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A Letter to United Airlines

[If this comes across as negative towards people who do need a wheelchair, that's not my intent at all. My point is that there are a lot of fairly negative things about not being treated as ably as you are.]
Hi. I'm totally blind. When I first started using the United website several years ago, the special assistance tab on the website had an option for visually impaired passengers who need assistance but not a wheelchair. I appreciated that: it's very frustrating to be forced to sit in a wheelchair and treated as less capable than you are. The sort of humiliating treatment that you get is typified by an experience in Paris on a non-United flight. The purser noticed that I was standing once the wheelchair arrived, came over and said that I seemed to be walking well for someone who required a wheelchair. On my last two reservations, this option has disappeared. I may select a wheelchair or no assistance at all. I'd like to understand why this has changed, and express strong disappointment at the decision.


Have you contacted customer service? I'm a 1K member; would you like me to inquire to the premier line on your behalf?
The part without the bracketed initial part was what I sent using the customer relations web form. I'm only premier exec, but that should be enough to at least get them to explain what's going on. I'll keep you informed.
As the son of a paraplegic, I can absolve you of any concerns about insulting people who need wheelchairs. I've never met anyone so impaired who wouldn't have preferred to be able to walk.

Hell, when I leave a hospital, I get upset about the wheelchair thing. If nothing else, it might deprive someone of that chair who actually needs it.

September 2019

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