Upclose Photo of Airplane

Broken Wheelchair

I’m a complete T12 paraplegic. I do not have feeling or voluntary movement below my waist. I have used a wheelchair for 16 years and during that time have never broken it. It took only one airplane flight for the “handlers” to break it. The airline said the handler’s company was responsible – not the airline. I transferred to an airplane aisle chair and anxiously watched them cart my wheelchair away. I tried to show them how to collapse the chair, but they paid no attention because they could not speak English. When I got to Portland, OR, the collapsing mechanism was obviously broken. I filed a complaint and was given a voucher to get it fixed in Portland. I had to use the broken wheelchair in a partially collapsed condition to get to the place where it could be fixed. There, I was given a loaner hospital wheelchair and waited three days for them to fix my wheelchair. Also, when I deplaned in Chicago, I had to wait 30 minutes until they found a portable stairway on which they could lower me in the aisle chair. Airline personnel helped as much as they could. I appreciated that.

Mr. Dennis Clark, TN