Woman, 72: Delta Kicked Me Off Plane ... for Looking Sick

Suzanne Hays' daughter says her mother was just sleeping
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser User
Posted Aug 19, 2014 11:38 AM CDT
This Oct. 30, 2013 photo released by the State of Alaska Central Region Department of Transportation & Public Facilities shows a Delta Airlines plane on a runway, at right, in Cold Bay, Alaska.   (AP Photo/State of Alaska Central Region Department, Jeff Doerning)

(Newser) – An elderly woman says a Delta crew treated her "like I had leprosy" when they kicked her off a flight earlier this month … for looking sick. Suzanne Hays, 72, tells First Coast News she felt fine as she waited for her flight to Florida to take off on Aug. 5. But a passenger sitting next to her thought otherwise and told the crew she looked "tired and drowsy." Hays is naturally pale and has a neurological disorder, she explains. But the crew thought she might be contagious, and asked her to leave the plane. "Contagious with what?" she says.

The crew threatened her with a police escort, she says: "I was begging them not to throw me off the plane ... I started crying and crying." To ease the sting, the airline gave Hays a $20 voucher for tea and soup, she says. Then she spent a further hour and a half in the airport before she was put on another Delta flight. A Delta spokesman says the airline is investigating the incident. Meanwhile, Hays doesn't want to fly Delta any time soon ... other than when she returns home next week. (Read about a dad who almost got kicked off a plane ... for tweeting.)

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