Fliers Rebel After Blind Man, Dog Booted Off Flight
All passengers walk off US Airways flight
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2013 7:34 AM CST
This Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 file photo shows an American Airlines plane and a US Airways plane at parked at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – An amazing show of solidarity on a US Airways Express flight Wednesday night: After a flight attendant made a blind man and his guide dog exit the plane, all the other passengers exited with them in protest. The flight attendant was upset because the guide dog, Doxy, wouldn't stay underneath Albert Rizzi's seat, Rizzi tells 1010 WINS. There was a delay, and as the Philadelphia-to-Long Island flight sat on the tarmac, Doxy became agitated. The flight attendant said the dog needed to be "stowed under the seat," rather than beneath Rizzi's legs. But Rizzi was in the back row and says he had no storage room underneath his seat, and adds that the flight attendant never offered to move him.

After the flight attendant ultimately had security escort Rizzi off the plane, his angry fellow passengers—35 people, by Rizzi's count—followed. (One tweeted, "blind man and his dog just got kicked off @USAirways after we’ve been on the tarmac an hour, bc dog wiggled a bit. Whole plane outraged." Another tells ABC News, "This dog was more controlled than the people onboard.") In a statement to CBS Philly, US Airways paints a slightly different picture, saying the dog was roaming the aisle, that Rizzi was "verbally abusive" during the incident, and that "other customers were unhappy about the situation." The flight was ultimately canceled because the "crew did not feel comfortable operating the plane," and passengers were bused to Long Island.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
uthink
Dec 15, 2013 7:53 PM CST
Doxy thought the complimentary peanuts were kibbles & bits. Stewardess made him white cane it to LI. Was on a flight between two Siberian towns some years ago. The front of the passenger cabin was filled with cages of chickens.
plain_speaking
Nov 26, 2013 10:21 AM CST
1 heartless, brainless flight attendant vs 35 people that inconvenienced themselves to stand up for a stranger...Good wins this one!
JimAroyo
Nov 22, 2013 12:35 PM CST
US Airways and American merging is a match made in heaven. American is outrageous with its airfares and US Airways is outrageous with its customer service.