Cleveland airport’s shuttle gets complaints from passengers using wheelchairs

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CLEVELAND-- One Medina man was so frustrated with service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport he called FOX 8 for help.

He said he believes the rights of passengers with disabilities are being violated after taking a weekend flight where he could not get parking lot shuttle buses to drop him off at the terminal.

"My wife and I were both exhausted," said Kenneth Zmija. "I don't believe that is acceptable not in this day and age."

Zmija said he suffered a stroke that left him with a limp. He said he can walk, but it takes longer than the average person. He said not only do buses drop passengers off far away, it's difficult to get access to wheelchairs.

"Coming back, they dropped us off at baggage claim," Zmija said. "We got our baggage and the wheelchair people attendants were gone. So we just ended up biting the bullet and walking to the shuttle pickup."

Signs are posted at the shuttle drop off listing phone numbers to call for wheelchair assistance. Kenneth said both he and his wife did not see the signs.

During airport construction in May 2015, officials told FOX 8 they moved parking shuttle drop off locations further away from the terminal. A spokesperson for the airport said they started receiving complaints after the RNC.

Cleveland Hopkins sent the following statement addressing how it plans to fix the problem:

"We're aware of the situation regarding shuttle drop off location. We are implementing a plan that will drop off mobility impaired passengers at the terminal starting next week."

It's an explanation Zmija said should have never been an issue.

"It's very frustrating," Zmija said. "It's difficult to have no assistance basically to when they drop you off, to when they get to the ticketing agency when airlines can provide a handicap wheelchair to get around."

FOX 8 will follow up on this story as changes to better accommodate passengers with disabilities are made at the airport.

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