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Thread: Mark Smith kicked off airplane

  1. #41
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    Years ago my wife and I flew American Airlines from Chicago OHare to Miami to take a cruise. The flight out was fine and my brand new 2 week old power chair survived in tact. On the way back again on American we boarded in Miami which seamed uneventful. When we arrived back in Chicago the other passengers were getting off while we waited for my chair to be brought up. The plane was almost empty when a young passenger in his 20's stopped and sat by us and said "so did anyone talk to you about your chair yet"? We said no what about it? He told us that he was looking out the window in Miami and watched the ramp employees try to send my chair up the conveyor belt into the belly of the plane. On the first attempt the chair made it up about 5 feet off the ground then fell off the side so they dragged it over and tried again but it came crashing to the ground again. On the third attempt someone finally held on to it and rode with it up into the plane. We thanked him very much for letting us know and he wrote down his phone number which he gave to us in case we needed him to testify on what he saw.

    My wife got off the plane and started to question where my chair was. Just then a door opened from the outside elevator that they bring the chair up on and a Man tossed my 2 batteries in then 2 other guys dragged my broken chair in and shut the door. My wife went nuts telling them it was a new chair and this was unacceptable. How was I going to get off the plane, how was I going to drive my van home from that broken chair. American Airlines sent 2 gate employees, 2 plain clothes security personnel and the pilot to figure it out. The decision was made to transfer me to an isle chair then a manual chair and to take my power chair down to the American Airlines garage to try and make it functional again.

    Security and the airline reps stayed with us while we filed a damaged luggage complaint with the airline. We were told that the ramp employees in Miami were contract employees and not American Airline employees so they basically don't care how much damage they do. After several hours my chair showed up from the shop. It had been bent almost in half so they pounded my solid seat pan down to flatten it back out, they got the batteries back in and duck taped my joy stick into place and I was able to get it home.

    I called the airline home office the next day, reported what happens and told them of my complaint form for damaged luggage. They told me to contact my DME dealer and when I did they told me it happened all the time. They picked up my chair and did a complete rebuild, it was a 2 week old $13,000 chair and the repair bill which American Airlines paid was slightly over $10,000. I didn't have any other contact from American, no apology, no travel voucher or any other offer to compensate us they just paid to fix the chair and that was it.

    We will not and never have flown on American Airlines again.
    ^^(A)^^

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I wouldn't have moved, they would have had to drag me off the plane.
    lol they did on united yesterday

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by vjls View Post
    lol they did on united yesterday
    They had cause yesterday (I'm sure it was written in the contract when purchase ticket), no cause with Mark though.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjls View Post
    lol they did on united yesterday
    LMCAO. That was a good one.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  5. #45
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Turns out ole Doc was suspended from service for exchanging sex from patients for certain meds and over-prescribed the usuals. Came in second in a World Poker Tourney? lol
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #46
    In 2009 my quadriplegic husband was kicked off of a Frontier/Lynx plane in Denver after the entire plane boarded. The only explanation was the pilot thought he was a hazard. We wanted an explanation and were told he would be forcibly removed. We insisted on a safe transfer down the bumpy steps to the tarmac and were left in the wind with prop on tiny aisle chair.It was all humiliating and scary as he had just been discharged from 3 months of rehab.
    A few hours later United flew us home with tickets bought by Frontier. They were so kind to us and even gave us vouchers to fly with them again. I've always remembered United being our heros and their pilots apologizing and being embarrassed for their industry. Apparently things have changed.

  7. #47
    Oh Linda, my heart ached to read about what the two of you went through on Frontier. I am so glad that United made it right (to whatever extent they could) - and sorry that nowadays their standards seem to have sunk so low. ((((Linda))))
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  8. #48
    "Linda T!"
    How are you and Dave? It is so very good to see you posting here!

    NL sends her best.

  9. #49
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C. View Post
    So what?
    You guys actually believe you're no different?
    Are we less than?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  10. #50
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Rumor has it that a (Mark-measured) 32" high chair didn't want to fit in a 28" high B737 cargo bay door (per AA's website). And I'd say they didn't want it on its side with unknown batteries and such. Now another tape measure has Mark's chair at 29" inches, and someone writing letters at AA is saying their B737's are equipped with 33" tall doors. So...anyone's guess might work here, lol.

    Mark also states that an airport worker said the chair actually was in the plane at some point...but AA's letter in response to the accusation goes like this:

    "The aircraft's cargo door opening on this particular aircraft is 33" tall and 48" wide. While our ground staff tried on several occasions to load your wheelchair into the cargo hold they were, unfortunately, unsuccessful."

    and...

    "the option of traveling on your original flight with your wheelchair following on another flight, or that you could travel with your wheelchair on the next available flight that could accommodate your wheelchair. Our records show you opted to travel with your wheelchair and therefore deplaned with assistance from our ground staff."

    Clear as mud

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