You think holiday air travel sucks? Try flying while disabled. On American Airlines


#1

[Read the post]


#2

That is horrible, but…
Could have been worse? ¯\(ツ)


#3

We read this once already. Why?


#4

We’re probably going to keep reading it since it seems there are an infinite number of ways airlines suck.


#5

The only airline I can recommend for traveling with any sort of handicap or infirmity is British Air.

Airports are problematic, too.

Heathrow: “Sir, can we bring you a wheelchair and take you to your plane, or do you just need a seat for a few minutes while we run your cane through our cybernetic terror-cane deep analysis unit? Is there anything else you might need? We can have someone meet you at your destination to assist you if the flight’s going to be a problem. Would you and your family like to board before we let anyone else on the plane?”

Logan: “You’re holding up the line. Why don’t you let us put you in a wheelchair and bang you around carelessly like a lump of insensate meat?”

Philly: “OUT OF THE WAY, CRIPPLE!”

(I’m not handicapped, but I have had to fly while injured a couple of times.)


#6

This keeps happening. Why?


#7

I don’t know what the US disability laws are like, but the in the UK you are required to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people in using your service.


And it’s not like American Airlines is alone in being crap towards disabled people.


#8

Wow, that sucks. Not removing any blame from the airline (not at all) but I’d like blame to also be labelled at Charlotte. I fly through their frequently, and it’s a mess.


#9

The US has strong federal laws intended to protect and accommodate the disabled.

But laws are like spider webs; the tiny and insignificant may slip between the threads, and the great and mighty can crash through them with but little annoyance; only the middle-sized are trapped.


#10

I’m sorry but the laws are great and I highly approve of making those better, but how about people just be kind to each other? How could anyone treat another person this way and then have the nerve to act like it’s corporate’s fault or if they are corporate they have no minds of their owns. Do the right thing, make it work, figure it out, it’s not rocket science. It’s being a human being.


#11

American Airlines is just a piece of shit, period.


#12

Cause the airlines don’t care and the feds don’t care.


#13

What?! Are you crazy?! It costs money to be nice to people! We can’t afford that!! I can barely afford my 10th house in the Bahamas if we do stuff like that – CEO think.


#14

AA is who’ll loose your luggage too.


#15

I also had a similar experience which was a disaster. I had to change planes in Dallas where there was supposed to be a wheel chair no wheel chair waited until plane was emptied of all passengers cleaners and new crew came on still no wheel chair. Finally they took me up to a gate where I sat for another 3/4 of an hour a man came running took me to new gate of course plane had left.
Alas had tog go through clerk and then a Manager who managed to get me a Hotel I
I was shuttled around after waiting an hour on the sidewalk I cannot walk , somehow they got me in. I arrived at Hotel no wheel Chair they took me in on an office chair with wheels. Now its almost midnight. They provided me with a pizza and bottle of water. Informed me I had to be up and ready at 5.00am no sleep.
Picked up in shuttle from office chair again. Back to the Airport loaded returned to Florida worn out from stress by the way I was 93 now 94 2 days later, was admitted to the Hospital where I had a mini stroke. lost my speech, had to have speech therapy and other therapies.Thank you to American Airlines. I have travelled the world never before had a problem with wheel chair.They gave me a 300$ voucher what can I do with that could not get far for sure.All I can say lack of communication the wheel chair was supposed to be allocated to me. I might add I was traveling first class supreme now wasn’t that a joke. Doris from Florida to California Trip A trip I will never forget.


#16

Yeah, my very elderly parents just had the joy of flying for the first time in many years. Both needing wheelchairs, paying extra to ensure they had the help they needed at each stop. And of course not getting it once I was not physically there to hunt down the people and ensure that they were assisted. And having the people in charge of actually moving folks from one gate to another giving service based on tipping is whole other can of worms. Especially if those folks are very elderly and not understanding that they are being treated so roughly in an attempt to shake them down for cash. Sadly there is no other option for my parents to travel. No trains where they live nor busses. In the middle of the United States.


#17

Wait, what‽ You’re expected to tip wheelchair-pushers? I mean, tipping skycaps I could understand, at least back in olden tymes, when luggage check-in wasn’t within 30’ of the airport entrance, but that was an optional service for people who didn’t feel like carrying all their own crap that they brought with them. Accomodating the handicapped is not optional, it’s an obligation — professionally, ethically, and legally.


#18

Not handicapped either (deluded, weird, with a koi sense of humor) but I also had to fly with an injury and couldn’t walk. But I didn’t realize I couldn’t walk till I landed at SFO from Germany.

Asked for a wheel chair repeatedly, no dice. So I had to crawl the airport, and use the rope barricadey thingies as support.

Oh, and the sfo crew made fun of me too. “Not feeling too good there champ? The turtle wins the race! Looks like you aren’t having the best day down there.”


#19

Perhaps we might consider making airplane aisles wheelchair accessible? It might cost us all 10% more to fly owing to the drop in seats but it would be worth it. Hell, just do it for one aisle to half way back in the plane.


#20

Won’t work. Even 10% is too much for today’s margins and the amount of disposable income most people have now. They’d just choose another airline. Worth trying but don’t expect full quick success.

Maybe reengineer the wheelchairs? Maybe some way to collapse them partially to fit the narrow passage? A way to turn from a sitting-position to standing-position (kind of like a pressurized gas tube is moved around factory floor) temporarily? (Got this idea when local EMS techs couldn’t maneuver a stretcher in a tight turn in a narrow corridor.) Standardized width of the wheels (or adjustable?) to fit the stairs for the airplanes, and turn those to (steep but better than nothing) ramps by flipping down metal liners on the edges?

The assistive equipment is largely lacking. Needs some creative thinking, not being stopped by couple failed designs before the iterative improvement reaches the useful point, and then we get something that could be widely adopted.

…I’d go for suggesting a full scale powered exoskeleton if I’d have the chance but the tech is not there yet, at least for anything resembling an affordable cost… so temporary solutions are called for.