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Urgent: Airline won't take power wheelchair (now)

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    Urgent: Airline won't take power wheelchair (now)

    My nurse is in Phoenix trying to bring my power wheelchair back to Denver on Frontier Airlines. We set it up ahead of time. They charged me for the wheelchair as baggage. Now, with 2 hours before takeoff, they refuse to take the wheelchair because it cannot be driven (not working); it can only be pushed. I have suggested that they remove the batteries, saving 100 lbs, but they still won't do it. They of course will not allow my nurse to push it for them. Any ideas? We've talked to everyone at Frontier.
    "Cherish your tears. If you can cry, you still have some humanity left, and you are reclaiming more of it." -- David Kelly



    #2
    Damn! I dunno other than going "full Karen" on them, asking for the manger, to see that policy in writing, etc, etc. What a crappy thing for them to do. Frankly, the idea of some baggage flunky "driving" an expensive piece of medical equipment, untrained and unqualified, bothers me.
    Last edited by Oddity; 21 Nov 2019, 2:38 PM.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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      #3
      and charging a baggage fee? Shut the fuck up! Wow! Good luck and let us know how it goes.
      Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

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        #4
        Originally posted by dnvrdave View Post
        Now, with 2 hours before takeoff, they refuse to take the wheelchair because it cannot be driven (not working)
        I thought they prefer to push it vs trying to drive it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by HACKNSACK44 View Post
          I thought they prefer to push it vs trying to drive it.
          Me too. In fact, I never let anyone drive my wheelchair at my house. They disengage the clutches and push it.

          So... they didn't take the wheelchair. I'm not even sure where it is (can't reach my nurse or Frontier); I assume my nurse is on the flight now.

          My next decision, assuming Frontier holds the wc until tomorrow when my brother can go back to the airport and get it, is whether to:
          1) Try a different airline, like Southwest, and see if they will take it, i.e. fly my nurse back there again.
          2) Fly down myself and use a different airline. Maybe I have more leverage, being there, and being disabled.
          3) Find a wheelchair company (or person?) in Phoenix that will get it working. It was working great, but sat in my brother's garage for a year without being charged, and now it won't charge. I have a working set of batteries here, and I was going to see if that was all the wc needed.

          I am trying to get Frontier to give me a free ticket, since this is the only reason my nurse flew there, to get the wc, there and back in one day.
          "Cherish your tears. If you can cry, you still have some humanity left, and you are reclaiming more of it." -- David Kelly


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            #6
            Is the issue that you as the chair user on not actually on the flight? I can see that as being the reason they a charging you a baggage fee, vs. it being considered medical equipment. I still don't understand their argument of needing to drive the chair. I never allow someone to drive my chair when on flights.

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              #7
              Thanks all for your replies. Here is part of the complaint I just submitted to Frontier Airlines...

              "Would you please send me the written Frontier policy that states that Frontier (or airport?) personnel are required (or even authorized) to drive a person's expensive power wheelchair? I never allow anyone else to drive my wheelchair; it cost more than $10,000. I require them to disengage the clutches and push the wheelchair by hand. It is not difficult.


              What Frontier Airlines did to me today is suspicious. I do not believe there is any policy against pushing a power wheelchair by hand. In fact it should be required."
              "Cherish your tears. If you can cry, you still have some humanity left, and you are reclaiming more of it." -- David Kelly


              Comment


                #8
                The airline should not let anyone operate the chair, it should be in push mode only. But by the same token, the airlines shouldn't be expected to place the chair in freewheel, or remove batteries.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Here is their latest note to me. It's a completely different story than the one they gave at the airport. It seems to imply that they would have taken the wheelchair if I paid more money (or it would have been free if I was there). That's what I expected when I made the reservation, but they treated it like a regular bag (on the phone reservation).

                  "Frontier does provide transportation accommodations for mobility devices for passengers with a disability. In the event that a passenger without a disability is transporting a mobility device, regular baggage restrictions will apply. We do have a weight limit in the cargo hold of 99 pounds and all applicable baggage and overweight fees would apply. I sincerely apologize if this was not clearly communicated to you or your nurse and for the inconvenience this caused to her travel plans."


                  "Cherish your tears. If you can cry, you still have some humanity left, and you are reclaiming more of it." -- David Kelly


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by dnvrdave View Post
                    Here is their latest note to me. It's a completely different story than the one they gave at the airport. It seems to imply that they would have taken the wheelchair if I paid more money (or it would have been free if I was there). That's what I expected when I made the reservation, but they treated it like a regular bag (on the phone reservation).

                    "Frontier does provide transportation accommodations for mobility devices for passengers with a disability. In the event that a passenger without a disability is transporting a mobility device, regular baggage restrictions will apply. We do have a weight limit in the cargo hold of 99 pounds and all applicable baggage and overweight fees would apply. I sincerely apologize if this was not clearly communicated to you or your nurse and for the inconvenience this caused to her travel plans."

                    So did you fly to Arizona and brought the chair back to Co with out you?

                    Then I can see why the would charge...

                    But if the chair broke and your aid was trying to get the chair back and you took a different flight then they should allow the chair to come back no charge.


                    Sometimes when one fly's budget airlines like Frontier and Allegiant air the customer experience for our community is a major challenge.

                    You get gate agents try and spin there idea of policy and stand firm.

                    Pulling batteries out will not happen as they dont have the skills and tools.

