A US Airways express flight scheduled to leave Philadelphia on a short trip to Long Island was delayed, and then eventually canceled, after a blind man and his seeing eye dog were removed from the plane.
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.
Passengers apparently didn’t see it that way, and decided to stand up for Rizzi. Appalled that anybody would do such a terrible thing, the passengers banded together and raised their voices over the incident, which eventually led the captain to come out of the cockpit and ask everyone on the plane to leave.
After canceling the flight, US Airways offered a 3.5 hour long bus ride to the aggravated passengers. Rizzi accepted the offer and said he was “humbled” by the response of passengers who decided to fight for him.
“They could have stayed on the plane, but they chose not to,” he said.