Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
    American Airlines Under Fire for Mishandling Wheelchairs

    American Airlines is facing backlash and questions after a video surfaced on social media showing baggage handlers at Miami Airport carelessly throwing a wheelchair down a slide. The video, which was posted on TikTok by user haez93, has ignited a wave of anger and concern over the treatment of mobility devices.

    The footage captured the moment the wheelchair hit the bottom of the chute with extreme force, causing it to be catapulted off. The caption accompanying the video revealed that this wasn’t an isolated incident, as the user recounted witnessing the handlers laugh while mishandling two other wheelchairs.

    The video has sparked outrage among viewers, with many expressing their disgust and disappointment. One person described the footage as “sick,” while another shared their own unfortunate experience with a broken wheelchair during a Make A Wish trip. The emotional and financial toll of such incidents was highlighted, with commenters pointing out that these specialized chairs can cost upwards of $3,000 and are not easily replaceable.

    This is not an isolated incident within the airline industry. Last year alone, US airlines mishandled over 11,000 wheelchairs and scooters, according to the Washington Post. In response to such incidents, a bill has been introduced that would require the US Transportation Department to report on the types of damage that occur to wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

    American Airlines spokesperson, Amy Lawrence, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting customers with disabilities. She acknowledged the gravity of the situation captured in the video and assured the public that they are taking steps to address the issue and improve the handling of assistive devices throughout their network.

    The mishandling of wheelchairs and other mobility devices by airlines has long been a source of frustration for passengers with disabilities. Recent incidents involving Air Canada and a Spanish airline further highlight the ongoing challenges faced by wheelchair users during air travel.

    It is crucial for airlines to prioritize the proper care and handling of mobility devices to ensure the independence and well-being of their customers with disabilities. The incident involving American Airlines serves as a reminder of the importance of improving industry practices to guarantee a safe and respectful travel experience for all passengers.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. How many wheelchairs and scooters were mishandled by US airlines last year?

    According to the Washington Post, US airlines mishandled over 11,000 wheelchairs and scooters in the last year.

    2. How much can a specialized wheelchair cost?

    Specialized wheelchairs can cost upwards of $3,000, making them expensive and not easily replaceable.

    3. What action has been taken to address the mishandling of wheelchairs?

    A bill has been introduced that would require the US Transportation Department to report on the types of damage that occur to wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

    4. Are incidents of mishandling wheelchairs limited to American Airlines?

    No, incidents of mishandling wheelchairs have been reported by various airlines, including Air Canada and a Spanish airline.