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  • What to do when chair is broken post flight?

    We fly out tomorrow morning, my first flight with a rigid chair. Hypothetically, if my chair was broken beyond use upon landing, what is the airline's legal requirement in terms of me getting by for the rest of the trip? It's not like I can just go out and buy another tilite that day.

  • #2
    Don't worry, enjoy the flight.

    The rule of thumb with airlines and people who use a wheelchair is, "first one on, last one off." I've globetrotted to Qingdao, China three times in 2006 and 2007 with a TiLite 'chair. Once seated onboard I asked if they would put my 'chair onboard in the closet and they did even with a fixed back.

    I went from Cleveland, Ohio to Newark, New Jersey to Beijing, China to the east coast to Qingdao, China without any damage to my 'chair or anything lost.

    Tie wrap and loose or removable items attached to your chair like rigid side guards. Bring along with you an extra tube and some tools like hex wrenches and a plastic mirror. Do not bring with you isopropyl alcohol. It is classified as a flammable fluid and it will be confiscated.

    Use luggage with locks on them. Back in Cleveland on my first trip one piece of luggage was lost in Cleveland. I was given some silver and gold Chinese coins that were at the bottom of my luggage. The next day the airlines delivered my luggage to my home with the coins stolen.

    Just relax and enjoy the adventures of air travel. Take challenges head on as the confront you. If you feel more comfortable sitting on your cushion during fight just ask them to put it on your seat before you sit. I sat without a cushion and did fine.

    If your 'chair is broken beyond use more than likely the jet has crashed.

    About the picture, I am sitting in HuiQuan Square, Qingdao, China on my first visit to China on May 19, 2006. Photograph taken on June 18, 2006. That is Qingdao's TV tower in the back ground. It stands 1142 feet tall and is located in TaiPing Hill. Google map Qingdao, China and you'll see the tower.

    I spent 28 days in Qingdao, China! Absolutely mind blowing! Extreme monster in size! Flew from Cleveland, Ohio to Newark, New Jersey then to Beijing, China. Picked up another connecting flight from Beijing to Qingdao on the edge of the east coast of China. It was about a 44 hour flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Qingdao, China. Stayed in a beach front unit facing the Yellow Sea. Weather comfortable, cool with the Yellow Sea mist. If you have the opportunity to go, go! I did! A life changing experience! Qingdao, China, May 18th through June 17th, 2006.

    Ti
    Attached Files
    Last edited by titanium4motion; 03-18-2019, 10:45 PM.
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

    Comment


    • #3
      Download and print (and carry with you) this publication from the United Spinal Association on your rights and tips about air travel for wheelchair users:

      https://www.unitedspinal.org/pdf/Acc...Air_Travel.pdf

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rockbybay View Post
        We fly out tomorrow morning, my first flight with a rigid chair. Hypothetically, if my chair was broken beyond use upon landing, what is the airline's legal requirement in terms of me getting by for the rest of the trip? It's not like I can just go out and buy another tilite that day.
        It’s extraordinarily unlikely your chair will be broken beyond use. It’s badically a titanium cage. Think about how many million pieces of plastic and nylon luggage go through the system every day without getting mangled. A TR is way more structurally sound than any of that. And on top of that your chair is treated much nicer. You ride it to the plane and can watch them load it if you’re sitting on the correct side of the plane. Then it comes straight to you after no luggage carosel and whatever else happens to a suitcase in the bowels of an airport. I cant think of a scenario where an airline could possibly damage my ZR beyond use. I’m sure it’s theotetically possible, but so I’d catching the plague from another passenger on the flight. No need to waste time worrying about it until it happens.

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        • #5
          Wow t4m, China in a chair. I was in China over fifty times from 2003 through 2015, prior to my injury. I can't imagine how difficult some areas would be in a chair and you rarely see Chinese out in Chairs. My former employees in China were stunned when they heard I can drive as that's uncommon in China. They recently asked if I could come over again in the near future and I hedged...
          T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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          • #6
            I chaired through Taichung, Taiwan in 2009-2012. Rough environment for a wheelchair but I bought a large mobility scooter and had a welder fix some hooks on the back for the frame, plus a cage on the side for my wheels and I could go to a lot of places. Mobility scooters are quite common in Taiwan and rated up to 20 KPH.

            One can no longer lock luggage due to security check requirements. I have also flown domestically in he US without problem but one never knows. I would have my vendor on speed dial in case a wheel were bent. I keep my cushion with me on the plane, along with sideguards.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tetracyclone View Post
              I chaired through Taichung, Taiwan in 2009-2012. Rough environment for a wheelchair but I bought a large mobility scooter and had a welder fix some hooks on the back for the frame, plus a cage on the side for my wheels and I could go to a lot of places. Mobility scooters are quite common in Taiwan and rated up to 20 KPH.

