says Pearson airport staff abandoned tiffany uk him
World famous violinist Itzhak Perlman complained of rough treatment at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Monday after the disabled virtuoso said he was abandoned to lug his substantial carry on through customs without assist tiffany uk ance.
“I’ve been coming to Toronto for 40 years; this has never happened to me before like this, it’s just absolutely unbelievable,” Mr. Perlman, 68, told the National Post by phone from his room at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton hotel.
Widely considered among the leading violinists born in the 20th century, Mr. Perlman contracted polio at age 4 and moves around with the aid of crutches or a mobility scooter. On Monday night, he was in Toronto to play a charity concert at the city’ tiffany uk s Roy Thomson Hall.
On Monday afternoon, the musician had just deplaned at Pearson airport and was met at the gate by a disability assistant. Mr. Perlman could not recall if the employee worked for the airport or Air Canada.
“He walked me to an elevator and said ‘that’s where I’m leaving you,'” said Mr. Perlman.
I felt so unwelcome, and it was funny; every place I would go there were big letters saying ‘Welcome to Canada’
The violinist, riding a mobility scooter, gestured to his substantial carry on luggage and questioned how he would get it through customs.
Mr. Perlman said the employee replied ” I’m not your personal assistant, you’re not paying me for this, you’re the one who chose to carry an extra bag with you.”
The musician then said he was forced to navigate the airport alone after awkwardly loading up his lap with luggage: two little bags, a larger bag, his crutches and his violin, either a 1714 Stradivarius or another antique Italian violin from the 18th century.
“I was holding it for dear life,” he said.
In his many other international trips, Mr. Perlman, an Israeli American who lives in New York, said he is routinely helped at airports by either airline or airport staff.
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Indeed, according to Mr. Perlman’s managers, that was a stipulation of his original booking.
“We had made it very clear to Air Canada when we booked the ticket that Mr. Perlman required assistance to get all the way through customs,” wrote David Lai, president of New York based IMG Artists in an email to the National Post.
Mr. Lai added that he intended to “vehemently complain about this treatment” to Air Canada.
Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said, are troubled with this and find this very concerning as this is not represe tiffany uk ntative of Air Canada policies in place to take care of customers with disabilities.”