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smartplane
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:54 am

Airlines seem pretty good at identifying passengers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With a bit of a limp, so ineligible to sit in an exit. Passengers with too much or too large hand luggage. Passengers who are too untidy or smelly. And airlines are very good at recording passenger information that enables them to extract more dollars. But someone in a wheel chair...........

Must have been an oversight.
 
PDX88
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:11 am

smartplane wrote:
Airlines seem pretty good at identifying passengers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With a bit of a limp, so ineligible to sit in an exit. Passengers with too much or too large hand luggage. Passengers who are too untidy or smelly. And airlines are very good at recording passenger information that enables them to extract more dollars. But someone in a wheel chair...........

Must have been an oversight.


Yes, airlines are all a big conspiracy to hate people in wheelchairs. Great observation!
 
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zeke
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:25 am

mjoelnir wrote:
It is just interesting to see how many people here, I assume in some way connected to airline business or at least flying, have no idea about the responsibilities of airlines and will defend blindly the airline and attack the passengers.
There are laws regulating transporting of disabled passengers. A lot of poster here seem to think airlines can just disregard laws. If the airline wanted to have a person accompany her on the flight, they should have declared so and flown the companion at no cost.


This is an international forum, the policies, rules, and laws involved are not universal.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
mjoelnir
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:05 am

kalvado wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
The airline canceled the flight. The airline rebooked her. The airline new about her disability. The airline should have checked up on her. Apart from booking the hotel, they should have arranged transportation, or even better they should have informed the family. If the airline did not have a contact person registered, that would be another mistake.

I am having a problem finding the appropriate requirement. Can you quote exact piece of legislation requiring that service?
14 CFR 382.91(1) requires moving passenger to a vehicle pickup location, period. Arranging transportation must be elsewhere.


Several posters here declared airlines should stop transporting disabled passengers, I was answering to that.

Could you please point to the regulation that canceling a flight after accepting a disabled person in their care, cancels also every responsibility of the airline regarding the care of the passengers on the canceled flight?
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:06 am

OA412 wrote:
Interesting! I didn’t know airlines offered this type of accommodation. How does this work? Is it a determination each time the disabled person flies, or are they flagged in an airline’s system as requiring a companion whenever they fly?


It's not so much an accommodation per se, but a safety requirement; usually, people who cannot aid in their own evacuation already know they cannot do so, and will make the sensible decision to have someone fly with them, purchasing a ticket for that separate traveler.

It is only in the rare cases where a passenger with a disability insists they can travel alone, but the airline's CRO has decided they require an attendant to aid in their evacuation, where the CRO will designate someone as an attendant to travel with them at no charge. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, typically when the customer with a disability checks in at the counter, or at the gate, and the agents will usually ask questions such as, "How can we best help you in boarding or deplaning?" to determine if a CRO needs to get involved to ask additional questions and make that determination.

Many years ago when I was a reservations agent, and prior to being trained as a CRO, I had a customer purchasing a ticket over the phone (remember when people did that?) insist that because she was disabled, "the law required that the airline provide her with a free ticket for a friend or family member" to go with her and tend to her needs. This isn't true; because she was the one who determined she needed an attendant, and not the airline, she was responsible for purchasing a ticket for that friend or family member herself.

In extremely rare situations, CROs have had customers who could not aid in their own evacuation show up at the gate with a friend without a ticket who was also conveniently packed for the trip their friend was taking, assuming the airline would insist on an attendant and let the friend go for free. That's when the CRO will typically look for volunteers already on the same flight to aid in that person's evacuation, including deadheading crew or nonrevs traveling on pleasure or company business. And in the one instance I've known of where that aforementioned friend was actually allowed to be the attendant, they were ticketed to turn around and fly right back on the very next flight an hour after landing.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
grbauc
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:20 am

mjoelnir wrote:
https://www.foxnews.com/travel/american-airlines-passenger-left-in-wheelchair-overnight-at-airport-after-flight-was-canceled

A good example of the really outstanding service AA provides to the elderly and infirm. :sarcastic:

Just letting an old lady sitting in the wheelchair for the night, after canceling the flight.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/12/01 ... -canceled/



Your bias is showing. The intelligence is dropping on this site weekly, has we lost many good contributors to the Internet sensationalism and the social justice warriors.

I'd love to see where Airlines policy is to Just Let "OLD LADY SITTING IN WHEELCHAIR FOR THE NIGHT AFTER CANCELING THE FLIGHT"

Sounds like this lady should have a personal caregiver 24hrs.

Instead of good articles of in depth discussion of Airline industry we get TMZ like tabloid articles posted over and over again for the internet sleuths to reign judgment on.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:25 am

EA CO AS wrote:
kalvado wrote:
ericm2031 wrote:

And nearly every hotel near ORD has an airport shuttle, they have a whole pick up/drop off area that is flooded with hotel shuttles. And airlines typically only contract with hotels that have shuttles.

