Air carriers now must disclose to the public the number "of checked bags, wheelchairs and motorized scooters they lost, broke or mishandled."

These monthly reports were already being compiled by act of Congress, but Sen. Tammy Duckworth and the Paralyzed Veterans of America pressed to open these to the public.

Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, uses a wheelchair due to combat injuries sustained in Iraq. It's interesting to learn that even a US senator goes through the same hassles as ordinary folk: twice Duckworth's wheelchairs have been broken while flying, including once just two weeks ago.

"In one case, they snapped the titanium rod that supports the seat," she said. "It looked OK when they brought it to me, and when I sat on it, it collapsed?

"I couldn't even roll myself I had to have someone push me," she said. "I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself."

Duckworth said, "Even if they rip or gouge a seat cushion, that can lead to things like sores and skin breakdowns and all sorts of problems."

She points out in the article that wheelchairs are often specially built and contoured for the individual. Damaging these chairs can literally strand someone for hours or weeks. The impact is terrible for the individual, the caregivers and the bank account.

Preach it, sister.

"When you break my wheelchair, you're basically taking my legs away from me," she said. "It is my mobility."

It sure helps to have somebody who really knows in there representing us. Duckworth is also the mother of young children and was instrumental in pushing for better public accommodation for nursing mothers. There's a lesson in there somewhere.