A Delta Airlines official conceded Friday that “we failed” Marine Cpl. Christian Brown, the double amputee prevented by a flight crew from taking a first-class seat offered by  strangers after he was clumsily wheeled down the length of the plane to the last row in coach.

The Dec. 9 ordeal that reduced Brown to tears was first reported by She The People, and included sharp criticism of Delta and the crew by two retired Army officers on the flight. Once the story was posted, hundreds of commenters on WashingtonPost.com, Facebook, Twitter and other sites blasted the airline. Many also urged readers to complain directly to Delta.