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Thread: Airline Trashes Custom Electric Wheelchair

  1. #1

    Airline Trashes Custom Electric Wheelchair

    This is my greatest fear about travel. Not the plane going down, but the airline trashing my chair.

    On my limited travels, I have been fortunate not to have trouble. However, it only takes one 'tard in baggage handling to F up your trip and possibly life.

    Can someone give me a good reason they don't allow us to just drive on the plane in our chairs and get tied down like in a taxi? In the event of crash, we are all fubared anyway. Turbulance? Please. Makes no diff in my chair or airplane seat. It would make everyone's life easier. I for one, would travel more.

    Anyway, here are details of the trouble:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/arti...tter-rage?bn=1
    Last edited by CowboyCrip; 08-05-2010 at 07:39 PM.

  2. #2
    I know the fear. NL and I have been invited to a wedding in Hawaii next year and we would love to go, but I'm thinking instead of risking the power chair, I might dust off my old manual chair, replace the wheels and prevail upon my dear wife to be port-a-power to get me around. Since I had to go to a power chair (blown out shoulders and wrists and need for tilt in space for low blood pressure) about 10 years ago we have only traveled by van and I must admit, I miss the range of travel we used to do when I was working and traveled a lot domestically and internationally.

    GJ

  3. #3
    I hear you. When I saw the story on the news, it freaked me out. I am supposed to be flying alone for the first time at the end of the month. A few days before I leave, I am supposed to pick up my new Tilite ZRA as long as it's in.... I think the Quickie will be coming along for one last, good, ride

  4. #4
    Wow. If the airlines had to give us each a trip to Disney and home renovations any time they trashed our chairs, it would quickly become cost-effective to make airplanes wheelchair accessible.

  5. #5
    Oh wow, had to comment on this one. I have been c5/c6 quad for almost 8 years and did not fly until December of last year. Two different airlines.....2 different broken chairs. Lol I absolutely agree. We need to be able to stay in our chairs. Of course that would mean redesigning airplanes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mikek's Avatar
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    They not only broke my chair twice but also didn't put it on the airline once ( Jet blue ) and I had to get a loaner upon landing . It was delivered the next day !!! I never trust them and always ask for confirmation that my chair is in baggage.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jonesv View Post
    I absolutely agree. We need to be able to stay in our chairs. Of course that would mean redesigning airplanes.
    I don't know if a redesign is needed. Frankly, that would never happen. Why can't they make those 2 or 3 seats in the front row removable?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    It used to be far worse in the dark ages: the 80s & 90s. The only chair I ever got wrecked was a loaner from the dealer in 1989. Naturally it was Air Canada.

    What's most effective is begging the ramp crew who take your chair from you at the aircraft door. The whingeing usually works on the loading crew. At the other end, you're at the mercy of the wheelchair gods.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=CowboyCrip;1245084]This is my greatest fear about travel. Not the plane going down, but the airline trashing my chair.


    Can someone give me a good reason they don't allow us to just drive on the plane in our chairs and get tied down like in a taxi? In the event of crash, we are all fubared anyway. Turbulance? Please. Makes no diff in my chair or airplane seat. It would make everyone's life easier. I for one, would travel more. (end quote by cowboy)


    oops, deleted end quote. anyway, i had read about this incident.

    here's the deal: airline seats are designed by FAA regs to withstand 16g impact (the latest ones). no wheelchair tiedown is going to come close to that. the biggest danger in any survivable incident on an airline is things flying around the cabin.

    if you have a 15k custom w/c, i suggest you buy one of the crates out there to house it during the flight. cargo is loaded by people not accustomed to specialized equipment or possessions.

    hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wheeliegirl2010 View Post
    I hear you. When I saw the story on the news, it freaked me out. I am supposed to be flying alone for the first time at the end of the month. A few days before I leave, I am supposed to pick up my new Tilite ZRA as long as it's in.... I think the Quickie will be coming along for one last, good, ride
    folding manual chairs, by ACAA rules, are given priority space in the cabin storage (the closet space). don't let an airlines operating in the U.S. put your manual in cargo w/o a good fight. carry a copy of the Air Carrier Access Act. i don't know if your chr folds.

    a summary w/link to entire ACAA. don't use the summary; print the whole thing and highlight applicable parts to you.

    http://www.disabilitytravel.com/airl...arrier_act.htm

    the full version from the DOT which governs U.S. air travel:

    http://www.dotcr.ost.dot.gov/asp/airacc.asp
    Last edited by cass; 08-10-2010 at 12:28 AM.

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