mike

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American Airlines Checked My Dignity at the Gate

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Powerchair Diaries

By Mark E. Smith

As one with cerebral palsy, using a wheelchair, I’ve been blessed. For two decades, I’ve built a career in the corporate business world. That career has allowed me to fly on hundreds of trips, from Hawaii to Spain, to many destinations in-between. I, like most business travelers, crisscross the friendly skies from event to event, working to support my wife and two daughters, pursuing the success most of us wish.

However, on March 27, 2017, on American Airlines, I saw a dramatically different side to the world of air travel that I’ve long known.

See, I’d finished five days working a trade show in Southern California, and as I waited to board American Airlines Flight 121, departing at 11:30 am, from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, all was typical. I had my ticket in hand, my wheelchair was tagged for cargo, and I was looking forward to…

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Author: koamike

Retired and living with my partner, dog and a cat colony on the slope of Mauna Loa. Would rather be living in Palm Springs, California and hope to return there some day. Meanwhile enjoy swimming, walking/hiking and bicycling, trying to maintain my home and property despite really wanting to burn it to the ground. And a little photography. Interested in LGBTQI, environmental and social justice issues.

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