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Motivational Speaker Told He's Too Disabled to Fly

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A motivational speaker with cerebral palsy says he was kicked off a U.S. Airways flight after being told he was too disabled to fly alone.

Forty-seven-year-old Johnnie Tuitel of Grand Rapids Township, Mich., told The Grand Rapids Press that he has flown over 500,000 miles to give motivational speeches. But Tuitel says he missed a speech because of the Sept. 23 incident at Palm Beach International Airport.

U.S. Airways' website says people can't fly alone if they wouldn't be able to help themselves or others in an emergency. A company spokeswoman says the crew was following company policy.

Tuitel says he will meet with U.S. Airways employees in coming weeks to discuss his concerns with the policy, which he hopes will be changed.

Tuitel says he was raised to believe he shouldn't require special treatment.


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