NewsCovering Kern County


United Airlines responds to Tyler Schilhabel, paralyzed football coach, following incident

Posted at 6:32 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 09:32:14-05

Tyler Schilhabel, the paraplegic football coach from Bakersfield, who recently said he had to scoot himself on his bottom down the aisle of a United Airlines flight now says he's heard back from the airline.

Schilhabel took to social media saying, "Since this incident United has confirmed that the lift in Punta Cana was inoperable, but has since ordered a new one. Hopefully other changes are made so that this doesn't happen to anyone else. which was the original intent of my complaint."

Earlier this month Schilhabel, who is in a wheelchair, posted on social media, saying while he and his wife were flying to the Dominican Republic, he was not given appropriate seating accommodations by United.

"We flew with United Airlines, we flew from LAX and had a connecting flight to Chicago to the Dominican Republic. When we flew to Chicago the first time we were seven rows back and I require an aisle chair to get me on and off the plane because my regular chair is too wide to fit on the airplane," Schilhabel said.

He said later during his trip, after landing in the Dominican, the airline also failed to provide a safe deplaning option for him, and his wife was also injured as they tried to exit the plane.

"We landed in the Dominican Republic and they didn't have an aisle chair ready so we waited there for about 20 minutes and they brought an aisle chair but they did not have a ramp, or a jet way, or an elevator to get me off the plane. "

He said at a point during his trip, while on one of the flights, he had to get out of his wheelchair and scoot on his bottom down the aisle of the plane.

23ABC reached out to United Airlines following the incident.

The airline said, "We are concerned to learn of our customer's unacceptable experience. We have reached out to our customer to deeply apologize and we are working with our team to understand what occurred and fix it."