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Steve Gleason asks to meet Southwest Airlines after travel mix-up

Steve Gleason said a family trip almost did not happen because employees were allegedly unwilling to accommodate his powered wheelchair.

NEW ORLEANS — Former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason says Southwest Airlines needs to do more to help disabled passengers after an alleged mix-up Tuesday.

Gleason said on Twitter that a family trip on a Southwest flight to Phoenix almost did not happen because airline employees were allegedly unwilling to accommodate his powered wheelchair and specialty equipment.

"Some of your ground crew acted rigidly as if I shouldn't fly," Gleason tweeted at the official Southwest Airlines Twitter account. "We regularly fly on other airlines, who have been quite understanding and accommodating."

Gleason did give a shoutout to one employee, Joseph Redhair, who he said was understanding toward his needs.

"I am fortunate to have an incredible staff who get me anywhere anytime, despite adversity like yesterday," Gleason tweeted. He added that he wanted to sit down with Southwest officials to help others who live with ALS and travel commercially.

The airline's customer service agents saw Gleason's tweets and responded saying they certainly did not like hearing that any of their passengers experience problems while flying. The company said they were interested in reaching out to Gleason to follow-up.

"Absolutely, my intention is to use this opportunity to improve understanding, improve operations," Gleason responded.

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