A deaf couple from Houston, Texas, is demanding an apology from American Airlines after discovering an insulting note attached to their lost luggage when they returned from a trip to Hawaii.
Angela Huckaby and James Moehle, 34, were shocked and offended when the note, which read “Please text. Deaf and dumb,” had been attached to their belongings, Fox News reported.
The couple was returning from a vacation in Hawaii, their first one in 16 years, which had been a thrill until the lost luggage turned up with the offending note attached.
“It was just outrageous and cruel and unnecessary,” said Moehle’s mother, Kay Moehle, told KRTK. “That person needs to be fired.”
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James Moehle wrote to American Airlines demanding an apology and disciplinary action against the person who penned the insensitive note.
“I assure you that neither of us are ‘Dumb!’” Moehle, an air conditioning and heating technician wrote. “Rather, we are both hard-working individuals and responsible parents. We certainly deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
American Airlines quickly sent an apology.
“We apologize to Mr. Moehle and Ms. Huckaby. It was clearly a very poor choice of words. We're confident there was no ill will, but we'll be looking into this further and will be following up with our team members at IAH and the contractor that provides our baggage delivery services,” the airline said in a statement to the couple.
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Moehle and his mother were not satisfied with the apology.
“To me, it’s not enough. They have not satisfied me, nor have they, to my knowledge, satisfied my son either,” Mrs. Moehle said. “So far their messages have been dismissive. I want to hear something like ‘we take this seriously, we are investigating, and we will get back to you.”
“I don’t even know if they take it seriously,” James said. “I just want them to not ever do that again to someone else.”
The term “dumb” is an outdated expression that was used to refer to people who are unable to speak. Deaf people consider it offensive.
“I cannot describe how I felt,” James Moehle told ABC News via text message. “I felt lost, angry, confused, and mistreated.”
Moehle lost his hearing when he was just 17-months-old due to spinal meningitis, and he says this was the first time he has encountered such offensive behavior towards the deaf.