                    In your case I would have call the corporate office if you cant get an answer at the airport.


                    Any chance next time you can fly Southwest?

                    Also check your messages...


                    Frontier Airlines

                    Phone, (720) 374-4200
                    Address. 7001 Tower Rd;
                    Denver, Colorado 80249
                    Last edited by RollinPositive; 22 Nov 2019, 1:43 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                      The airline should not let anyone operate the chair, it should be in push mode only. But by the same token, the airlines shouldn't be expected to place the chair in freewheel, or remove batteries.

                      Not sure where your getting your information but I always give Southwest the option to ride my chair down the the elevator then to the tarmac to the plane.


                      We act as if these chairs take some type of special option to drive when its simply sit and push the joystick.


                      Remember to those that never fly dont fly this is a business of leaving and arriving on time.


                      The fast it can be delivered to the lift or conveyor belt to get loaded the happier everyone is!

                      Some of these chair weigh 400+ lb how would you like to push that around an airport and be timed on pushing!

                      Most of the time they will thank you and prefer to push but its fun to watch the ones that power it to the plane and thank you for helping them and comment how fun it was to ride it!


                      FYI The airlines ALWAYS place the chair in and out of freewheel...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As an update I have been working with dnvrdave and the CEO's office at Frontier to try and get the chair from Phoenix to Colorado.

                        They are standing firm like other airlines in that they will only fly a power chair, wheelchair or mobility scooter when the end user is flying with the device.

                        They did comment that there should never be an extra charge for devices needed.

                        Will keep you all posted on the outcome.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          How did it go?
                          Daniel

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                            #14
                            My advice to anyone thinking of flying is to (a) get a copy of the Air Carrier's Access Act, read and understand it and bring it with you, (b) find a legal advocate who's familiar with the law and your rights and bring their phone number as well. They will be more than happy to sue if your rights are violated. Both are good to have should you run into problems. But, hopefully, the following will eliminate or reduce the chances of them ever happening. So next (c) contact the person in charge of ADA/ disability services prior to booking your flight. Make them aware of your specific needs, make sure they guarantee to accommodate them; note the date, time, name and phone number of the airline representative you spoke with, (d) print out directions in large type (even photos with arrows helps) telling handlers and ground crews how to disengage, lock and secure your chair. Put this sheet in a plastic sleeve and hang in on your chair along with your contact info, flight info etc. then (e) cross your fingers and hope they still don't screw it up. Anyone old enough to remember those old Samsonite luggage commercials where they threw a suitcase into a cage with a giant gorilla... visualize that. By law an airline is supposed to return your chair to you in the same condition you gave it to them.

                            When I used to travel with a manual folding chair I also always removed my seat cushion and footrests and brought them into the cabin. I also printed a letter that inside of the chair back. Why? Because someone saw my chair sitting on the jetway just outside the plane door, hopped in it, took off and had to be chased down.

                            Anything that could be broken off or lost is best removed or secured by you before it leaves the jetway. If your footrests come off have someone seatbelt or otherwise lash them to the frame. Happy landings!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Randyman View Post
                              My advice to anyone thinking of flying is to (a) get a copy of the Air Carrier's Access Act, read and understand it and bring it with you, (b) find a legal advocate who's familiar with the law and your rights and bring their phone number as well. They will be more than happy to sue if your rights are violated. Both are good to have should you run into problems. But, hopefully, the following will eliminate or reduce the chances of them ever happening. So next (c) contact the person in charge of ADA/ disability services prior to booking your flight. Make them aware of your specific needs, make sure they guarantee to accommodate them; note the date, time, name and phone number of the airline representative you spoke with, (d) print out directions in large type (even photos with arrows helps) telling handlers and ground crews how to disengage, lock and secure your chair. Put this sheet in a plastic sleeve and hang in on your chair along with your contact info, flight info etc. then (e) cross your fingers and hope they still don't screw it up. Anyone old enough to remember those old Samsonite luggage commercials where they threw a suitcase into a cage with a giant gorilla... visualize that. By law an airline is supposed to return your chair to you in the same condition you gave it to them.

                              When I used to travel with a manual folding chair I also always removed my seat cushion and footrests and brought them into the cabin. I also printed a letter that inside of the chair back. Why? Because someone saw my chair sitting on the jetway just outside the plane door, hopped in it, took off and had to be chased down.

                              Anything that could be broken off or lost is best removed or secured by you before it leaves the jetway. If your footrests come off have someone seatbelt or otherwise lash them to the frame. Happy landings!

                              Flying does not to be that difficult, its important that its kept simple, we have enough things to do and take care of.

                              As someone that travels a lot leave the chair just the way it is, if your headrest removes take it off and store it over head. It makes your chair fit better in the opening for luggage below the plane.

                              Once people start taking things off you increase the chance of losing parts, bolts, screws etc.

                              Just work with the ground crew in advance of boarding on what you need and how your chair breaks down, free wheels etc.

                              Then relax...

                              In regards to this original post Frontier did not allow the power chair to fly back on its own from Phoenix to Denver so as a lesson to others Frontier agents said it would be ok for a caretaker to fly with the chair and the caretaker was stopped at the ticket counter.

                              Lots of time wasted, money spent and 3 weeks later the chair and enduser are still in different cities.

                              To transport a chair from one city to another please use a more traditional way like uship if your not able to travel with your chair.

                              Plus stay away from extreme budget airlines like Frontier and Allegiant air!!

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