Air Canada — hobble experience with special assistance on route to aircraft
I feel quite disappointed that I have to write this complaint but I don't want anyone else in my position to ever experience what I did.
I requested special assistance through out my flights from Montego Bay via Toronto to London Heathrow.
When I arrived at Toronto, I was first met by an Indian/Asian gentleman with a wheelchair, then passed onto another Caucasian lady (who was of very similar frame to the staff member I'm complaining about) very pleasant and took me to security for my bags to be checked through the security machine.
It was the assistance lady I was passed over to called Maria of oriental appearance, that upset me. When she approached she appeared unimpressed and asked me if I could walk to the lift, which I did. When I entered the lift I had to ask her if I could sit down in the wheelchair as my legs were hurting, but she seemed reluctant to do this.
I sat in the wheelchair and attempted to put my feet down on the pedals and accidently stood on her foot as I did not see/realise she was already putting down the pedals. Maria abruptly said "ouch", I apologised and she then said with annoyance "I'll do it".
There was a couple and their two daughters also in the lift and they got out at the level we were supposed to be getting out at but, Maria took too long and the lift doors closed. Maria then said "I don't think I can push you by myself, I can't do it". I was so hurt and offended and her tone made me feel like I was a huge problem and it was evident that she was talking about my size.
We finally got to the level in the lift and she then stopped, I asked Maria please could she hurry as its showing final call for my connecting flight to London and I don't want to miss my flight, she snapped at me and said "Wait" with a nasty look on her face, Maria then looked at the screen again and said "oh its gate 73 not 71, but she was aware of this from before because I heard her colleague in the security party tell her this.
When we got to the gate Maria started to huff and puff, (which I feel was with exaggeration) and say "I need help". Both her colleagues, 1 female of Indian/Asian complexion and a Mediterranean looking male both told her to calm down and not to stress. Maria then said to the Indian/Asian female "can you help me".
The two of them proceeded to push me through to the aircraft door, which made me feel even worse. On route there was a part that was raised and the Indian/Asian lady was telling her how to get the wheelchair over it.
By this point I was soo sad I wanted to cry but I held it because I didn't want to cause a fuss and delay the flight. I then said "thank you for your help and asked for her name, with which she told me it was Maria".
I am very much aware of my size and my current condition has caused a lot of my problems. I don't need a staff member who is supposed to be professional and empathetic to all shapes, sizes, colour, creed etc.
I am in pain constantly and I don't appreciate a staff member making me feel even more crap than usual.
I would like this incident fully investigated as I am not happy and want this dealt with immediately so this never happens to anyone else again.
I was on the flight AC858 connection flight to London Heathrow. The above took place between approximately 23:30 until I boarded (please refer to CCTV if possible).
I await your prompt response in this matter.
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