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Airline Takes Apart Dude’s $20,000 Wheelchair and Gives Him Back Pieces

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  • Airline Takes Apart Dude’s $20,000 Wheelchair and Gives Him Back Pieces

    http://gizmodo.com/5832220/airline-t...im-back-pieces
    Federal rules state clearly that wheelchairs may be taken apart during a flight in order to save room. But they also say they'll be put back together. Except when they're not. Then you're kinda screwed.

    The Consumerist reports that one United Airlines passenger with a $20,000 power wheelchair had a powerfully rude surprise when he landed in Oklahoma City:

    "When I arrived in Oklahoma City, I came out to nothing more than a seat and a set of wheels," the man tells KFOR-TV.

    That's quite a lot missing! He was left without any means of moving, and beyond that degradation, had to pay up $1,200 to repair UA's stupidity. And according to the repair shop, this sort of botched job happens pretty frequently. At the very least, United Airlines apologized and offered to pay for the fix. [KFOR.com via Consumerist]

  • #2
    As much as I love to travel, nothing about flying these days is enjoyable. It is the torture one must endure to get to a destination, but at least for the ablebodied the inconvience is limited to feeling like cattle. Expensive chair user's are often totally screwed, and it should not be allowed to happen.

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    • #3
      United Airlines flew my husband home from Denver when Lynx/Frontier kicked him off of the plane after boarding.
      United treated us so well, but there is no excuse for what happened to this chair.

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      • #4
        We had really good luck with Alitalia although my son has a manual chair. They were very kind and respectful. There was a woman on our flight that had a big power chair and I saw it come off the plane in Rome and the Alitalia baggage guys brought it up an outside elevator (all in one piece) so this woman could transfer from the aisle seat into her chair. I was very impressed with the italians and how they handled wheelchair passengers. They have airport employees that ONLY deal with disabled travelers. It's a pretty good system. There is no reason why other airlines cannot adopt a similar practice.

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        • #5
          where does it say "clearly" a chair can be taken apart due to "no room"?? never heard of such a thing. only the issue of the battery, which has nothing to do with room but batt type. i must have missed that part. in fact, it says something about other pass's bags being put on another plane to make room.

          http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/382short.pdf
          Last edited by cass; 08-19-2011, 03:38 AM.

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          • #6
            so, been exchanging e w/these news sources. claim is some wheelchairs too big for cargo. my question: anybody been told your chair wouldn't fit in cargo hold? i think they are fos, unless talking bout very small puddle jumpers. anybody? anybody had chr disassembled cause chr TOO BIG for cargo hold? and i still see nothing in ACAA saying this.

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