Thinking about it.. wheelchair can be a sticking point.
Airport would not get their equipment off the property, hotels likely don't have one, and personal is not available in connection airport. Finding rental wheelchair on a spot... I am not sure how easy that would be even without communication issues.
Wheelchair rental businesses on yelp are mostly Monday-Friday, 9-5; some have limited weekend hours - but definitely not geared towards on the spot overnight rentals.


Carriers are required to provide assistance within the airport environment once making themselves available to airline personnel. This means airline and/or vendor supplied wheelchairs won't leave the terminal, other than skycaps or similar vendors taking a customer to onsite ground transportation. But the carrier is not responsible for arranging that ground transportation, nor is the airline responsible to arrange for a customer with a disability to be met at curbside upon arrival at the terminal - someone has to come notify the carrier that they're present, and then the services can be provided.


Very nice for the white night in defense of all the shit the airlines put passengers to. The airline was informed upon arrival of the disabled person and they did not have to collect her at the curbside. And they would not have needed to look to her transportation on arrival at her destination after transportation through the terminal there.
But this case has nothing to do with that, as you well know. And not the vendor is responsible, but the airline. And finding the cheapest service with underpaid workers to do this job does not absolve the airline.

The airline canceled the flight with a disabled person in their care. So if a flight is canceled you just discard that person? I am pretty sure that the airline does not want to get sued over this.
 
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:33 am

mjoelnir wrote:
Could you please point to the regulation that canceling a flight after accepting a disabled person in their care, cancels also every responsibility of the airline regarding the care of the passengers on the canceled flight?


All due respect, you're taking this a little far. The ACAA does establish limits of what air carriers are expected to do when it comes to taking care of customers who happen to have a disability. For example, the airline may be required to take someone to the entrance of a restroom if needed, but they're not required to enter, much less aid in using the facilities.

Having said that, airline employees are human beings too, and they'll generally do whatever they can to aid a stranded traveler after a cancellation, regardless of age or ability. But that might extend to, say, helping this woman and her checked bags get to the shuttle pick up location to the hotel they'd arranged for her when they're not obligated to help with checked bags, etc. I've also heard of employees personally taking people to hotels in their own vehicles, or in some cases, even taking them home (which the legal department had a heart attack over!) if they felt it was the best way to help the customer.

(And only if the idiot vendor employee who was taking care of her notified the airline she still needed help instead of saying, "See ya!" when his shift ended)

What happened here was horrible, and while AA is ultimately liable from a legal perspective since they handed this passenger and her needs off to a contracted vendor, it's impossible for AA to have known she didn't get to the hotel if they had no knowledge she never left the airport.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:29 am

mjoelnir wrote:
I understand that passengers disturb the orderly operation of an airline, but without passengers no airline.


Lack of passengers never stopped FedEx or UPS though - and last time I checked they are an airline.

Listen, we don't really know what had happened. Maybe American had rebooked the woman and was expecting her to be able to contact her son for further arrangement. Maybe they take her silence for grief. Who knows. But it's unfair to go all out in bashing an airline without knowing the full facts of the case.

Yes airlines aren't always right, but customers aren't always right either!
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EA CO AS
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:52 am

mjoelnir wrote:
What is the problem with checking up on the old Lady and than just simply taking up the telephone and contacting the family.? I am sure that there was a contact registered, or the old Lady would know a telephone number., could have perhaps solved this problem.


There is no problem, but the conversation would have been the AA agent calling the family to advise they'd sent her to a hotel with one of their representatives. They'd have had no way of knowing that rep - the vendor pushing the wheelchair - elected to abandon his duties and left her sitting alone somewhere in the airport.

I'm not sure what's so difficult to comprehend about this; AA didn't know the vendor dropped the ball. If they did, they'd have likely come to her aid immediately.

An airline can't fix a problem they don't know of.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
ELBOB
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:03 am

PDX88 wrote:
This story doesn't even add up. A 67 year old lady in one of the busiest terminals in the country couldn't get anyone's attention for help? The terminal is busy even late at night with cleaners and vendors.


As a 30-something myself and a few other passengers were abandoned after midnight in Newark when our outbound Continental trans-Atlantic flight departed without us, due to a late connection. The airport service staff that we could find had no interest in our plight; they had their own jobs to do. Why would a cleaner help, or what could he do? Only shrug.

I can well imagine this lady's plight, wandering around an airport in the early hours with most of the shutters closed and the only staff you can find act like unresponsive robots.
 
maint123
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:10 am

Atlwarrior wrote:
So are we really going to post every bizarre incident that occurs in the airline industry. I am not been heartless, but the responsibility does not completely fall on American. Because of the wheelchair, it might be a good idea to purchase flight insurance for every flight that includes lodging for cancellations.

Fully agree. Can we not post any news that paints a bad picture of american companies ? Lets just focus on new paint jobs , innovations , New terminals , new seating arrangements, sales figures, etc.

No discussion on -
Boeing-737max software.
34 planes grounded at the same time.
Scores of PW engines failing in Neo planes for the last one year.
And old disabled people left on wheelchairs overnight to fend for themselves

These topics should be restricted to foreign airlines.

