A woman with multiple sclerosis wants Delta Air Lines to improve its service for disabled passengers after she claims she was tied to a wheelchair following an international flight earlier this month. Maria Saliagas was flying from Atlanta to Amsterdam. Before her flight, Maria’s son made arrangements with Delta officials to ensure that the proper wheelchair would be waiting for her on the other side of the Atlantic. But the wheelchair with special straps to help her sit up straight wasn’t there, prompting Delta employees to improvise. The son says the airline “took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it … she has bruise marks on … part of her arm.” Maria was offered 20,000 free airline miles after complaining to airline staffers, but that won’t cut it, according to her son. Instead, she wants assurances from the airline that they’ll better accommodate disabled passengers.
… Officials at Delta Air Lines have pushed back on Saliagas’ claims, claiming an airport-contracted wheelchair vendor did meet her at the gate. An aisle chair — which is designed for in-flight use — was used to help Saliagas off the plane. Once off the aircraft, according to Delta, several wheelchair options were offered to Saliagas and she picked one. After being seated in the wheelchair, Saliagas said she was “slipping,” prompting the wheelchair assistant to suggest using blankets as a way to secure her to the chair. Saliagas agreed and the blankets were then removed from their original packaging, according to the airline