Golden retrievers don’t fit under airline seats.A US Airways Express flight from Philadelphia to Long Island was canceled yesterday evening after passengers staged a protest against the crew’s ejection of a blind man over a dispute concerning his guide dog.
According to ABC Action News, Albert Rizzi was told to keep his dog under the seat in front of him for the duration of the flight, per airline regulations.
Rizzi says that, after the plane was delayed on the tarmac for over an hour, Doxy got restless, and “curled up under his legs.”
US Airways claims Rizzi “became disruptive and refused to comply” when a flight attendant asked “to secure his service dog at his feet,” which resulted in the plane returning to the gate and Rizzi being removed.
But passenger Frank Ohlhorst remembers it differently.
"When we, the passengers, realized what was going on, we were, like, ‘Why is this happening? He’s not a problem. What is going on?’" he told ABC 6. “And we all kind of raised our voices and said, ‘This is a real problem.’ The captain came out of the cockpit and he basically asked us all to leave the aircraft.”
US Airways subsequently canceled the entire flight and offered to bus passengers from Philadelphia to Islip, New York — a 3.5 hour drive away.
Rizzi, who accepted the offer, said he was “humbled” by the reaction of passengers who elected to join him.
"They could have stayed on the plane, but they chose not to," he said.allies — this is what you can do
The psychology that goes into an event like this is fascinating. Generally, there are two pivotal moments that change everything.
First, one person has to speak up. Make no mistake- that leap is a tough one. Look up the bystander effect; when you have a plane full of people, everyone has a natural inclination to assume that a) if something was wrong, somebody would say something and b) it’s somebody else’s job to say something. The more people there are, the less responsibility everyone feels to speak up.
One person saying “hey, something here is fucked” isn’t enough, though. Somebody has to follow them. Somebody has to jump in and say “yeah, person A is right, this IS fucked.” This somebody might be the one to say “and also we should do something,” or they might not. The important thing is that everyone else sees someone agreeing with Person A. Suddenly everyone’s brain gives them permission to speak up, act out, and generally do those things that they’ve always imagined they’d do in that kind of situation. Because no matter how much we want to react a certain way, most of us have roadblocks preventing us from realizing we’re in the situation in the first place.
A few more words of advice: if you’re able to be that first speaker (which not everyone can be- some people can’t speak up because of mental or physical illness or disability, some have cultural issues, some may have social pressures encouraging or enforcing their silence, etc!), it’s helpful to make eye contact with others around you. Speaking up is fantastic, but sometimes assuming authority is necessary- if you feel that this is the case, give specific people specific orders. It doesn’t matter who- just telling someone to call 911 because you can see a cell phone in their hand is usually enough to get people to start moving. If someone else is speaking up, jump in as soon as possible! Even a “yeah, that’s right!” is often enough to get people to join in. It can be like flipping a switch; all you have to do is smash through their hesitation by giving a single example of someone following Person A. This role is EVERY BIT AS IMPORTANT as being the first speaker. If no one follows, action dies before it even gets started.
Allies, remember this. It only takes two people to mobilize action and give a crowd direction in the face of injustice. They don’t even have to know each other. Two complete strangers can start a tidal wave. It doesn’t even matter if you’re reacting against deliberate acts of oppression, hatred, or violence or mobilizing to save someone from accidental harm, the psychology is basically the same.
Having been Person A hoping for a Person B to speak up — hell yes, that second person is seriously important!
the same situation happened here in Chile, a blind lawyer was asked to leave the plane because her service dog could not be in the passenger area, nobody spoke for her ,nobody helped her, i wish whe the same unity as citizens, of course the airline told another version saying that the blind person refused to put a nozzle on the dog, something that was never asked to her.