Paramedic, 43, wearing a ‘just deaf, not rude mask,’ is mocked by a Delta flight attendant when boarding the plane
- Kelli Adrienne Duncan, 43, flew with a friend from Tampa to Hartford, Connecticut
- She wore a mask to let airline staff and other passengers know she was deaf
- Duncan said she has had problems since the start of the pandemic and struggles to communicate to people that she is deaf
- A flight attendant saw her mask and, behind her back, quipped ‘are you really deaf?’
- Duncan’s friend heard her, led her to her chair, and told her what happened later
- Delta apologized to the woman after her sister tweeted about the incident
A deaf woman wearing a “just deaf, not rude” mask was mocked by a Delta flight attendant after boarding a plane earlier this month.
Kelli Adrienne Duncan, 43, was flying from Tampa to Hartford, Connecticut, with a friend earlier this month when the incident happened.
The paramedic is deaf and wore the mask as a light-hearted way of informing staff and other passengers.
But as she got on the plane, the friend who accompanied her heard a flight attendant say behind her, “Are you really deaf?”
Kelli Adrienne Duncan, 43, flew from Tampa to Hartford, Connecticut, with a friend earlier this month and wore this mask to inform people she’s deaf
“I wanted to make sure my best friend and I were together and since it was a two-aisle flight, I needed help from one of the escorts.
As my friend searched which aisle to go to, she heard the flight attendant behind me say cheekily, ‘Are you really deaf? Duncan said. Yahoo.
Duncan’s friend turned to tell the flight attendant she was dead, then led her down the aisle.
After the flight, Duncan told her sister, an ESPN journalist, about the incident. She complained on Twitter and received an apology from the airline.
Wow Delta. I am so disappointed that my deaf sister wearing THIS mask was greeted on your flight by a flight attendant who said with disgust in her voice, “Are you REALLY deaf” as my sister struggled to understand her b / c of her mask.
‘We now scoff at a disability? Not OK.’
Duncan’s sister, ESPN journalist Elle Duncan, angrily tweeted about the incident
Duncan said she has trouble communicating with people in the pandemic because of the masks that make lip reading impossible
Duncan said she was happy to have a friend with her who spoke on her behalf.
‘I was very happy that my best friend was there, as I usually travel alone and often have trouble communicating because of the masks.
“I was very hurt to know that someone would insult a disabled person who has been dealing with this all my life,” she said.
Delta did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s questions Monday morning.
The incident is the latest in a series of mask-related failures on planes.
Unlike Duncan’s case, most other incidents revolve around passengers refusing to wear masks despite COVID-19’s advice and airline rules.
The involved flight attendant has not been named.
Delta apologized to the woman after her sister tweeted about the incident (file image)
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