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Airline Complaints Rise, Image Going Down

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 05, 2017 4:14 PM

If the tail seems to be wagging the plane, it's something airlines must be getting used to.

A blind man says Frontier Airlines refused to let him board with his granddaughter because he was a "liability." It wasn't a "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy, but it just sounds wrong.

If there were a video -- like the cell phone video that pinned United Airlines for dragging a passenger off the plane -- this case would have settled already. For now, it's the kind of public relations problem that forces policy changes.

No Video But ...

Klipthon Miller filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the airlines refunded his ticket. A company spokesperson said it was a "customer service failure."

"We have coached airport team members and ensured compliance with Frontier policy that ensures all passengers are treated with respect and ensures that we are sensitive to their individual travel needs," the company said.

But that wasn't enough for Miller. "I was denied because I was blind," he said.

Whether it was a violation of airline or discrimination laws is a question for plaintiff's counsel, but in the meantime airlines are skidding on the public relations tarmac.

United, Delta, Frontier ...

If it seems like these airlines cases are taking off, it's because they are -- at least in the media. In April, Delta kicked off a passenger for using the bathroom. United had a similar nightmare when a flight attendant told a passenger to pee in a cup.

Nicole Harper said it happened on the same day Dr. David Dao was dragged violently off another United plane. Harper let virtually everybody know what happened to her.

"I really don't want to be known as the 'girl who peed in a cup' but if telling my story shakes #United a little more than so be it!!" Harper wrote on Facebook.

That post led to news reports on television, newspapers and the internet. United denied the "cup" allegations, but has published significant policy changes to deal with recent incidents.

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