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Man Sues American, Alleges Discrimination After Being Kicked off Flight



Saying he was made to feel like “less than a dog,” an American Airlines customer is suing the airline, alleging discrimination after he was forced off the plane in a dispute over his seatmate’s service dog.

Dana Holcomb, of Killeen, Texas, is seeking damages from the airline over the April incident.

Holcomb, an African-American, said he had been assigned a first-class seat next to a woman traveling with her service dog. Holcomb told the cabin crew he was allergic to dogs and began experiencing signs of a reaction.

After failing to swap seats with a fellow first-class passenger on the flight from Las Vegas, connecting through Phoenix, to Texas, Holcomb said the pilot and crew then asked him to take a seat in the back of the plane.

The captain was caught on camera pointing in Holcomb’s face, and the passenger removed from the plane in Phoenix, without his luggage or medication.

“Dana was taken off an airplane so a dog could fly first-class cabin,” airlines-sued-by-allergic-black-man-claiming-he-was-kicked-off-flight-so-a-dog-could-fly-first-class/ar-AAGxtGJ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Reginald McKamie, Sr., Holcomb’s attorney, said. “What American Airlines is doing is discrimination. They have repeatedly humiliated African American citizens by throwing them off the plane, leaving them with no way home, no hotel, just throwing them off the plane.”

A spokesperson for the airline said in a statement: “If a lawsuit is filed, American will review it and respond in court when appropriate. We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us. Regulations require American Airlines to transport service and support animals. American makes every effort to accommodate all passengers, including those traveling with and seated near service or support animals. In the case of an allergy, we work to re-seat a passenger further away from the service or support animal.

“If the customer is still not comfortable flying, we will rebook them on the next available flight to their destination.”

Holcomb spent $1,700 on a new flight on Delta in order to get home.

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United Airlines Provides Free Flights to Medical Volunteers



United Airlines has partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in order to provide free roundtrip flights for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals working to treat patients with coronavirus.

“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and they need reinforcements,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This generous partnership with United Airlines will ensure medical professionals from across the country can come to New York City to help us in our hour of need.”

New York has become the focal point of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., specifically in New York City, which has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Hospital staff quickly found themselves overwhelmed due to overcrowding. Several notable landmarks have been converted into makeshift hospitals throughout the city.

United is also working with local government agencies and non-profit partners to provide New York hospitals with much-needed qualified medical professionals. The airline is closely collaborating with a network of professional medical volunteer organizations to help enlist volunteers and bring them to locations where they are needed the most.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those extraordinary times that demonstrates how we come together as a profession to provide desperately needed assistance and care,” said Society of Critical Care Medicine President, Lewis J Kaplan, M.D., FCCM.

United has joined many brands across the nation to help support front-line responders by providing them free or reduced services.

Several hotels and lodging brands are offering free or subsidized housing for medical workers and front-line responders, while local and national restaurants are providing these workers with free food or large discounts.

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