United Airlines spoiled a gay couple’s honeymoon

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 9: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines takes off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on January 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Two separate 787 jets operated by Japan Airlines (JAL) experienced mechanical problems in Boston this week. A fuel leak during takeoff forced one to return to the terminal the day after a fire erupted aboard a different Dreamliner parked at a gate shortly after landing. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A gay man has revealed how United airlines ruined his honeymoon because he was not permitted to take his mobility device on a plane board. Trey Harris suffers from spondylitis – a type of spinal arthritis, had phoned the TSA and United prior to their flight to check that he would be able to board with his Segway miniPro, a device which allows him to get around when he has trouble walking. Harris was given the all clear and began to prepare for his holiday, however when he reached the airport it was made clear that everything was not “taken care of”. The couple passed through TSA with little trouble but when they reached the gate they were told they had to wait while the company “checked on something”. The man’s husband was already on board as Harris was told that the device is not permitted on board or in a baggage.A note left on Harris’ profile read that he “was advised he would NOT be allowed to board with device, and the device will not have to be checked, provided he can place device in overhead without crew assistance. Transferred passenger to TSA for clearance of device through security.” Harris realised that the “not” had been a typo left in his notes, and phoned the Special Needs desk rep to clarify. They told the gate agents that it was a mistake and Harris should be able to board using his device, but instead a manager was called over who decided that he could not board the plane with the machine because it was a “fire risk”. Harris and United staff argued over the matter. He pulled up the company’s own rules and regulations regarding fire hazards which disproved that the Segway was dangerous. However, staff still did not allow him to board. The flight was now delayed, and TSA were called who insisted that they had no issues with the device. United gave the couple an ultimatum: either they should miss their flight and catch a later one or they ditch the machine at check-in.


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