Merica Merica Meruca
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:29 am

Noshow wrote:
The airline porter should not have left her alone. At least he should have reported her to his ops center, as some passenger that is in further need of assistance for the night before his shift ended. With some diabetes passenger that is even more urgent.


Sorry but the airline cannot leagally agive the passenger an insulin shot if they need one. A trained paramedic, doctor or nurse would be required. If she cannot take care of herself with diabetes, she should not fly alone. Doing so shows how little her son really cares. How dare he not stay till the flight departs & not make sure there is contact if something happens!
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:16 am

The airline should have checked up on her, but the family should have traveled with her as her son noted she had communication issues and did the family tell the airline ALL of her health issues. or did they just tell them enough to get her onboard. Based on his comments I personally would believe that not all or any thing was noted other than she needs a wheelchair. If the airline can prove that in court, as by law we cannot get those details. Then the family is at fault. If they were aware of all the issues he stated and they approved her to fly alone the airline employee should be fired or reassigned. However the family dropped the ball as well.

A number of years back I was recovering from a heart infection and had to fly. My family took me to the airport, waited and verified the flight T-O. They also kept in contact with the airline & myself by phone as I had to transfer mid way. My uncle met me on the other side at the gate. We all agree the airline employee's are not trained to treat my health issue if I had a problem. Thats fully an emergency personnel issue. At the airport mid way WN employees as well as the non-airline contract worker at the airport checked on me. Only the contract worker was required to. He also took me to the gate 45 min later. I was checked on one time only other than being helped into/out of the chair at the planes door (not gates door) on each end. They were great, but only had to get me to the gates door. Otherwise if I needed further help it was MY RESPONSIBILITY to have had a companion with me.

Also the airline is not required to let the companion fly for free as someone noted, nor should they be. If you need that level of help & you and/or your family expect a fully "untrained" unpaid person to assist you with your health your health issue, your foolish. It's time we start taking responsibility for ourselves and stop blaming everyone else for our own failure to make sure we are safe.

I put off my trip for 2 weeks for additional recovery so I could get around by myself, if I had to. It was a rough trip. But if anything happened I had a letter noting that I made the decision to fly signed and notorized that the airline was not responsible if something happened outside their basic requirement. My family very bluntly knows I would haunt them if they sued anyone for something that was MY decision.

I had years growing up in/out of a hospital after surviving an explosion as a child. For years All I heard was "I hope your family sued the company that built the product." It made me angry every time I hear that. It was not the companies fault that 40+ mile winds form a sudden storm blew their product over, as it was not designed for that.

Time to grow up people. Quit blaming others for your bad decision.

Also I am NOT an AA fan.
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:48 am

As a person with a disability. When you fly with a disability have the following:


-Have a list of emergency contacts with you that are accessible by airline or emergency personnel if needed.

-Make sure you get pre-approved gate access to the family members or friends that are dropping you off & picking you up.
You should not expect the contracted workers from the airport (not airlines) to be at your beck and call. Your not the only one they are helping.
If you are the only one they are helping you should be paying extra for that.

-Make a list to keep "with you" of any needs you might require.
Note the employees are not required to cover "all" your personal needs and should not be required to do so. Be responsible.

-Make sure the personnel at each location and the FA's on board are aware of any/all possible needs you may have.
If you do not, don’t blame them.

-If you need someone to assist you with things like emergency evacuation, drinking, eating, using the bathroom you need a companion with you, period!
Otherwise you are risking others lives in an emergency. Do you really want to live knowing your bad choice cost someone their life. Are you that uncaring.

-If you need that companion, you should be paying for their travel. The airline should not be required to pay extra.

-Do not expect the employees to give you your medications, including insulin. Unless they are licensed they can not do so without violating the law.
A person next to you helping is protected by good samaritan laws, an employee is not.


It is not that hard to take responsibility for your life. It is not right to expect others to care for you for free.
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:51 am

fraspotter wrote:
The airline was apparently confident in the woman's abilities to let her check her in for her flight. They can't turn around later on and say "she shouldn't have been flying alone, not our problem" once the sh*t actually hits the fan.


Only if the son said more than she needs wheelchair assistance.
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:22 am

neutronstar73 wrote:
Lot of people here giving AA a pass. Would it not be just common decency for airline gate personnel to not even go the extra mile to ensure that this elderly woman, whom they knew just got off their cancelled flight, was properly taken care of? Like, oh I don't know, if she has a ticket on the very next available flight? And if that flight is the next day, to ensure the porter or whoever was taking her around, make sure she gets to a hotel or family member so she wouldn't be stranded?

Naawwwww......better to just be lazy and move on to the lowest common denominator. Blame the family


OK I'm in a wheelchair. My son dumps me at a restaurant. So your view the restaurant should be responsible for feeding me. No, my son should care about me.
This is why those of us with disabilities get crap from the public on a regular basis.
The same with fake support animals. Those with real trained support animals get treated bad because others are plying the system to take their pet (Child replacement) with them everywhere.
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:34 am

mjoelnir wrote:
It is just interesting to see how many people here, I assume in some way connected to airline business or at least flying, have no idea about the responsibilities of airlines and will defend blindly the airline and attack the passengers.
There are laws regulating transporting of disabled passengers. A lot of poster here seem to think airlines can just disregard laws. If the airline wanted to have a person accompany her on the flight, they should have declared so and flown the companion at no cost.

