In the wake of the now-infamous United Airlines dragging incident, more shocking mistreatment of travelers has come to light, including a recent episode on a British Airways flight in which an elderly man with cancer and diabetes was kicked off a flight to Jamaica.
According to Metro, the 65-year-old passenger named Kwame Bantu claimed his legs swelled up and he started to feel dizzy within the first hour of the flight.
Bantu said that after being ignored by the flight crew and taking it upon himself to enter the first class cabin to stretch his legs, he was “ambushed” by the staff.
“I was just trying to get some room to stretch my leg,” Bantu told the Daily Mail. “But nobody was helping me. They refused to listen about my medical illness and what I was going through. I was treated like a slave.”
A businesswoman named Joy Stoney, who was trying to help Bantu, was also removed from the flight. She said that the staff told Bantu to “defecate in his seat” instead of being permitted to use the lavatory.
After being removed from first class and detained, Bantu said the staff tied him up, and the restraints were so tight that they cut off his blood circulation.
According to Stoney, when Bantu asked the crew how much a first class ticket costs, he was dragged by the neck.
“The way they restrained him was absolutely preposterous,” said Stoney. “They restrained him by his shoulders via his neck and hands with straps. His ankles were strapped and on top of everything, they handcuffed him.”
The plane made an unscheduled stop on a Portuguese island where they left Stoney and Bantu stranded.
The airline spoke out to Metro and defended how its staff handled the situation, maintaining that Bantu was being unruly.
“Caring for our customers is our highest priority and we continue to investigate all the circumstances surrounding this incident. We take great care to handle these difficult situations as sensitively as possible. Our cabin crew and one of our pilots repeatedly asked a customer to return to his booked seat in economy after he sat in our business class cabin without permission. He repeatedly refused, verbally abused crew members and disturbed other customers. As a last resort, our cabin crew felt they had no option but to restrain the customer in the interests of the safety of everyone on board and helped him walk back to his original seat.”
The whole ordeal seems to have turned into a case of “he said, she said,” however, the word of the passengers may be more reliable based on British Airways' track record.
This is hardly the first time the airline has been under fire for treating its customers poorly, particularly the elderly. According to The Telegraph, earlier this month, an 87-year-old woman was forced to urinate on herself when a flight attendant refused to let her go to the restroom.
The airline had better get its act together, or else its future may be filled with lawsuits.