Hello. My name is Allen McKinley and I’m a T-4 Paraplegic. This means I’m paralyzed from the chest down and use a wheel chair 100% of the time. I was visiting Phoenix and was staying at the downtown Hyatt over this last weekend. On Sunday afternoon 2/19/2012 I attempted to get some food at your “pub”. My first issue was the fact that the elevator did not work and doesn’t have an “out of order” sign on it. I was in Phoenix for 6 days and tried it 3 days prior which means to my knowledge for at least 4 days the elevator was not working. Not a big deal, but an annoying one when someone sits there waiting for 5 minutes twice.
A gentleman came by and told me it didn’t work and that I could access the pub through a building next door. We made it upstairs and went inside. I do have a certified service dog that I’ve had for 4.5 years now. She is extremely well behaved and travels with me everywhere. This would include no less than 30 different states and to Canada twice. She has been to countless tradeshows, hotels, on flights, hundreds of restaurants, and everywhere I go for the last 2 years. Once I entered your pub a doorman came up to me and told us to leave. I explained that she is a service dog and had the appropriate tags on her collar as required by law. He then went over to the manager (Toby Aebersold) and let him know.
Mr. Aebersold told him unless I’m blind I still had to leave. The ignorance on this alone is lost on me, but I will continue so you understand the full scope of the situation. The doorman proceeded to interrogate me on what was wrong with me and why I needed a service dog. First point I would like to make is it is no one’s business why I need a service dog. Having to think about the day I wrecked a motorcycle 10 years ago to satisfy Mr. Aebersold’s criteria was inappropriate, extremely rude, and absolutely uncalled for. Not to mention illegal. I was told because I’m not blind I still had to leave. At this point my enjoying a meal and drink in your pub was definitely not going to happen. I asked Mr. Aebersold for a card so that I could report this incident and take appropriate legal action if needed to ensure NOBODY else with a disability gets treated in such a rude, uncompassionate, and just plain mean way.
I have NEVER in 10 years had anyone make me feel as bad as Mr. Aebersold went out of his way to do. I have also never had to write an email like this or talk to a lawyer about legal action as I work very hard for a living and don’t like the idea of suing anyone. I do have a witness that was blown away at the audacity of the entire situation. I want to point out that my service dog Murphy and I are part of a global ad campaign for Invacare wheelchairs & Motion concepts. I also work as the national sales manager for Aldila Golf Corp & Spinergy wheelchair wheels. Again this has nothing to do with money but rather the total lack of respect I was shown at your downtown Phoenix location. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your prompt response.
This is the email I sent to corporate. I had an email and phone call within 30 minutes. I’m working so I haven’t been able to follow up and I think I’ll make them worry for a while. Never put up with someone’s crap, life is to short, and sometimes people need a wake up call.