Elderly woman kicked off Delta flight for looking ill

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Suzanne Hays, 72, is soft spoken but don't be fooled by her demeanor. On August 5 Hays was traveling from Akron, Ohio to Orlando.

Hays had a flight change in Detroit and that change has become an experience she would like to forget.

"I was begging them not to throw me off the plane," said Hays.

Before Flight 19 would depart from Detroit to Orlando there was a problem. Hays said a passenger who was next to her decided to talk to the airline crew about her looking tired and drowsy.

"Then she came back and said they've moved us because I might be contagious," said Hays. "Contagious with what?" she wondered.

Shortly after that Hays said she was asked to leave the airplane. She said she was devastated.

"I started crying and crying," she said.

Hays said she was told if she did not cooperate they would call the police to escort her off the aircraft.

"(They were) acting like I had leprosy," said Hays. "It was awful I have never been treated like that in my life."

Her complexion is pale, and she has white mass disease which is a neurological disorder, but Hays said she was not sick then and she is not sick now.

"My heart sank," said Sherri Toth. "I was speechless."

Toth is Hays' daughter and is flabbergasted that the airline would kick her mom off the plane because someone said she looked sick.

"On the word of another passenger saying 'this woman is contagious she needs to be kicked off the plane' and all she was doing is sleeping," Toth said.

Hays said she left the aircraft. She said they gave her $20 voucher for tea and soup. She said she sat in the Detroit airport for another hour and a half before she was placed on the next Delta flight to Orlando.

"I begged them don't throw me off this plane," said Hays. "I told them I have to get to my son."

Delta spokesperson Anthony Black said the airline was not notified of the problem, until now. Black provided the following statement:

"We are currently investigating the matter. Our agents and crew take very serious the charge of ensuring passenger and employee safety and security. We regret the disruption that incurs from removing any passenger and our goal is to work to re-accommodate them as quickly as possible," Black said.

Hays is scheduled to return to Ohio August 25, her ticket is on Delta. She said she hopes she doesn't have to fly Delta again, at least not without an apology. An airline passenger has a bill of rights, CLICK HERE.


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