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enilria
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'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:47 pm

Not sure this is United's fault, but these battery restrictions create all kinds of problems. This one is very sad.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary — because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

"Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of," said Hodge. "It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven't been the same since."

The 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, B.C., lost his left arm and right leg in a 1984 workplace accident. He now relies on a portable scooter powered by lithium batteries.

But on a trip to Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 26, 2017, an agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and a United Airlines official told Hodge to remove the $2,000 battery from his scooter and fly without it, as well as his spare battery.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5109369
 
anshabhi
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:12 pm

Sad but a wiser choice would have been to not fly without the batteries
 
zuckie13
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:21 pm

I think the issue is, if flying with these batteries poses a safety risk, then there really should be a mechanism for arranging to have some you can borrow when you get to your destination.

If folks are going to be allowed to travel with them - then maybe there should be a defined way they are inspected prior to flight to make sure there are no signs of damage or degradation.
 
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spinotter
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:30 pm

enilria wrote:
Not sure this is United's fault, but these battery restrictions create all kinds of problems. This one is very sad.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary — because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

"Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of," said Hodge. "It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven't been the same since."

The 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, B.C., lost his left arm and right leg in a 1984 workplace accident. He now relies on a portable scooter powered by lithium batteries.

But on a trip to Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 26, 2017, an agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and a United Airlines official told Hodge to remove the $2,000 battery from his scooter and fly without it, as well as his spare battery.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5109369


Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity - which is not in any way something to make one proud of the human race. My skeptical self whispers that they think it will increase their jury award.
 
CantbeGrounded
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:41 pm

spinotter wrote:
enilria wrote:
Not sure this is United's fault, but these battery restrictions create all kinds of problems. This one is very sad.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary — because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

"Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of," said Hodge. "It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven't been the same since."

The 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, B.C., lost his left arm and right leg in a 1984 workplace accident. He now relies on a portable scooter powered by lithium batteries.

But on a trip to Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 26, 2017, an agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and a United Airlines official told Hodge to remove the $2,000 battery from his scooter and fly without it, as well as his spare battery.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5109369


Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity

I’m not sure a guy living the balance of his life minus one arm and one leg is experiencing anything we like to call ‘first world problems’. I’d read that back to yourself out loud again. No wonder you said ‘dare I say’.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:46 pm

zuckie13 wrote:
If folks are going to be allowed to travel with them - then maybe there should be a defined way they are inspected prior to flight to make sure there are no signs of damage or degradation.

When I was a CSA at Southwest we did exactly that, or were at least trained to recognize what kind of battery we were dealing with. I actually never had a customer with a powered chair come to me personally for an outbound but I knew what I had to do in that event. We would ask the customer to remove the power connection and anything else easily broken. Then the ramp would pack the battery in a special battery box.

I don't work in a customer service capacity anymore at my new airline but I imagine all airlines have similar processes.
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enilria
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:11 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
zuckie13 wrote:
If folks are going to be allowed to travel with them - then maybe there should be a defined way they are inspected prior to flight to make sure there are no signs of damage or degradation.

When I was a CSA at Southwest we did exactly that, or were at least trained to recognize what kind of battery we were dealing with. I actually never had a customer with a powered chair come to me personally for an outbound but I knew what I had to do in that event. We would ask the customer to remove the power connection and anything else easily broken. Then the ramp would pack the battery in a special battery box.

I don't work in a customer service capacity anymore at my new airline but I imagine all airlines have similar processes.

A battery box seems like a great idea if they work safely. That should be an option for situations like this. Not sure how it works in connections.

...and yes I’m sure he’s trying to increase a jury award, but that’s normal in any lawsuit.
 
DarthLobster
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:25 pm

Yay. More customer service failures in the Aviation forum....
 
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tjwgrr
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:33 pm

spinotter wrote:
Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity - which is not in any way something to make one proud of the human race......


Wow-

Self pity- really? A double amputee trying to make the best of things for himself and his wife.

"Hodge said he asked for an agent from United Airlines to come to the security checkpoint, as he had called the airline earlier and was assured it was OK to bring his battery and a spare on board."
Sounds like he tried to do the right thing.
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WeatherPilot
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:59 pm

He must have a crutch to move around crowded areas. I'm pretty sure he's not driving the big scooter around the small hotel room. And he was so embarrassed to have to crawl in front of his wife of 43 years they decided to film it? ok...

"No hon, don't use the crutch, get on the floor and crawl around. I'll get the camera. This'll do great in front of a jury."

Why didn't they rent a scooter when they got to where they were going? If they knew it would be a problem not having the scooter why did they still go?

Just because somebody is handicapped doesn't mean they're immune from still being an asshole in an attempt to take advantage of a situation.
Last edited by WeatherPilot on Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Caspian27
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:59 pm

DarthLobster wrote:
Yay. More customer service failures in the Aviation forum....


