Valley woman claims disabled sister not allowed to fly

SURPRISE, AZ - Surprise resident Chantel Bonet wants answers from the Transportation Security Administration saying a TSA agent stopped her disabled sister, Heidi, from boarding a plane from LAX to Phoenix because she couldn't say her name.  

Chantel says it's due to a stroke that took away Heidi's ability to speak or write 10 years ago.

"When he started to say 'Say your name!' my sister wanted to go so bad, that she starts saying 'Coo...coo,'" cried Chantel, imitating the exchange she heard over speaker phone between a TSA agent and her sister. 

"My sister cannot, has not been able to talk for ten years," said Chantel. 

Chantel says the agents first stopped her sister regarding an expired driver’s license, even though she had a DMV renewal notice on hand.

Chantel called Southwest Airlines to ask for help, hoping someone in the airport could intervene.

But ultimately TSA refused, and Heidi had to take a Greyhound bus wearing a paper note on her back to provide all her emergency information.

"That's the only way my sister was able to get here," said Chantel.

Her sister arrived safely and is currently at an assisted care living facility in Surprise, but Chantel has filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security and hopes to get some answers regarding the incident.

A TSA spokesman tells ABC15, the family dropped the woman off at the airport and did not try to help her get through security.

He also says the woman was trying to use a bad photocopy of an expired driver’s license as her official ID.

The TSA spokesman also said if family members know someone may have a hard time traveling alone or getting through security, they need to call the TSA Cares hotline at 1-855-787-2227 before the person travels to the airport.


 

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