Alaska Airlines responds to ‘worst of humanity’ viral backlash

The airline allegedly refused to help a passenger with Parkinson’s disease, an incident described by a passenger in a Facebook post that went viral.

A Facebook post describing Alaska airline as the “worst of humanity” for its alleged treatment of a man with Parkinson’s disease went viral over the weekend.

The airline has responded to the backlash, but the statement has done little to silence its critics, who have flooded social media with angry comments.

Here’s how it all started.

On Friday, Oregon concert promoter Cameron Clark described a scene at an Alaskan Airlines gate in which employees allegedly failed to assist a disabled man suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The man reportedly missed his flight to visit his daughter.

Clark described what he saw as the “worst of humanity.”

The post went viral, resulting in negative comments on Alaska Airlines’ Facebook page, such as: “How pathetic of you people. That poor man. I can’t imagine how many others get treated bad.”

In a statement posted to Facebook, the airline said that it cannot, by law, ask a passenger if she or he is disabled, but it can offer assistance.

The statement continued:

“In this case, our customer arrived late and didn’t request our assistance or let us know of any disabilities. He was also exhibiting signs of inebriation and smelled of alcohol, something we were reluctant to share from an internal report issued immediately after this customer left the airport. We are doing so now to provide some additional background on what drove our perspective on the situation.”

The passenger’s fare was refunded, and he arrived at his destination on a later flight the following morning, according to the statement. The company is conducting an internal review and will respond in 10 days to the customer, who has not filed a complaint against Alaska Airlines.

Nearly 500 people had commented on the statement, most of which are critical of the airline.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the airline’s account spent the weekend responding to angry customers.

For the last five years, Alaska Airlines has ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction on J.D. Power and Associates ranking of traditional air carriers.

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