The airline canceled the flight. The airline rebooked her. The airline new about her disability. The airline should have checked up on her. Apart from booking the hotel, they should have arranged transportation, or even better they should have informed the family. If the airline did not have a contact person registered, that would be another mistake.

The attendant or porter, is the weakest link in the chain, only doing what he is told. He should have contacted somebody before he left of course, but he should have received new orders by the airline.

The airline admitted the mistake, but such mistakes should not happen.



The airline admitted their mistake for the same reason a congressman does. There was bad press and they need to look like they did something about it. It does not mean they are at fault. The contracted service company was at fault. It's just easier to blame the airline. Same as when say an DL had an issue when it was really a Skywest issue. But because they are contracted the main carrier is blamed, when the contracted carrier should be blamed. After all everything is everyone else's fault now. I hit another car, oh it was the cars fault it did not stop soon enough. The other drive stopped to fast, so it's his fault I rear ended him. I could go on. The son created this problem, irrespective of the outcome, it comes back to him.
 
rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:55 am

mjoelnir wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
Could you please point to the regulation that canceling a flight after accepting a disabled person in their care, cancels also every responsibility of the airline regarding the care of the passengers on the canceled flight?


All due respect, you're taking this a little far. The ACAA does establish limits of what air carriers are expected to do when it comes to taking care of customers who happen to have a disability. For example, the airline may be required to take someone to the entrance of a restroom if needed, but they're not required to enter, much less aid in using the facilities.

Having said that, airline employees are human beings too, and they'll generally do whatever they can to aid a stranded traveler after a cancellation, regardless of age or ability. But that might extend to, say, helping this woman and her checked bags get to the shuttle pick up location to the hotel they'd arranged for her when they're not obligated to help with checked bags, etc. I've also heard of employees personally taking people to hotels in their own vehicles, or in some cases, even taking them home (which the legal department had a heart attack over!) if they felt it was the best way to help the customer.

(And only if the idiot vendor employee who was taking care of her notified the airline she still needed help instead of saying, "See ya!" when his shift ended)

What happened here was horrible, and while AA is ultimately liable from a legal perspective since they handed this passenger and her needs off to a contracted vendor, it's impossible for AA to have known she didn't get to the hotel if they had no knowledge she never left the airport.


It seems that all the nice examples of a friendly airline were not done here. The woman was left in her wheelchair somewhere in the airport, with nobody from AA and I do not count the idiot vendor, checking up on her.

So you are full tilt defending AA here, you can see absolutely nothing that the airline has done wrong. You get yourself a low cost vendor to do your stuff and that absolves you from every responsibility. I make you a bet, AA will pay out a hefty compensation before this case lands in a Court of Law.


The personnel assisting passengers with disabilities are hired & operated by the airport operator, not the airlines in most every city. It is the airports responsibility in the case of ORD as the airport authority contracts these employees and they do not directly work for the airlines. As such the airline is only aware of whats happening if the vender notifies them of every move they make.
 
bennett123
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:56 am

In your example, if a DL employee did the work then the employer is liable.

If instead of paying an employee to do the job they pay another company to do the job then I see no reason why DL should not take the heat.


In this case, the customer had a contract to carry this passenger. They then contracted part of that work out to another company and should not be able to evade responsibility. Doubtless, AA can then take action against the firm that they have a contract with.

I am somewhat surprised that apparently the employee was unable or chose not to escalate the situation and get something done.
 
kalvado
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:25 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
kalvado wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
The airline canceled the flight. The airline rebooked her. The airline new about her disability. The airline should have checked up on her. Apart from booking the hotel, they should have arranged transportation, or even better they should have informed the family. If the airline did not have a contact person registered, that would be another mistake.

I am having a problem finding the appropriate requirement. Can you quote exact piece of legislation requiring that service?
14 CFR 382.91(1) requires moving passenger to a vehicle pickup location, period. Arranging transportation must be elsewhere.


Several posters here declared airlines should stop transporting disabled passengers, I was answering to that.

Could you please point to the regulation that canceling a flight after accepting a disabled person in their care, cancels also every responsibility of the airline regarding the care of the passengers on the canceled flight?

Could you point out regulations regarding "accepting a disabled person in their care"? My impression regarding the regulations is that they are written with the assumption that a disabled person is a fully functional individual who, unfortunately, has problems moving around. They need some assistance but are in no way under airline care. I think 14 CFR 382.33 (b)(4) is very telling in that regard. Disabled pax are not allowed to be treated like UM who are indeed accepted under the care of the airline.
If it comes to court, I suspect only thing AA did legally wrong is missing 30 minutes checks on the person in a wheelchair. Which would be of little help: lady had to use random pax help to get to the restroom, but the airline is not required to take them to the restroom unless it is a quick stop on the way from one point in the terminal to the other. It defies common sense, but it is the way the law is written.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:00 pm

Lots of blame to go around starting with the family. Shouldn’t have someone on the end of this family monitored the flight?
 
