My ’08 & ’10 flights to Japan I used a manual wheelchair, and luckily the stewardess told us to take all of the removable parts off and put them with our carry-on otherwise they would get lost. So, we did. I’m not sure how, or if, they strapped the rest of the chair down somehow but it seems that there were more scratches on the wheel grab-bars then before, and one of the times a big wheel was loose like the release button was pressed. This makes me think it wasn’t strapped down, and could of even been on its side when stored (the big wheel tire release is on the side of the wheel). If this was the case, well lets say I’m really glad we were told to take all the removable stuff with us.
This does concern me a bit for when I want to actually fly with my motorized wheelchair in the future, and even though the percentage is low in the article here, 15,000 peoples damaged means of transportation is a lot of mishandling in my opinion. For me this article is the equivalent of saying, “Airlines have broke or damaged more than 15,000 customers legs since late 2018,” and I don’t believe anyone would consider that an acceptable margin of damage for flying on a plane.