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Thursday, July 18, 2013
Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Harasses Combat Disabled Veteran, Apologizes
By Selected News Articles @ 10:36 PM :: 4220 Views :: Military, Tourism

Undated Viral Facebook Posting (LINK)

Please help us spread this around:

Yesterday, one of the combat disabled vets that frequents this page attempted to check into The Hyatt Place in Waikiki, HI. He was tagging along with his wife, who is government employee. Their family is being relocated to HI and this trip was for them to find adequate housing for the family and their two small children while they are stationed out there for the next few years.

The trip was booked through SATO (mil travel).

While checking in, this vet was approached by ... (a hotel manager)...who asked about the service dog who was standing at the counter with his owner. The service dog was wearing a clearly marked "SERVICE DOG" vest and had it's paperwork with it. (The picture attached is the dog in question.)

The hotel's (manager) challenged the service dog's role and asked questions that, by federal law he is not allowed to ask, and then stated, " I can't tell you you can't stay here... but I will tell you I don't like it." From that point, in the vet's own words:

"The (manager) then proceeded to tell me to avoid all public areas due to my service dog, not to eat at the breakfast buffet, and should I need to walk "that thing", I was told to call ahead to the desk to inform them I was coming down the elevator and then I was expected to walk about 250m east down an alley, cross a major road in Waikiki (about 8 lanes total across) and walk him on the front lawn of the Honolulu Zoo. Then he informed me they'd also be charging me pet fees because he's not a service animal, he's a service "dog." When I asked him politely "Is this how you treat all combat vets w/ disabilities? You do understand you're violating a handful of laws right now?", he smiled and grabbed my shoulder and said "why don't we discuss this in my office""

Unacceptable. Period. Unacceptable, according to federal law. Unacceptable according to human decency. Unacceptable treatment for a combat disabled veteran.

 

Photo: Please help us spread this around:
Yesterday, one of the combat disabled vets that frequents this page attempted to check into The Hyatt Place in Waikiki, HI.  He was tagging along with his wife, who is government employee.  Their family is being relocated to HI and this trip was for them to find adequate housing for the family and their two small children while they are stationed out there for the next few years.
The trip was booked through SATO (mil travel).
While checking in, this vet was approached by the hotel's General Manager, a man named Imre Gonczy, who asked about the service dog who was standing at the counter with his owner.  The service dog was wearing a clearly marked "SERVICE DOG" vest and had it's paperwork with it.  (The picture attached is the dog in question.)
The hotel's GM, Gonczy, challenged the service dog's role and asked questions that, by federal law he is not allowed to ask, and then stated, " I can't tell you you can't stay here... but I will tell you I don't like it."  From that point, in the vet's own words:
"The GM then proceeded to tell me to avoid all public areas due to my service dog, not to eat at the breakfast buffet, and should I need to walk "that thing", I was told to call ahead to the desk to inform them I was coming down the elevator and then I was expected to walk about 250m east down an alley, cross a major road in Waikiki (about 8 lanes total across) and walk him on the front lawn of the Honolulu Zoo. Then he informed me they'd also be charging me pet fees because he's not a service animal, he's a service "dog." When I asked him politely "Is this how you treat all combat vets w/ disabilities? You do understand you're violating a handful of laws right now?", he smiled and grabbed my shoulder and said "why don't we discuss this in my office""
Unacceptable.  Period.  Unacceptable, according to federal law.  Unacceptable according to human decency.  Unacceptable treatment for a combat disabled veteran.
Again, please share this.  I believe Imre Gonczy needs to learn a valuable lesson regarding the proper treatment of our nation's veterans.
Thanks,
Shaggy

  *   *   *   *   *

HNN: Waikiki hotel slammed for discrimination against wounded combat vet

  *   *   *   *   *

From Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Facebook Page July 18, 2013

We are sincerely sorry for the situation that recently occurred with one of our guest’s service animals. We want all of our guests to feel welcome, and that clearly did not happen in this case. At the time of this guest's stay, we refunded the guest's room rate, and we are making efforts now to reach out to personally express our regrets.

We welcome all service animals in guest rooms and public areas. While we continue our evaluation of this specific instance, we are firmly reiterating our policy with Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach staff to prevent future occurrences.

We have a deep appreciation for military veterans and their families, and we are proud when we have the privilege of hosting them.

  *   *   *   *   *

From Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Facebook Page July 17, 2013

Please be advised we are currently investigating the situation posted previously. We are interviewing the staff who were present, viewing video footage of the entire area at the proposed time, and working diligently to contact the guest that was the subject of a previous post. More detailed comments to follow.

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