Wheelchair damage on flights reporting
OrganizerSeptember 13, 2021 at 12:45 pm
Since they started reporting, the numbers of wheelchairs and scooters damaged are way to high. And this was during covid!
What have your experiences been?
Do other countries require reporting?
MemberSeptember 14, 2021 at 5:01 am
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.
MemberSeptember 14, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Great way to rephrase that – that certainly wouldn’t have been acceptable!
I’m not sure about storage. I think that on large planes they are actually put in a crate, but am not sure. For smaller planes they certainly are not. I have had to pass off my chair with it’s back in a reclined position to fit in the underbelly, and have been explicitly asked if they can put it on its side – so yours very well may have been!
I always take several pictures of my wheelchair at the gate before boarding as proof of the condition – after having a chair broken before I was told “it was like that”, having pictures allows me to say “uh, no it wasn’t”.
MemberSeptember 16, 2021 at 9:45 am
Does anyone know where to find the official stats? (Other than this report)
MemberSeptember 16, 2021 at 10:20 am
It looks like it’s from the Us Department of Transportation, here’s the Air Travel Consumer Report links on the official site:
Only covers US-based Airlines (would like to compare these numbers against other countries airlines), but it is interesting to see the raw numbers and individual percent of incidents between airlines. This could influence my future choice of airlines, though the first one to allow me to stay in my wheelchair (strapped down of course) would REALLY influence my choice (especially because I could make sure it’s okay and be actually comfortable).
MemberSeptember 16, 2021 at 10:50 am
Thanks! Yes, I’m sure they are doing that on purpose so airlines compete at being the “least awful” ????
Yes, would love to compare with other countries as well…
MemberJanuary 2, 2022 at 11:03 pm
Hey thanks for the super helpful reply. I’m not sure how I missed that thread. I haven’t quite mastered the search function on here. The Information you shared above is great. I have been reading all you shared here. In this you explained everything very well. Thanks I am going to bookmark this https://www.tabifolk.com/groups/flying/forum/topic/wheelchair-damage-on-flights-reporting-results/.
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