"I want education. I want discipline,” she said. “I think [American Airlines] should decide what that is, not me."