More accurately, a failure of the customer to read in advance what is approved for transport (lithium batteries can never go in the cargo compartments) but blame the airline anyway. I feel for the guy, but we have lost a lot of personal accountability in our modern society.
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:05 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
spinotter wrote:
Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity - which is not in any way something to make one proud of the human race......


Wow-

Self pity- really? A double amputee trying to make the best of things for himself and his wife.

"Hodge said he asked for an agent from United Airlines to come to the security checkpoint, as he had called the airline earlier and was assured it was OK to bring his battery and a spare on board."
Sounds like he tried to do the right thing.

Amputee or not, he shouldn’t be trying to endanger a whole plane by pushing for dangerous goods to be allowed onboard. ‘I called and was assured’ is just his interpretation we’ll never now is true. What we do know is that if he was as savvy with just checking the rules as lining up for a payout it wouldn’t have happened.
 
Exeiowa
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:17 pm

Thankfully there is a law the ADA that covers what provisions are required rather than the whims of Anet posters.
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:18 pm

spinotter wrote:
enilria wrote:
Not sure this is United's fault, but these battery restrictions create all kinds of problems. This one is very sad.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary — because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

"Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of," said Hodge. "It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven't been the same since."

The 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, B.C., lost his left arm and right leg in a 1984 workplace accident. He now relies on a portable scooter powered by lithium batteries.

But on a trip to Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 26, 2017, an agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and a United Airlines official told Hodge to remove the $2,000 battery from his scooter and fly without it, as well as his spare battery.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5109369


Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity - which is not in any way something to make one proud of the human race. My skeptical self whispers that they think it will increase their jury award.


Seriously? What an attitude. You show a total lack of class here bud.
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jetwet1
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:32 pm

Exeiowa wrote:
Thankfully there is a law the ADA that covers what provisions are required rather than the whims of Anet posters.


Except the ADA does not cover aviation.
 
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:39 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
Exeiowa wrote:
Thankfully there is a law the ADA that covers what provisions are required rather than the whims of Anet posters.


Except the ADA does not cover aviation.


No, but the ACAA does - and I'm sure there is language that speaks to such a situation. In any case, the ACAA never supersedes FAA regulations that are there for the safety of everybody onboard. Airlines provide all the information one needs online and, if necessary, by speaking to agents that are trained to deal with such occurrences. Nevertheless, I find it hard to believe that a 68 year old double amputee has never had to take the time to understand regulations where his mobility is concerned. This is a total money grab. Just because he's a double amputee doesn't mean he would be any more or less of an opportunist than anyone else in the general public.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:03 pm

If the Canadian Aviation Security commission is concerned about Lithium Ion Batteries then anyone flying to or from Canada should not be allowed to bring their cell phones, computers and other devices onto any aircraft. Also the Boeing 787 should not be able to fly into Canadian territories as the 787 uses Lithium Ion Batteries to start the APU. Yes the 787 battery is now inside a special case that vents to the outside. As a retired aircraft mechanic I still am not in favor of the Lithium Ion Batteries in the 787. All Boeing did was save a few pounds over the less problematic lead acid battery used in other aircraft. :old:
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Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:10 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
If the Canadian Aviation Security commission is concerned about Lithium Ion Batteries then anyone flying to or from Canada should not be allowed to bring their cell phones, computers and other devices onto any aircraft.

It has to do with capacity obviously. A scooter needs quite a bit more energy than a cellphone and the batteries will reflect that. Makes complete sense as a larger capacity means a bigger explosion or more fire when things go wrong.
Last edited by Jetty on Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Bradin
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:10 pm

Are we saying as the A.net community it is completely unreasonable for the gentlemen to take the batteries on board in the cabin as carry on? Because based on the article, it reads as the gentlemen was denied taking his scooter's lithium batteries on as a carry on - not in the baggage hold.

Lithium batteries most certainly should not be in the baggage hold - I respect that, but certainly we can find some agreement that the battery could have been in the passenger cabin?
 
jagraham
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:13 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
If the Canadian Aviation Security commission is concerned about Lithium Ion Batteries then anyone flying to or from Canada should not be allowed to bring their cell phones, computers and other devices onto any aircraft. Also the Boeing 787 should not be able to fly into Canadian territories as the 787 uses Lithium Ion Batteries to start the APU. Yes the 787 battery is now inside a special case that vents to the outside. As a retired aircraft mechanic I still am not in favor of the Lithium Ion Batteries in the 787. All Boeing did was save a few pounds over the less problematic lead acid battery used in other aircraft. :old:


Lithium batteries in the new 787 case do not endanger the plane as the old ones did. The case is proven to contain the failure to one pack. And the ventilation system also serves to snuff out the fire.

