United Airlines is in the news again! This time, a California woman claims the airline’s employees treated her 94-year-old grandmother inhumanely.
On March 1, Rose Benedicto posted about her grandmother’s experience on Facebook. She said her grandmother, Paz Orquiza, suffers from severe arthritis and degenerative bone disease.
Benedicto says in February, her grandmother was returning back home to Australia. She had been in Los Angeles for a family reunion.
Her grandchildren paid $3,600 to buy the elderly woman a business class ticket on a United Airlines flight. They wanted her to be as comfortable as possible while she traveled.
Benedicto’s aunt was also booked on the same flight so you could help her grandmother get settled on the plane, adjust her seat, feed her, and other such tasks. However, she was booked in economy class.
Here’s where the story gets strange… United Airlines is starting to slip big time in the customer satisfaction department.
Yet upon boarding the flight, United Airlines staff refused to allow Benedicto’s aunt to help her elderly mother in business class.
“Without any sympathy or compassion, Shauna [the Business Class flight attendant] said my grandma’s only options were to 1) move to Economy with my aunt or 2) take another flight and purchase another Business Class ticket for my aunt,” Benedicto writes, adding they violated the Air Carrier Access Act by discriminating against her grandmother based on disability.
As a result, Orquiza was forced to move to economy and spent a 16-hour flight crying in pain.
“Feeling like she had no choice, my grandma moved to Economy and spent the next 16 hours in distress and pain,” explains Benedicto. “My aunt tried to comfort my grandmother, who was in tears, and was horrified to see how much pain she had to endure during this flight.”
Even after leaving the flight, Orquiza continued to suffer.
“My grandma’s legs had swollen, she suffered from a stiff neck and her whole body ached,” Benedicto said, later adding it took a week for her grandmother to recover and that she was prescribed Valium to help her sleep.
Benedicto says her family was “heartbroken” when they found out what happened to their grandmother, adding it “ruined” their family reunion.
Adding insult to injury, Benedicto says United Airlines continued acting without “humanity and compassion” in response.
“United claimed their crew’s recollection differed (shocking!) and that disability regulations were not broken,” writes Benedicto. “They gave my grandma $500 travel certificates which we do not plan to use and are in the process of refunding us $860 even though the original ticket cost $3600.
As of April 10, Benedicto says the airline has yet to provide a refund despite the fact “it has been over 2 months.”
“United is a pathetic excuse for an airline,” she wrote. “We can take them down. BOYCOTT UNITED!”