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Blind woman says she and guide dog were kicked off airplane

American Airlines allegedly kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off of a plane bound for Dallas.
American Airlines allegedly kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off of a plane bound for Dallas. AP

A blind woman from Maine says she and her guide dog were kicked off an American Airlines flight after she requested a different seat.

Sue Martin, of Franklin, says she, her husband and her guide dog boarded a plane bound for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport at Reagan National Airport near Washington on March 1. She says she asked a flight attendant if she could be moved to a seat in another row that had room for the German shepherd.

Martin says the flight attendant refused. A man in first class later offered his seat, which Martin accepted. That’s when she says she was asked to leave by an American Airlines employee who said her presence on the plane was unsafe.

An American Airlines spokeswoman says the airline is investigating the allegations.

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, has strongly denounced American Airlines for its actions.

“People with disabilities have the right to travel just like everyone. The accommodations required by people with disabilities, whether it is a service animal or physical device, should be understood and respected by airlines,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Staff writer Max B. Baker contributed to this report.

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