A die-hard Beyonce fan with cerebral palsy was ready to finally see his favorite artist perform live in Seattle, but missed the show after an airline was unable to accommodate his wheelchair on his plane.
Jon Hetherington of Oregon bought a ticket to Beyoncé’s sold-out “Renaissance World Tour” show at Lumen Field last weekend, but was devastated when the Eugene airport said his wheelchair was 4 inches more than to fly.
“I arrived at the airport to catch my flight and was told that my chair is apparently four inches too long to carry on the plane,” Hetherington said in a TikTok video he posted Thursday.
“So they checked every possible flight, every airline, and there is nothing available. So after 25 years of waiting, I won’t be seeing Beyoncé tonight. So ableism strikes again,” she stated.
Jon Hetherington said he was told his wheelchair was only 4 inches too long to fit on the plane.Jon Hetherington
The clip went viral on social media with over 88,000 views and Hetherington’s followers tagged Beyonce and her team. Some even offered her own tickets in an attempt to get him to a show before the “Crazy in Love” singer’s tour ends.
Soon enough, Queen Bey’s longtime publicist followed, leaving many wondering if Beyonce will help.
“I was hoping maybe a couple hundred people would see it. And that would be it,” Hetherington told KOMO.
Hetherington, 34, declined to share the name of the airline in question, saying in a follow-up video that “it’s not just one airline, it’s all airlines.”
Jon Hetherington’s video went viral on TikTok, and his followers tagged Beyonce and her team to try to bring him to a show.liberatedbygaga/TikTok
“We have built every facet of our society to exclude disabled people. That is the real problem we need to address here,” she stated.
Hetherington said this is not the first time she has experienced ableism while attending concerts. Just two weeks earlier, she was stranded in Seattle for hours until 1 a.m. after a Janelle Monáe concert.
“I’ve been waiting over an hour because apparently there are no accessible taxis available in all of Seattle,” Hetherington said in another video.
Hetherington had purchased tickets to see Beyoncé’s sold-out show in Seattle last weekend. Brian Prahl / SplashNews.com
He said he hopes his situation leads to change when it comes to the treatment of disabled people.
“I’ve always said that unless you’re disabled or you directly know someone very close to you, it’s always out of sight, out of mind,” he told Insider.
“We might as well be invisible until society wants us to be an inspiration, until there is a feel-good story that healthy people can read and feel better,” Hetherington said.
“We never think about the day-to-day challenges. I can’t have that luxury. I have never.”