Bad luck or negligence? Airline Damages Passenger’s Wheelchair…Twice!

Do airline staff handle baggage with care or carelessness?

Photo of the PWD/Pexels panel

When planning a trip, it is always advisable to inquire about the particular circumstances.

So for John Morris, a passenger traveling with American Airlines, it was disappointing to see the staff manhandling his electric wheelchair. The wheelchair costs around $75,000, or about R1.2 million.

And if we open the subject, we assume that many people would share their experiences with damaged luggage after a trip or two.

Read more: Revolve around! Luggage left on the track, but will this worker recover it?

According to Morris, the electric wheelchair was abandoned by an American Airlines staff member. But there’s a huge difference between damaging a piece of luggage and damaging an expensive wheelchair.

All this after the wheelchair was damaged during a flight with the same airline.

“Its frame, which had already suffered damage on a previous US flight, was bent, the wheel was broken and it no longer turned. Morris, an accessible travel consultant and founder of the travel blog WheelchairTravel.org, admitted that the damage to his $40,000 wheelchair (approximately R658,000) was accidental and he was forced to delay his trip while he found a replacement chair (Business Insider)

Read more: WATCH: Darren Thomas, the wheelchair hero who saved his Rottweiler from drowning

The airline actually provided Morris with two loaner chairs, but both were not enough for his needs.

This forced Morris to buy another wheelchair, which cost him $35,000 (about R576,000). The only thing is he had to fly to South Florida to buy the chair.

And sad to say but the drama continued. On her flight home, the airline again damaged her chair.

It is not, however, plain and simple, and perhaps the American Airlines team is unaware of the inconvenience it has caused Mr. Morris.

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“Morris said it was ‘heartbreaking’ when a wheelchair was damaged. “I understood immediately what the next few months were going to be like, that I was not going to have the device that gives me mobility and opportunity to participate in society and do everything I do in life,” he said. (Business Insider)

Unfortunately, a simple apology is not enough in this case. It literally affected his entire lifestyle. Morris also said he travels frequently with the airline and that a more sustainable solution needs to be adopted when it comes to catering for people with disabilities.

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