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Topic Discriminated against! Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Busymom On 2016.10.30 01:22
I can't believe this, what do you think of it?
My husband's 90 year old mother, who lives in a different city, is suddenly quite ill herself, and my husband can't drive anymore with his stage of parkinsonism, so we booked a bus ticket for him to go see her. (How he was going to manage by himself on a 5 hour bus ride is probably questionable but they do have restrooms on the bus at least, and a break stop scheduled.) Anyway...he was supposed to go this morning and he misread the departure time, so we weren't able to get him on that bus on time (I knew I should have looked at the ticket myself!) So we called the bus company and asked if we could get him on the afternoon bus and they said yes, there were plenty of seats, all we would need to do was take his ticket to the station and he'd have to give the driver his ticket and a $5 change fee, and he could get on.

So we did that, and he went to the bus and he explained to the driver, and tried to give her the change fee but he is slow to move and slow to get his wallet out, and she said "I don't have time for this!" and shut the door in his face! The baggage handler guy stepped into the back door of the bus and said "Man that was cold!" and they drove off and left him standing on the sidewalk with his ticket and suitcase!

I had to go back to the station and get him, and you can bet I read the company the riot act, you can't do that, it is against the Americans with disabilities act to deny a disabled person sufficient time to board a transportation vehicle, and also illegal for a bus driver to be rude to a disabled person, that's what the Act states.
Even though I spoke to 4 people from the bus company, going up the chain of command, they said he has forfeited his ticket, they refused a refund, said if he wants to try to take the bus again tomorrow he will have to buy a whole new ticket.

Now when you purchase a ticket online, there is a box you can check if the passenger has "special needs" like storing a wheelchair or space for an oxygen tank, but he doesn't have things like that, so we didn't check that box because the question as it is worded didn't apply, none of those things fit his circumstances.

So while I was on the phone with them they said "you didn't check that box so we don't have to consider your husband disabled, so disability laws don't apply to him." They deny any wrongdoing and say they are not required to settle or rectify the matter any further.

Furious doesn't even begin to cover how mad I am, more like blind rage!...I am seriously considering calling an attorney! I did call my credit card company and dispute the charge, I said no way are we paying for this ticket.

By carman96 On 2016.10.30 06:31
Sorry that happened and hope your husband gets a chance to see his mother. Reminds me of the time we were getting on the shuttle bus at the airport. I was trying to juggle the luggage and get my husband up the steps.The bus driver practically shoved us aside and yelled at us because there was a guy in a wheelchair. I felt bad but didn't know he was even there, just trying to get my husband up the stairs so he could sit down was my struggle.
I felt like saying my husband is handicapped too! Not all disabilities are immediately obvious. But you'd think the drivers would notice when someone is having trouble, not just in a wheelchair.
There's no excuse for rudeness, and that bus company was so wrong to treat your husband like that. Anyone that's decent would apologize and let him ride for free the next day.

By lurkingforacure On 2016.10.30 13:37
I don't think the ADA requires that a disability be obvious. Perhaps the bus company should consider amending their form to cover other disabilities/special needs besides oxygen tank and wheelchair, perhaps to include "more time to get on/off" the bus, plane, taxi, whatever. The one thing I think all people dealing with a disability need is more time! Everything takes longer when you have PD, MS, etc. I would also dispute the ticket.

By VioletV On 2016.10.30 22:42
Post about this on Twitter or Facebook and to your local newspaper. Give the company some negative publicity.

By Busymom On 2016.10.31 01:47
Thanks everyone for your replies, I totally agree! And Violet, you're right,I think I will do that!

By Mary556 On 2016.11.01 14:34
BusyMom, so sorry this happened to your husband and yourself. maybe you could check to see if your state has an agency to help persons with disabilities under the ADA. In my state it is called "Office of Protection and Advocacy for Disabled Persons". Years ago one of their excellent lawyers went to bat for me *free of charge* when I had a problem to access a public building. She wrote a great letter on my behalf and resolved everything. (I have asthma, not PD, but your DH is covered. It does not need to be a disability that is obvious.) I hope you will find someone knowledgeable who could listen to what happened and advise you what more you can do. You could try using search words "(name-your-State) ADA advocacy" or something similar. Take a deep breath and keep going forward.
Best wishes and prayers for you.
God bless all PWPs and caregivers.

By Busymom On 2016.11.01 16:54
I just went online to and filed a discrimination complaint directly with the Department of Justice.
I hope that miserable bus company gets in big trouble, as they should be!

By mylove On 2016.11.09 08:36
I think discrimination against the disabled got a strong boost today, and I'm really scared to see how that plays out in real life down at our levels. God knows we don't need any more challenges on top of PD.

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