A 94-year old disabled Pinay named Paz Arquiza became a victim of discrimination while on board a United Airlines flight. This is according to a Facebook post by her own granddaughter, Marianne Santos Aguilar, who said her grandmother had to endure pain during her 16-hour flight from Los Angeles, USA to Melbourne, Australia.
“My grandma suffers from severe arthritis and degenerative bone structure in her neck so she spends most of the day lying in bed. Her grandchildren pitched in to buy her a Business Class ticket to ensure a comfortable plane ride for this once in a lifetime trip.” Aguilar wrote on Facebook last March 2, along with the photos of her grandmother.
According to Aguilar, Paz Arquiza was able to sleep and was very comfortable in her Business Class seat during her flight from Melbourne to LA, and that flight attendants were very accommodating and assisted her as needed. However, she said that it was the opposite treatment on their way back to Melbourne.
“My aunt traveling with her in Economy asked the Business Class flight attendant, Shauna, if my aunt can assist my grandma with simple tasks such as opening her food or reclining her seat, similar to what my aunt helped with on her outbound flight. Shauna said they could not accommodate her request.” She added.
The said United Airlines flight attendant allegedly showed no sympathy or compassion to her grandmother. Instead of providing assistance, Aguilar said her grandmother was only offered two options – to move to Economy with her aunt, or take another flight and purchase another Business Class ticket for her aunt.
Leaving with no other choice, Aguilar said her grandmother moved to Economy and spent the next 16 hours in pain. And although her aunt was there and tried her best to comfort her grandmother, the latter suffered from a stiff neck and severe body pain, and her legs got swollen when they arrived in Melbourne.
In their complaint against United Airlines, the alleged discrimination incident happened on February 2, 2017, while Paz Arquiza and her daughter Rose Benedicto flew back to Melbourne via United Airlines Flight 98. As response, Aguilar said that flight attendant Shauna denied discriminating the 94-year old Pinay passenger.
Nevertheless, Aguilar said that United Airlines gave $500 travel certificates to her grandmother. She noted that the original plane ticket costs $3600, and the airline are still in the process of refunding them only $860. In her Facebook post last April 10, Aguilar said that they have not yet received the refund, more than 2 months after the incident.