              One can no longer lock luggage due to security check requirements. I have also flown domestically in he US without problem but one never knows. I would have my vendor on speed dial in case a wheel were bent. I keep my cushion with me on the plane, along with sideguards.
              New luggage is lockable and is opened by TSA with special universal key

              Comment


              • #8
                After landing on one fateful flight, my chair came up on three wheels. I'm not sure how it was even possible since I have a Quickie Q7 aluminum rigid chair, but somehow in flight the left front caster and support got bent inward and up. They took no responsibility at the gate and just said I had to go talk to the damaged baggage people. Thankfully I was flying with two coworkers who were able to assist me up the jet way. Since I was balancing on three wheels I could move as long as I didn't lean forward (leaning forward made the chair tip over).
                They offered me one of the airline wheelchairs to take home (an utterly terrible suggestion since it would definitely cause pressure issues), but since I was with coworkers I chose to stay in the broken chair until I could get home and transfer into an old chair. The airline claimed that most people receive their chair within a week or two (having bought chairs I just laughed at the suggestion) but it ended up taking about 6 months to get the replacement. Thankfully I had my backup or I would have just been up a creek or in a chair that doesn't fit properly.
                All that said, I fly once or twice a month and I've only ever had one issue. I am aware of the risks and now that I commented about having one issue I know my next flight will break it, but I won't let that fear prevent me from doing the things and going the places I want. Remember if they broke it, you have all the leverage to get your replacement. Don't let them give you any excuses and stick to your demands. After my complaints about how long the process was taking to get my new chair, they ultimately refunded my flight and gave me a further voucher for future flights (worth $1100 in total).

                Good luck and enjoy flying!

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for the responses.

                  We just landed and my right caster is not touching the ground. I do not know what has caused this but we will be going to baggage claims once we land on our final leg. I don't have insurance so I bought this chair used, therefore I don't have a DME or ATP I can send it to get evaluated for damage. Does anyone know how I can go about this?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd go again!

                    Originally posted by Mize View Post
                    Wow t4m, China in a chair. I was in China over fifty times from 2003 through 2015, prior to my injury. I can't imagine how difficult some areas would be in a chair and you rarely see Chinese out in Chairs. My former employees in China were stunned when they heard I can drive as that's uncommon in China. They recently asked if I could come over again in the near future and I hedged...
                    Not to hijack this thread but sharing adventures in air travel.

                    I would go back to China "on the fly" if was asked to go back again. Everybody should at least go once in their lifetime. Life changing trip! Every time!

                    My first flight when I landed at Beiiing Capital International Airport, first of all is monster in size. I am the last one off, I go through the tunnel that connects the jet to the concourse and I enter a very large area about the size of a full gymnasium and I get about 10 feet into the concourse and a Chinese senior man sees me. He gets down on his knees and bows to me three times! I didn't know what to do or say so I said to him, "Xiexie, Xiexie." Meaning thank you (She-a-say). They take my declaration paper and they check my temperature by scanning my forehead and I go to customs and immigration. Later I learn that the Chinese man bowing to me is one of the highest compliment you can receive.

                    I am Qingdao (Chin-dowl) and I am told no one is allowed to carry a gun only the police and military. If you are caught with a gun you go straight to prison, no due process. I felt very safe in China and also I am a US federal employee and if I go missing the US would come and find me. So, I didn't have to worry about that. Qingdao has a population of 14 million people and it looks like Beverly Hills, California. It is not a village like they show on television but a very modern city and all accessible. Everything is built on huge scale to accommodate all the people. During whole my stay there I only saw one person in a 'chair as we were diving through the city. If you go to a village the accessibility is not there but the Chinese are very accommodating and help me in any ways need be.

                    Going out in public the Chinese people treated me with respect and dignity and I got no looks. They treated me like I was in no 'chair. No one ever asked me why I was in a 'chair either. The Chinese are very warm, kind and generous people with very deep traditional beliefs. They always tried to use their English with me because English is their second language to learn.

                    I ask my friend to take me to a Catholic church on Sunday. There is one in Qingdao, St Michael's. I don't know what the priest is saying but by his actions I know what is going on. I sit in the last row and as I go up the isle for Communion people are smiling at me some a small wave of the hand. I am in front of the priest for bread and he speaks Chinese to me I return to him, "Body of Christ." As I return back to my spot, people are still smiling at me and waving to me. I really felt welcomed.

                    Qingdao is a coastal city next to the Yellow Sea, part of the city is built by the German's when they occupied China. Some mornings Qngdao is blanketed in dense fog. My second flight out was late 4 hours due to the fog and I ended up missing my connecting flight out of Beijing. They airlines put me in a hotel for the night. My friend flew in from Qingdao and we both went to Tiananmen Square and the Emperor's Palace for the day. My flight out of Beijing was 5:00 p.m. I flew back to the United States and my friend flew back to Qingdao.


