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Passenger with cerebral palsy forced to drag himself off Air Canada flight

Rodney Hodgins

A disabled passenger said they were in “significant pain” when they had no option but to drag themselves down the aisle of an Air Canada flight to disembark the aircraft.

Rodney Hodgins is calling for the airline company to change their policy to ensure they meet people with accessible requirements after landing.

The 49-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, used the service flying from Vancouver to Las Vegas in August 2023 with his wife Deanna.

Hodgins, from British Columbia, has spastic cerebral palsy, he gains independence by using his wheelchair, which he purposely modified so it can fit in a plane’s cargo area.

The couple were flying to Vegas for their wedding anniversary, but were not allocated an aisle seat or a narrow aisle wheelchair on board the flight.

To save delaying other passengers Mr Hodgins decided to drag himself down 12 rows to his wheelchair.

He told CBC News: “It was quite painful for me to do that in the first place.

“It hurt my legs. For three days I felt terrible on my holiday.

“I thought, they don’t care about me, they just want me to get off this plane.”

In response Air Canada said in a statement: “We use the services of a third-party wheelchair assistance specialist in Las Vegas. Following our investigation into how this serious service lapse occurred, we will be evaluating other Mobility Assistance service partners in Las Vegas.”

[ Air Canada customer service has offered Rodney Hodgins a $2,000 flight voucher for future travel. ]

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