- Stearn Hodge, a 68-year-old from Kelowna, British Columbia, claims Calgary International Airport TSA and a representative from United Airlines confiscated lithium batteries he needed to power his portable scooter in 2017.
- Hodge and his wife were flying to Tulsa to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary when the incident happened.
- Hodge lost his left arm and right leg in an 1984 workplace accident and uses a scooter powered by lithium batteries to travel around.
- He said he spent much of his Tulsa vacation in bed because he could not power his scooter without batteries.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A Canadian man who lost his arm and leg in a workplace accident said he was left ‘crawling across the floor’ after airport security confiscated lithium batteries he needed to power his portable scooter.
Stearn Hodge, a 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, British Columbia, is petitioning to have his case heard by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, claiming Calgary International Airport TSA and a representative from United Airlines confiscated the batteries for his scooter before a 2017 flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, CBC reported.
Hodge and his wife were flying to Tulsa to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary, and when they arrived in the US, he had no way of powering his portable scooter at their hotel.
“Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of,” Hodge said. “It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven’t been the same since.”
Hodge lost his left arm and right leg in an 1984 workplace accident. He uses a scooter powered by lithium batteries, and occasionally uses a prosthetic leg.
When travelling to Tulsa in 2017, Hodge was told he could not travel with his scooter’s $US2,000 lithium battery and its spare because of safety concerns.
He brought documents from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that said medical exceptions could be made for lithium batteries, and said he had approval to carry such items. But, Hodge said, CATSA still confiscated the lithium batteries.
Hodge said without batteries to power his scooter, he spent much of his vacation in bed and had to crawl to get around.
“An anniversary is supposed to be all about remembering how you fell in love … and keeping that magic alive,” he told CBC. “And those things were denied. I’m crawling across the floor and it is pathetic.”
United airlines offered Hodge and his wife an $US800 travel certificate for what happened.
Hodge is asking for damages from the Canadian Human Rights commission, which allows up to $US20,000 for each count of pain and suffering, and another $US20,000 if discrimination is “willful or reckless.”
- Read more:
- An American Airlines executive reveals why its exposure to the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max has been limited
- 13 teenagers were taken to a hospital after getting sick on an American Airlines flight to Boston
- Boeing’s CEO is beefing up his legal team as it braces for 737 Max crash lawsuits
- A Norwegian Cruise Line employee sexually assaulted an 11-year-old passenger after using a master key to enter her cabin, a lawsuit alleges
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.