                    Ti

                    Photos: Emperor's Palace January 2007, Qingdao covered with fog, my unit is about 2 miles to the right in the picture on the coastline.
                    Attached Files
                    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rockbybay View Post
                      We fly out tomorrow morning, my first flight with a rigid chair. Hypothetically, if my chair was broken beyond use upon landing, what is the airline's legal requirement in terms of me getting by for the rest of the trip? It's not like I can just go out and buy another tilite that day.
                      Remember what I said dont over think it and dont print anything the airlines are not the bad guy.

                      A big part is on your shoulders by explaining your chair, how it works and most will not be familiar with your wheels so take time and explain.

                      Make sure your chair is tagged to bring to the plane vs claim at baggage.

                      Once the chair is brought to the Jetway get in and test it.

                      If there is something wrong go down to baggage claim and have them fill out a report, you will get a copy and you can use who ever you want to do the repair.

                      If you want to try and find someone there that knows the tires and wheels go for it.

                      If you needed a rental or even a power chair in place of yours you can set that up too.

                      If the repair can wait till you get home then fix it with your DME.

                      Remember cosmetic damage is not required to be fixed.

                      you have my number if you need me.

                      Now relax and have fun!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rockbybay View Post
                        Thank you all for the responses.

                        We just landed and my right caster is not touching the ground. I do not know what has caused this but we will be going to baggage claims once we land on our final leg. I don't have insurance so I bought this chair used, therefore I don't have a DME or ATP I can send it to get evaluated for damage. Does anyone know how I can go about this?
                        rockbybay, I'm very sorry to hear that. Hopefully you did an inspection prior to the flight and the airline did not give you too much trouble. If your caster is not on the ground, that means either the frame was bent or if you have adjustable positioning it slid to the wrong place. If it is a frame issue, immediately demand a new chair. On top of that, and I am not exaggerating, ask for all new components as well. If something hit your chair hard enough to bend the metal frame, who knows what damage was done to the rear wheels, casters, all bearings, and all the joints that hold the back and seat pan.

                        This will be your opportunity to work with a DME (they'll find one local to you) and get a brand new chair made specifically for you. DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS THAN A NEW CHAIR! They may pull a "you bought it used, we won't replace" BS, but keep reminding them they have deprived you of your mobility and independence!

                        Keep us posted on what it going on.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rockbybay View Post
                          Thank you all for the responses.

                          We just landed and my right caster is not touching the ground. I do not know what has caused this but we will be going to baggage claims once we land on our final leg. I don't have insurance so I bought this chair used, therefore I don't have a DME or ATP I can send it to get evaluated for damage. Does anyone know how I can go about this?
                          You should have filled out the report on the leg of your trip where the damage is caused.

                          If you dont have a DME ask the airlines who they use and explain you need it fixed asap for your convention.

                          See if the DME can come to the hotel.

                          Have you reached out the manufacture for someone in the area where your at that can repair.

                          Remember parts can be over nighted its the airlines plus you dont need to mention parts or wheels are used.

                          It was working when you gave them the chair.

                          http://www.alber-usa.com/

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the great responses. We filed the claim upon landing at our destination. The lady was very nice and said that we have two options, use the company Delta uses, Scootaround or use a DME and maybe Delta will reimburse if we use a DME. Before hearing this I had contacted a highly recommended local DME and I would much rather use them than Scootaround. From looking at Scootaround's website, they mainly deal with hospital type chairs. I'm worried that they're not knowledgable enough to find the root cause of the problem and will just adjust the caster angel to get the caster to sit on the ground without ensuring that the chair frame is sound. Any thoughts? The fact that Delta may not reimburse if we use a DME scares me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rockbybay View Post
                              Thanks for the great responses. We filed the claim upon landing at our destination. The lady was very nice and said that we have two options, use the company Delta uses, Scootaround or use a DME and maybe Delta will reimburse if we use a DME. Before hearing this I had contacted a highly recommended local DME and I would much rather use them than Scootaround. From looking at Scootaround's website, they mainly deal with hospital type chairs. I'm worried that they're not knowledgable enough to find the root cause of the problem and will just adjust the caster angel to get the caster to sit on the ground without ensuring that the chair frame is sound. Any thoughts? The fact that Delta may not reimburse if we use a DME scares me.

                              Did you reach out to the manufacture to see who they would recommend in your area? Scootaround is more of a rental company so they may not know how to work on those motors and wheels and would use a 3rd party company to fix them.

                              One thing you will want to do is once you find a place that knows how to fix them be there and learn everything you can about them so if they break you can trouble shoot the issue next time.

                              The law requires you to use who ever you want and the airlines has to pick up the cost.

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