TheOldDude
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:05 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
Very nice for the white night in defense of all the shit the airlines put passengers to. The airline was informed upon arrival of the disabled person and they did not have to collect her at the curbside.


The only facts we have relating to your point are (1) the passenger was in a wheelchair, (2) the son accompanied the passenger to the gate, (3) the son asked if the flight was on time, (4) the son left, and (5) the passenger had a communications disability.

Your point assumes that all disabilities are the same, and that the airline should act in a uniform manner no matter what the disability. That assumption is incorrect. In this case, no known fact supports a contention that the family informed the airline that the passenger had more than a mobility impairment. Mobility impairments are handled differently than disabilities.

If the airline was at fault, it was not noticing that the extent of impairment was greater than the family disclosed to them and not reacting to that appropriately. That's where the porter enters the picture. If the impairment was such that the porter should have noticed additional help was needed, the porter should have raised the need with their chain of command. However, without knowing specifics of the "communications difficulty" we cannot convict the porter.

Abandoning the passenger is definitely something that should not have happened. That is the airline's problem. Thankfully these instances are one-off and not systemic.
 
ImperialEagle
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:38 pm

IMO, the porter that abandoned the elderly woman is a careless,POS.
I don't care if that idiots shift is over. You don't do things like that if you have any upbringing at all.
Cold,cruel,world.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
Brickell305
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:02 pm

Not surprising that the A. Net crowd is once again defending the indefensible in regard to the latest customer service failure from an airline. Thankfully, AA has acknowledged that they dropped the ball. Hopefully, they will work to ensure that incidents like this do not reoccur.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:43 pm

ImperialEagle wrote:
IMO, the porter that abandoned the elderly woman is a careless,POS.
I don't care if that idiots shift is over. You don't do things like that if you have any upbringing at all.
Cold,cruel,world.

Somehow agree with you. But remember a few things if his shift was over:
- who is going to pay his overtime? No one works for free;
- who will be liable if anything happens during his watch, but outside of his shift time? He will not want to jeopardize his life for $10 or so an hour.
 
kalvado
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:57 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
Not surprising that the A. Net crowd is once again defending the indefensible in regard to the latest customer service failure from an airline. Thankfully, AA has acknowledged that they dropped the ball. Hopefully, they will work to ensure that incidents like this do not reoccur.

ANd what, from your perspective, should be done by AA? Not leaving things as-is is an easy answer; but try to put yourself in their shoes. Considering all the liabilities and legal limits airline has to obey - what exactly would you recommend?...
 
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PA110
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:01 pm

After reading both articles, it looks like blame falls squarely on the porter and the contract company used by the airport. Yes, the airline was aware of her disability, yes they were responsible for looking after her while in their care, but the flight was cancelled, and AA arranged for a hotel. They asked the porter to take her to the front of the terminal for transport to the hotel. The porter took her away from the gate. From the article, it seems the problem occured once they got to the front of the terminal where the porter was unable to communicate with the guest and abandoned her.
1. The porter should be fired.
2. The company providing transport assistance needs to re-examine their policies and procedures.

The problem here is that terminal transport services (the porters) are low-skilled, low-paying jobs, contracted to the lowest bidder, and fulfilled by folks who are not known for their logistical or critical thinking skills. Quite honestly, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.
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stlgph
Posts: 11229
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:08 pm

Man, hope none of you ever need to go to a hospital for care, where you know, strangers look after you like they're paid to.
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smartplane
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:23 pm

There are a series of IATA codes used by airlines for passengers who present themselves (or with care givers) at check in, with possible impairment or disability. Presenting in a wheel chair is a mandatory trigger to record / update these codes, primarily for safety purposes (as some have stated earlier in the thread), and also legal liability / responsibility.

In the US, airlines are responsible for special needs passengers from arrival at check-in area. The process of enquiry gives an airline the opportunity to refuse carriage / avoid liability / responsibility for a person with a disability.

In relation to this passenger, did the airline make the enquiry? Did the passenger and/or person who delivered her, answer truthfully?
 
ikramerica
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:41 pm

1. She is not disabled. She is enfeebled. The ADA and other acts don’t cover someone who is simply old or ill. She is of retirement age and has a severe illness that requires constant care. Which means she should have had constant care provided by family.

2. I highly doubt the family informed the airline of her exact condition. If they had informed AA, AA would not have allowed her to fly alone.

