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A Traveler With a Disability Is Embarrassed At The Airport Because The Airline Forgot To Bring A Wheelchair On The Plane


Image for article titled A disabled traveler gets stuck at the airport because the airline forgot to bring his wheelchair on board

image: Getty (beautiful pictures)

For all the hassle and expense involved in flying, you would think that airlines would be able to hit the bare minimum to get passengers and their luggage to their destination at the same time. A disabled traveler was stuck at the airport for hours because somehow their wheelchair couldn’t get on the plane.

Insiders reported Xavi Santiago’s ordeal as they flew from Los Angeles to Orlando. Originally, Xavi had booked a non-stop flight from LA to Orlando due to prior experience with how airlines handled disabled passengers, but the flight was adjusted to include a stop in Miami. That’s when the process started to go awry.

Santiago said that on that connecting flight, she couldn’t get on the plane first, a process usually reserved for people with mobility issues.

“It always goes like this, I got on the plane first, I was transferred when the plane was still empty or while other people with disabilities or other people boarding the plane were still on… That didn’t happen. out. No attendant in a wheelchair or accessible attendant to put me in the transfer seat.”

When Santiago arrived in Miami, the airline informed them that the wheelchair couldn’t get on the connecting flight in time. Santiago worries that the $22,000 electric chair has been lost or will be damaged.

“I’m pretty sure it won’t fly in time and if I get it back, it’ll break. Just with how many people tell me they haven’t seen my chair,”

These fears are not unfounded, as airlines do not have the best track record of safely handling mobility devices. This year, a passenger did not have one but two expensive chairs took broke one month after flying American Airlines. And I wrote about my own experience when an airline damaged my wife’s wheelchair.

Although the airline provided a chair for guests to borrow, Santiago was unable to leave the airport and was stuck there for five hours until the chair showed up. While Santiago’s ordeal may be worse, it can also be easily avoided.

“I couldn’t leave the airport. I really have difficulty moving and going to the toilet, difficult to move in and out because the chair is not my own. It wasn’t made to meet my needs… I just felt uncomfortable and stuck there for a few days, and it sucked. “

American Airlines offered a $300 travel voucher, but Santiago doesn’t want to fly America again.

“While there’s a part of me that wants to use the bare minimum of what they’re going to offer me, I hardly want to fly again… I really don’t think I’ll fly with American Airlines, and I certainly do. I will never go to Miami airport again. “

One The Department of Transport publishes the report in July said US airlines had seen a 108% increase in claims from disabled passengers, from 76 in May 2019 to 158 in the same month of this year.

It seems the only way airlines will take better care of travelers with disabilities is if there are updated regulations that mandate them to do so.

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