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A Firsthand Account of Dornan's Expulsion From Flight

June 23, 1991

At least on one occasion the "friendly skies of United Airlines" have become tumultuous, cloudy and hostile. When a disabled passenger like Congressman Bob Dornan is not allowed the benefit of reclining when he can't sit up and is forcefully put off the plane, perhaps the time has arrived for revising the so-called safety regulations.

In 1983, ailing seriously from a heart condition, I was accommodated by a United Airlines flight attendant in a most courteous and hospitable manner. I was permitted to recline upon takeoff from Kennedy Airport to LAX. I was given oxygen all during the trip. A few days after my arrival, I wrote a long letter of thanks to United Airlines commending the personnel who took care of me during a difficult time.

Has United Airlines reversed its policy of caring about people? I think not. Some surly flight attendant probably had an ax to grind. What is not known is that two other flight attendants had previously given Dornan the nod to recline, so United personnel do treat "different people differently."

All the letters you have printed ("Readers Decry Dornan's Actions on Plane," June 16) that show Dornan in a bad light express a political bias that fails to focus on the real issue--that of a disabled passenger needing help.

Yes, I admire Bob Dornan as a good Catholic, a good American, a good family man who stands head and shoulders above all of his detractors. Would that all of our politicians possessed some of the courage and integrity of Bob Dornan.

RALPH A. BUGLIONE, Garden Grove

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