3. People are confusing the responsibility of a carrier dealing with the moral and legal O&D passengers vs connecting passengers. They did not strand her. Her family stranded her. How on earth does the son NEVER CHECK that the flight departed and landed? This lack of care is the direct cause of this result. Shouldn’t the passenger record have emergency contact information? While not required of all passengers, there is a place for it and the son should absolutely have provided it. The son is my age or younger but over 21. He’s perfectly capable of taking this kind responsibility.
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seat24charlie
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:51 pm

As someone who has wheelchair-dependent family members, I have a hearty range of swear words for every person in this thread who has blamed the victim, stuck their noses in the air and pouted 'them's the rules' in the face of yet another US carrier blatantly doing the bare minimum at the expense and discomfort of someone less physically able than the rest of us.

You people are a disgrace and the very reason our family fears ever stepping into an airport.
 
SwissCanuck
Posts: 243
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:58 pm

Prinair wrote:
The airline industry should simply eliminate these services. If you’re that disabled then it should be mandatory that you travel with a companion. The airline will be glad to provide a wheelchair but it should not be responsible for your needs. Also, the unaccompanied minor service needs to stop, children should be required to fly with a guardian. Too many lazy people wanting to distance themselves from their responsibilities....


I don't care if I get banned for this, bu you're a horrible person. As someone who was almost paralyzed, get stuffed. You assume someone has a "family" to take care of them. This is so, so false. The person might not have any family to sort this out. And even if they do, those people might not be available for very understandable reasons. Such as, for example. their own sick child. They need to be able to get around, and often they pay extra for this service. If they don't, I think it's still deserved. Shame on you.
 
DarthLobster
Posts: 392
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:05 pm

Lianny wrote:
Empathy! It’s such a lost art in this day and age of the millennials & GenZ’s,,,

Who said being a ‘nursemaid’ was expected,,, NO ONE! Ridiculous non-point by an ignorant soul,,,

Of course the airline isn’t responsible to be ‘nursemaid’ to an elderly handicap’d woman,,, However, is being ethical in the workplace really a lost art too?? Humanity, morality, empathy - Tells the son he had no business leaving his elderly, clearly in need of assistance, mother alone and not ensuring she was onboarded. Shameful!

The counter-employee who promised the son his mother’s flight was indeed an absolute “go” should have stepped up when that turned out to not be the case, especially in such a drastic way that one could get stuck all night without a flight!

The handler,,, aye aye aye,,, his shift was over so he could “no longer help her”?!!? What the heck man,,, He’s got a manager I’m sure,,, and if he needed to end his shift, so be it, but pass that verreee important information of his special needs guest into his manager for them to handle and ensure this woman is not just left hanging!

You come into contact having any morals of responsibility assisting this woman, from her ridiculous son all the way to her handler, you do NOT just walk away with no resolution for her!

Elderly people, in my experience, feel shamed in asking for help, so they can be very meek about it. That does not give non-ethical immoral workers a pathway to scoot off to something “easier” and leave them in a potentially bad place!

Empathy. Morality. Ethics in the workplace. What’s happened to this society,,, FAIL!


Given that this is your “first” post, you clearly registered just to throw an incendiary rant into this particular thread while remaining anonymous. Great backbone.

Also, stop blaming younger generations for all the problems when yours is still spreading cancer across the world.
 
smartplane
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:26 pm

ikramerica wrote:
1. She is not disabled. She is enfeebled. The ADA and other acts don’t cover someone who is simply old or ill. She is of retirement age and has a severe illness that requires constant care. Which means she should have had constant care provided by family.

Disability in the aviation industry has a wider definition than you infer, and includes those 'enfeebled' by age.

US-based airlines are specifically required to comply with the Air Carrier Access Act, plus IATA rules, and UN and IATA best practice guidelines.

For a passenger presenting in a wheel chair, airlines are required to update (condition could have deteriorated or improved since their last flight) / record certain details. These details include the condition, severity, assessed mobility / vision / hearing and next of kin contact details.

In the US, where passenger liability starts immediately before check in, it seems extraordinary the passenger wouldn't have been asked about her condition and mobility.

You seem very knowledgeable regarding the specifics of this case, including the severity of the passenger's condition.

Wouldn't want to be an aged / enfeebled relative in the Ikramerica household.
 
B737900ER
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:33 pm

EA CO AS wrote:

I'm not sure what's so difficult to comprehend about this;

It seems very difficult for most. And that’s because some have formed opinions without comprehending facts. And after facts have been presented they seem too stubborn or ignorant to accept them.

Did someone do something bad? Yes. Was it AA? No. But since the name of the contractor is not well known, and the person in charge of her care is not known, let’s attack who we know. Sound reasonable?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:44 pm

Generalized complaint - not aimed at any party. The US transportation system is particularly bad at transferring nodes: car, ferry, train, plane, subway, bus. The mildly or middle'y disabled person has no convenient access to reasonably paid persons aiding in transfers. And most of them would be willing to pay. With modern phones and the proper software someone could be earning $20-25 an hour. Airports and cities with just a little experience could forecast about how many workers would be needed.

