LGBTI groups have called on Delta Airlines to apologize to two LGBTI deaf people it refused to allow on board.
Delta Airlines called the police on Latinx couple, Socorro Garcia and Melissa Elmira Yingst and also denied them their ability to communicate.
Garcia and Yingst were attempting to fly home to Los Angeles from Detroit after attending the 31st National LGBTQ Task Force’s Annual Creating Change Conference.
Yingst is a co-host on the accessible show TV show, Tru Biz.
The couple took to Facebook to explain how they tried to ask airline staff if they would be seated together on their flight home.
Garcia and Yingst handed the gate attendant a note, who allegedly screwed up the piece of paper and threw it in the bin.
‘Wow. Am at @Delta airlines in Detroit. Front desk attendant Felixia refuses to communicate with us in writing and even threw away the paper she wrote on with us,’ Yingst tweeted from the airport.
Then according to Delta, one of the women ‘aggressively’ behind the counter to retrieve the note. Airline staff then called police on the couple, who were denied boarding.
‘Whew. This is raw. I see this kind of stuff happen to many Deaf, DeafBlind, and DeafDisabled people in the news. I’ve always listened to those stories with disbelief,’ Yingst signed in the Facebook video, which has since gone viral.
‘Even though I have seen this many times, it was a huge shock when it happened to us… The feeling of being oppressed is very traumatic.’
‘Delta must immediately apologize’
The National LGBTQ Task Force said ‘the airline must immediately apologize’ to the couple.
‘No one should have to fear that Delta will call the police on them for simply being deaf, blind, or disabled. Delta should take immediate steps to prevent future incidents from occurring,’ the Task Force said in a statement.
‘This type of discrimination happens all too often to people who travel while Black or Brown, deaf, queer, and/or transgender.
‘This incident underscores the need for education, training, and policies to protect deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, and disabled people from discrimination and violence.
‘We encourage Delta to work harder on its own journey towards disability justice.’
Delta claimed it would investigate the incident and that the women had received refunds for their airline tickets.