DCA-ROCguy
Topic Author
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:14 am

Dear Gang,

The Feds just fined Delta for not complying with wheelchair-access law, including leaving some pax stranded on planes. Here's the story:

http://www.thesandiegochannel.com/travelgetaways/2637084/detail.html

Y'all may remember that recently AirTran and ATA were similarly fined for the manner in which they helped wheelchair-using passengers, but I don't recall that stranding pax was an issue. It seems that a major Cartel-network carrier has its own wheelchair-access issues.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:33 am

I believe this is why B6 is removing the row of seats on its plane so to install a onboard storeage area to store wheelchairs during the flight.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Guest

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:36 am

Well, looks like no airlines are immune from these kinds of fines.

I recall that I was the one who broke the story about the LCCs getting fined.


I'm not sure the practical application of stowing wheelchairs in the cabin that cannot physically be used in the cabin, but aislechairs I can see.

[Edited 2003-11-14 17:43:37]
 
ducker
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 1999 12:45 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:40 am

I use a power wheelchair, and have flown CO and WN. I didn't have a problem with either, I wasn't stranded, but each got me off after the rest of the pax.

I consider WN service to be superior as a chair user. Why? Because they are going to turn the plane in as little as 20 minutes, they have every incentive to get the wheelchair out of the hold, and get me off the plane as fast as possible to begin the boarding process. In fact, once at BWI, I was late to the gate and WN didn't have a boarding chair available in the terminal, but used the on-board wheelchair to get me onto the plane. The turn time dictated WN to use an unusual procedure to get the plane off on time. In this case, the plane still pushed back at the scheduled 5:25 for the flight to BDL.
Ralph
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:40 am

Sorry, but I don't see what the big issue is about having wheelchairs stowed in the cabin or in the belly of the plane. I seriously doubt (unless this country is getting so politically correct that we put the "rights" of the few over the rights of the majority) that any airline will delay the deplaning process so that a wheelchair can be fetched, and a handicapped passenger allowed to disembark before anyone else. That being the case, what difference does it make if, while the passengers are deplaning, the wheelchairs are retrieved from the belly of the plane and brought up to assist the handicapped passengers after the bulk of the cabin has emptied? What purpose does stowing them in the cabin serve? Should the plane go down on final or just after takeoff, are they expecting someone to fetch the wheelchair and push the person to the emergency exits?
 
ducker
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 1999 12:45 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:51 am

Of course, my power wheelchair weighs about 180 lbs, so must go into the hold. And given its size, it has to be handled with care.

My manual chair (27 lbs) folds, so could be folded and placed in the cabin. However, if one uses a rigid (non-folding) wheelchair, it wouldn't fit in the cabin so would have to go into the belly. These ultra-light wheelchairs can be as low as 18-20 lbs, so can be easily damaged. I have a friend who uses a non-folding Quickie, and his cost approx. $2,500, so it could be a problem if was damaged. I don't know what the answer is. If it were me, I'd get to the airport as early as possible to ask how the chair will be handled, loaded, etc. to prevent any damage.
Ralph
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 2:08 am

The Department of Transportation said Delta failed to provide wheelchairs, was slow to help passengers -- and in some cases left people stranded in wheelchairs on board planes.

Oddly enough, my mother in law flew in on Delta last night - had to change in CVG and while the distance between the gates wasn't THAT far, at 82 years old, we had requested that she be met at the gate with a wheelchair. The flight was a bit delayed out of AVL, and arrived at the gate at CVG with about 7 minutes before her connecting flight was to depart. And there was no wheelchair to meet her. Had the wheelchair been there, she could have made the connection. But there wasn't any way an 82 year old lady could have made it from gate C11 to C22 on foot.

I have noticed something at the airports I have been at on Southwest...on the arrivals screen is an entry for the number of wheelchairs needed at a gate. All one has to do is look at the monitor and head over to a gate. And I've noticed as I've deplaned SWA flights that there are always the required number of chairs waiting outside the aircraft for the passengers to deplane. Maybe adopting such a simple policy of posting the number of wheelchairs needed allows those pushing them to be a bit more proactive in the process.
 
IslandHopper
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:28 am

Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 2:28 am

My 85 year old grandmother had a stroke a couple years ago and now travels by wheelchair, and she has had nothing but exemplary service from Delta. In fact they usually seat her in the first row of first class! She raves about Delta everytime I pick her up from the airport and how much she enjoyed sitting in first class. Hate to see them get a fine like this.
 
kilavoud
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:18 am

It is another story showing that lawyers have got only one string, bucks, in their judgments, no forgiving comprehension for Airlines who may in the past in this regard have done praiseworthy efforts. It is a shame, all this smells only money and narrow mind. How much do Lawyers got for such a work, as far as the word work can be used. I just feel like vomiting. Please apologize.

Regards. Kilavoud.
 
Accidentally
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:23 am

I use a power chair too...but mine is 250+lbs. I've only flown American so far, and they've always been great.
Indianapolis, IN
 
richierich
Posts: 3282
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:25 am

I agree, Kilavoud. This reeks of lawyers.
I'm guessing the lawyers had a say in this rule and they are probably the only real winners.
None shall pass!!!!
 
kilavoud
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

RE: Delta Fined $100,000 For Wheelchair Violation

Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:31 am

Thanks Richierich for your clear-sightedness. A winner is not really the one who can put a lot of bucks in his pocket, but somebody who can make the difference between what is acceptable or not. Smile

Cheers. Kilavoud.