In this case: a family member would need to be on standby duty and be notified of the cancellation. They in turn would arrange for the assistance worker to make the transfer to the motel, and arrange for the next shift to get the person to the gate on the rescheduled flight. And of course if this sort of assistance is not sufficient the person should not be flying alone. But many elderly and disabled people do need and would benefit by just a little help. Actually UBER could probably do this already, and about at the price I am estimating.
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ryanov
Posts: 237
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:46 pm

Lianny wrote:
Empathy! It’s such a lost art in this day and age of the millennials & GenZ’s,,,


This is uncalled for, and this story has nothing to do with millennials. If anything, I've seen more concern for other people from millennials than the elderly. Give it a rest.
 
bennett123
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:06 pm

The customer was booked with AA.

AA has a contract with another company to provide assistance to AA customers.

The customer has no contract with this other company.

No clear why anyone thinks that AA are NOT responsible.
 
Alphazone
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:09 pm

This happened to me before at ORD. I spent some night hours in a wheelchair on the level overlooking T2 check-in.
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SEA
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:27 pm

bennett123 wrote:
The customer was booked with AA.

AA has a contract with another company to provide assistance to AA customers.

The customer has no contract with this other company.

No clear why anyone thinks that AA are NOT responsible.


Because it's A.net and the airline is never at fault.

On an individual level, AA didn't make this happen, the porter did. But as you said, the porter is the employee of AA's contracted company and that company let the customer down, quite dangerously. Not the son's fault or the customer's fault.
 
LetsGoOutside
Posts: 16
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:00 pm

What I find surprising reading this thread is the apparent lack of system. As a passenger, and as someone who does not work in the industry, I always assumed the air transportation business was fairly well organized or regulated when it came to safety and security. Here, the comments I read give the impression that the well-being of incapacitated passengers left in an airport/airline/contractor provided wheelchair relies on the kindness of strangers (porters, check-in agents, cleaning staff maybe…) rather than a rigorous chain of custody. Yes, family members are the primary caregivers, but a well-organized system cannot assume that a family member will always be there: a healthy family member may become incapacitated at the airport, may take another flight leaving in the same timeframe (this was the case here) or may be a grand-son in a rush to go back to his girlfriend/boyfriend... These reasons are irrelevant and should not matter. Once a person is in an airport/airline/contractor provided wheelchair, the air transport system (airport, airline, wheelchair providers, etc.) should be responsible for the person’s well-being once the family caregiver is gone for whatever reason, good or bad. One purpose of procedures is precisely to deal with things that do not go exactly like we would like. Here, there seems to be no procedure as to who has custody of a disabled passenger unable to function independently once the family member is gone. This is very troublesome. The only way for these types of incidents not to reoccur is to have procedures establishing clearly who (always a natural person, not an entity) is in charge of a disabled person in the transportation system (i.e. from the moment the disabled person sits in wheelchair provided by the transportation system to the moment the person is released to a family member (or another transportation system agent) at destination. So much the better if a family member is still around during certain phases of the process, but this fortunate circumstance can last only so long if the disabled person travels alone. Typically, the first person responsible would be the wheelchair attendant. If the attendant leaves after check-in, the duty to care would pass to the check-in agent (duly informed). Upon boarding, the duty passes to the flight attendant (duly informed) at the plane door. Upon deplaning, the duty passes to the wheelchair attendant waiting at the airplane door. Presumably, the wheelchair attendant will eventually release the disabled passenger to a family member at destination. If nobody is waiting, you cannot drop the passenger like a piece of luggage on the sidewalk (assume we are in Juneau, Alaska in January, it is ten past midnight and this was the last flight in for the day). Note that in all this, the presence or absence of a family member is secondary: we are talking about industry processes, not family values.
 
kalvado
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:11 pm

LetsGoOutside wrote:
rather than a rigorous chain of custody.

Airlines are explicitly prohibited to have custody. 14 CFR 382.33
(b) Restrictions you must not impose on passengers with a disability include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Restricting passengers” movement within the terminal;
(2) Requiring passengers to remain in a holding area or other location in order to receive transportation, services, or accommodations;
....
(4) Making passengers wear badges or other special identification (e.g., similar to badges worn by unaccompanied minors); or

Disabled passenger may move anywhere at any moment. That also has a downside for certain passengers.
 
LetsGoOutside
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:57 pm

Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:30 pm

Well, then, if airlines cannot really check what disabled passengers do, it will be difficult to ask them to know where they are and in what condition...
 
mjoelnir
Topic Author
Posts: 9411
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:46 am

