Saliagas was traveling with her husband on a yearly trip to Europe when the incident took place. The traveler, who was diagnosed with MS roughly five years ago, told local station WFTV that she regularly flew with Delta and that they normally provided her with a wheelchair that has straps to help her sit up straight.
However, when Saliagas prepared to leave from Atlanta for Amsterdam on April 1, airline staff said they didn't have the necessary kind of wheelchair available for her. Staffers instead opted to tie Saliagas to a regular wheelchair using someone else's blanket.
"I definitely know that they're a good airline, I'm not doubting that at all, but in this specific situation there was no courtesy, no respect," Nathan Saliagas, Maria's son, told station WSB-TV. "There was a complete operations failure."
After hearing of the incident, Nathan quickly took to social media to share the story.
In an April 2 tweet, the upset son wrote: "#Delta used a dirty blanket off of the floor to tie my mom to a broken wheelchair, with it so tight that it bruised her. Delta supervisor then cursed at her as she cried. How dare you @Delta. Your answer was miles. My demand is refund. Shameful. #abuse"
Nathan later took to Facebook on Tuesday to further criticize the airline.
According to reports, the family was initially offered some 20,000 SkyMiles for the mishap.
In response to the Saliagas' claims, Delta released a statement that said, "We regret the perception our service has left on these customers. We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations."
Nathan has since filed a complaint with federal transportation officials, WSVN reported.
Maria is expected to fly back home on Delta on April 30. The family is requesting a policy change in how the airline accommodates passengers with disabilities.