Motel Allegedly Rejects Customer Because He's in a Wheelchair
Scott East and his family were turned away from the Weiss Lake Lodge in Centre, Alabama, because he was a wheelchair user, ruining what was supposed to be a fun family vacation.
Scott East was sure to do his research to ensure that everything would go smoothly on his family's trip to Centre, Alabama, where they wanted to visit the water park.
Being in a wheelchair has its challenges when it comes to vacations, but East looked up facilities that were wheelchair-accessible in the town and came across Weiss Lake Lodge. Unfortunately, it turned into a very unpleasant situation.
East not only read up on the motel's website to ensure that they could accommodate him but also phoned ahead to confirm that it wouldn't be a problem to stay there. The man on the other side welcomed the East family to stay there.
Upon arrival, East's wife started to take out his wheelchair, and a Weiss Lake Lodge employee immediately found issue with the family. East took out his phone and recorded the ordeal, embarrassed by what was happening. He said:
"I was furious, but I was embarrassed, the kids are in the car and they're screaming. And it made me feel hurt, I guess, my feelings were hurt. And I'm pretty tough, I don't get my feelings hurt often."
DON'T LIKE WHEELCHAIRS
East shared that the woman who worked at the front desk immediately said that the family couldn't stay at the motel because they didn't like wheelchairs, shaking her head.
Smithers was on his way to visit his ill father, who was about to start treatment for cancer, but he had to postpone his trip.
East took out his phone to record the exchange out of disbelief about what was taking place. The video footage went viral, leaving Weiss Lake Lodge to explain why they turned the man and his family away.
A Georgia man is claiming a Cherokee County motel refused him service because he was in a wheelchair, saying he recorded an employee at the Weiss Lake Lodge telling him the establishment doesn’t “like wheelchairs.” Read more here.https://t.co/U6pyUaFcjC pic.twitter.com/hMKA4RmGQq— AL.com (@aldotcom) July 12, 2021
The motel manager called 11Alive to explain the situation, saying that the entire exchange was a misunderstanding. According to him, the motel did not have a clean, accessible room that the family could stay in.
The manager also phoned East to say that it was all a misunderstanding, but the unhappy customer was not satisfied with his late reaction and poor excuses. East said:
"I told him, I said, 'you had all day Monday, all day Tuesday, all day today,' it was like 5 p.m. before I heard from him."
East isn't the only wheelchair user who has experienced adversity while traveling beyond the bounds of his home. 48-year-od Steve Smithers was stopped at the airport security and missed his flight because of his wheelchair repair kit.
The security at Belfast International Airport stopped Smithers, saying that his repair kit was a safety issue because the spanners it contained could be used to take the plane apart.
Smithers was on his way to visit his ill father, who was about to start treatment for cancer, but he had to postpone his trip because he couldn't board his plane on time.
The 48-year-old was not unaccustomed to boarding planes with his wheelchair as he had been traveling with it for the last eleven years without any issues, but the security personnel at Belfast was unable to aid him in this instance.