LetsGoOutside wrote:
What I find surprising reading this thread is the apparent lack of system. As a passenger, and as someone who does not work in the industry, I always assumed the air transportation business was fairly well organized or regulated when it came to safety and security. Here, the comments I read give the impression that the well-being of incapacitated passengers left in an airport/airline/contractor provided wheelchair relies on the kindness of strangers (porters, check-in agents, cleaning staff maybe…) rather than a rigorous chain of custody. Yes, family members are the primary caregivers, but a well-organized system cannot assume that a family member will always be there: a healthy family member may become incapacitated at the airport, may take another flight leaving in the same timeframe (this was the case here) or may be a grand-son in a rush to go back to his girlfriend/boyfriend... These reasons are irrelevant and should not matter. Once a person is in an airport/airline/contractor provided wheelchair, the air transport system (airport, airline, wheelchair providers, etc.) should be responsible for the person’s well-being once the family caregiver is gone for whatever reason, good or bad. One purpose of procedures is precisely to deal with things that do not go exactly like we would like. Here, there seems to be no procedure as to who has custody of a disabled passenger unable to function independently once the family member is gone. This is very troublesome. The only way for these types of incidents not to reoccur is to have procedures establishing clearly who (always a natural person, not an entity) is in charge of a disabled person in the transportation system (i.e. from the moment the disabled person sits in wheelchair provided by the transportation system to the moment the person is released to a family member (or another transportation system agent) at destination. So much the better if a family member is still around during certain phases of the process, but this fortunate circumstance can last only so long if the disabled person travels alone. Typically, the first person responsible would be the wheelchair attendant. If the attendant leaves after check-in, the duty to care would pass to the check-in agent (duly informed). Upon boarding, the duty passes to the flight attendant (duly informed) at the plane door. Upon deplaning, the duty passes to the wheelchair attendant waiting at the airplane door. Presumably, the wheelchair attendant will eventually release the disabled passenger to a family member at destination. If nobody is waiting, you cannot drop the passenger like a piece of luggage on the sidewalk (assume we are in Juneau, Alaska in January, it is ten past midnight and this was the last flight in for the day). Note that in all this, the presence or absence of a family member is secondary: we are talking about industry processes, not family values.


:checkmark:

It seems that in other cases airline personal themselves try their best and solve those problems, but the airline as a system can not be bothered.
And as we see on this thread by the posters the grand majority of airline personal can not be bothered either.
To find it acceptable that an older disabled person spends her night in her wheelchair somewhere alone on the airport because her flight is canceled, I find despicable, nothing less.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:52 am

mjoelnir wrote:
To find it acceptable that an older disabled person spends her night in her wheelchair somewhere alone on the airport because her flight is canceled, I find despicable, nothing less.


Please show where, in this thread, anyone said that a passenger with a disability spending the night in a wheelchair is acceptable.

The customer was mishandled; there's no question of that. But saying that AA felt that was acceptable or appropriate is a falsehood.
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rbavfan
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:52 am

seat24charlie wrote:
As someone who has wheelchair-dependent family members, I have a hearty range of swear words for every person in this thread who has blamed the victim, stuck their noses in the air and pouted 'them's the rules' in the face of yet another US carrier blatantly doing the bare minimum at the expense and discomfort of someone less physically able than the rest of us.

You people are a disgrace and the very reason our family fears ever stepping into an airport.


As someone who has a disabled and has been in a wheelchair multiple times. I would note I did not blame the "victim" as I don't consider myself or others victims. I did blame the son. I find it horrible with the issues the passenger deals with he would drop her off and leave rather than wait for her to be boarded. It also appears that he did not fully inform AA about her health conditions as she obviously cannot care for herself. If AA had known all the information from the start they would most likely not allowed her to fly alone. After all would you do that to your family members, basically abandon her at the airport knowing she has communication issues. I consider what he did Elder abuse, which is a crime in many states.
 
vfw614
Posts: 3853
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:10 am

Wheelchair services are contracted to third parties at most if not all airports, airlines themselves don't move wheelchair passengers around. Yes AA cancelled the flight but her whereabouts after rebooking are not the airline's responsibility


Good luck with pulling that one in a court of law. You enter into a contract with someone else and then start outsourcing all your duties and obligations to third parties with the hope that those third parties will assume all responsibilities in relation to the other party to the contract?
 
mjoelnir
Topic Author
Posts: 9411
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:17 am

EA CO AS wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
To find it acceptable that an older disabled person spends her night in her wheelchair somewhere alone on the airport because her flight is canceled, I find despicable, nothing less.


Please show where, in this thread, anyone said that a passenger with a disability spending the night in a wheelchair is acceptable.

The customer was mishandled; there's no question of that. But saying that AA felt that was acceptable or appropriate is a falsehood.


A lot of posters here find it acceptable. And if you defend the airline, you find it acceptable too. You only blame the porter, the lowliest, badly paid link in the chain.
You accept that after the canceled flight, nobody from the airline staff seem to have checked on the well being of her. If you find that acceptable such things will happen again.

AA seems to find blame with itself, but even that is not acceptable to many posters here, calling it an PR stunt, while the airline is not really responsible.

Anyway, how soon did the regular AA staff disappear, did the porter had somebody left to report to, when he had a disabled person on his hand late in the night? He could of course have called 911 or what the number is in the USA.
 
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SNZ
Posts: 2
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Re: American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:40 am

The porter company earned the blame.
AA owns the responsibility.

Whether that responsibility rises to a cause of action to sue AA depends on how the ACAA has been interpreted by courts. Nonetheless, AA is morally responsible for the shameful treatment of this woman and I hope they do the right thing and compensate her justly outside of court.

Personally, I think they will.

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