Sgt. Stephen Jackel just wanted to enjoy a fun day with his teenage daughter at a Six Flags in Texas. The veteran, who lost his legs in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, was about to board a rollercoaster called Boomerang with his 14-year-old when he was abruptly stopped by park employees. Jackel was told that "without one fully functioning" leg he was unable to participate on many of the rides. And, at first, when Jackel asked for a refund, they told him no.
Making this whole horrible situation all the worse? The employees at Six Flags made Jackel, a war hero, break down and cry in front of his young daughter. Seriously?
"My daughter was there throughout the whole time, and it got so frustrating that I broke down in front of my daughter and cried," Jackel said after arguing with park management for more than three hours.
According to Jackel, he made park employees aware of his disability before entering and was never told that he wouldn't be able to go on the rides. After being told he couldn't go on the rollercoasters, he was refused a refund, and instead offered replacement tickets (um, what?). Since the incident, Six Flags has refunded Jackel's money and issued the following (half-hearted) apology: "We truly appreciate Sgt. Jackel’s service to our country. We were disappointed to learn our accessibility policy was not properly communicated and we hope he and his family will accept our refund and invitation to visit the park again."
Jackel's reponse? "My family and I will never go to Six Flags again."
It's understandable that customer safety would be the number one priority of Six Flags, but bottom line: This situation was handled incredibly poorly and disrespectfully. It wasn't communicated properly to Jackel that he wouldn't be able to use the rides when he first entered, and not offering a refund? Wow. Way to class it up, Six Flags.
And Sgt. Jackel? Thanks for your service.
Do you think Six Flags handled this properly?
Image via Fox