Blind Man Booted Off US Airways Flight over Service Dog

Passengers lay blame on flight attendant


A legally blind Bellport man who serves as a member of the Suffolk County Disabilities Advisory Board said he was discriminated against Wednesday night, when he and his guide dog were removed from a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Albert J. Rizzi, 49, said a flight attendant had both he and his service dog, Doxology, ushered off the regional flight by security because his dog was not under his seat.

A US Airways spokeswoman, Liz Landau, told Newsday on Thursday that Rizzi's removal is under investigation -- and that Rizzi was removed after he became "verbally abusive" with the unnamed flight attendant. She said that Rizzi had been advised his service dog was required to remain at the seat "for safety reasons," but said the dog failed to do so.