As for other batteries there is a size limit

Size limits: Lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101-160 watt hours). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment.

https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/more_info/?hazmat=7

The poster mentions Canadian authorities which may have different limits.
 
grbauc
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:17 pm

enilria wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
zuckie13 wrote:
If folks are going to be allowed to travel with them - then maybe there should be a defined way they are inspected prior to flight to make sure there are no signs of damage or degradation.

When I was a CSA at Southwest we did exactly that, or were at least trained to recognize what kind of battery we were dealing with. I actually never had a customer with a powered chair come to me personally for an outbound but I knew what I had to do in that event. We would ask the customer to remove the power connection and anything else easily broken. Then the ramp would pack the battery in a special battery box.

I don't work in a customer service capacity anymore at my new airline but I imagine all airlines have similar processes.

A battery box seems like a great idea if they work safely. That should be an option for situations like this. Not sure how it works in connections.

...and yes I’m sure he’s trying to increase a jury award, but that’s normal in any lawsuit.



Are how about the customer be knowledgeable and responsible for knowing the requirements of traveling with power chair. If unable to take it could a wheelchair have been rented?

I have sympathy for the disabled but not for the many new articles looking to pounce on airlines with poorly researched articles and biased leanings.
 
kalvado
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:18 pm

UA outlines quite specifically what to do in this case: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... chair.html
AC has a similar procedure - so canadian regulations don't look like a show stopper.
FAA is also on board: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/mor ... ?hazmat=36
Sounds like there should be no specific problem.
 
santi319
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:20 pm

Slow news day...

This was a Hazmat issue obviously, why would an airline have someone disable suffer on purpose I mean.... I dont understand this new fascination with poorly researched airline-related articles.
Last edited by santi319 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
grbauc
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:20 pm

WeatherPilot wrote:
He must have a crutch to move around crowded areas. I'm pretty sure he's not driving the big scooter around the small hotel room. And he was so embarrassed to have to crawl in front of his wife of 43 years they decided to film it? ok...

"No hon, don't use the crutch, get on the floor and crawl around. I'll get the camera. This'll do great in front of a jury."

Why didn't they rent a scooter when they got to where they were going? If they knew it would be a problem not having the scooter why did they still go?

Just because somebody is handicapped doesn't mean they're immune from still being an asshole in an attempt to take advantage of a situation.



Everything you mention is what I'm wondering.
 
Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:37 pm

kalvado wrote:
UA outlines quite specifically what to do in this case: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... chair.html
AC has a similar procedure - so canadian regulations don't look like a show stopper.
FAA is also on board: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/mor ... ?hazmat=36
Sounds like there should be no specific problem.

I see a potential one:

If you have a collapsible mobility device, the battery must be removed and cannot exceed 300 watt hours.

Not sure it can be removed, but this model scooter does come with batteries exceeding 300 watt hours as option.
 
kalvado
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:09 pm

Jetty wrote:
kalvado wrote:
UA outlines quite specifically what to do in this case: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... chair.html
AC has a similar procedure - so canadian regulations don't look like a show stopper.
FAA is also on board: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/mor ... ?hazmat=36
Sounds like there should be no specific problem.

I see a potential one:

If you have a collapsible mobility device, the battery must be removed and cannot exceed 300 watt hours.

Not sure it can be removed, but this model scooter does come with batteries exceeding 300 watt hours as option.

I saw TravelScoot on some pictures, nothing in the text.
IF it is travelScoot, they are very specific about flight requirements: https://www.travelscoot.com//air-travel ... ooter.html
And again very specific that they have a non-flyable high-capacity 420 Wh battery .
It could be the problem, and if that is the case - it is indeed passenger not doing their homework.
 
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kczombie
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:10 pm

A long extension cord, perhaps? I know that was in bad taste, but seriously it is up to us as the passengers to do our own due diligence and not just assume it wall all go according to plan. Everyone is aware of battery restrictions, he should have made a phone call or few to better understand the restrictions and how they apply to traveling to another country. I imagine there are provisions in place to make sure the batteries are safely transported. I sympathize with his disability but to assume that because your disabled is an excuse for not being prepared is naive and short sited and quite frankly is part of the problem with the American public as a whole. Now fire away, I can take it....
 
grbauc
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:12 pm

kalvado wrote:
UA outlines quite specifically what to do in this case: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... chair.html
AC has a similar procedure - so canadian regulations don't look like a show stopper.
FAA is also on board: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/mor ... ?hazmat=36
Sounds like there should be no specific problem.



If he is within compliance he for sure has a case against the airport. If I'm humiliated by having to crawl in hotel with wife (not sure why wife let him) why would I do it infront of a camera for the whole world.

I hate these cases Were probably not getting all of the story or has presented its a Airport / Airline continuing issue with poor customer service with travel restrictions rules not known by all. (customer/airport/airline)
 
strfyr51
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:17 pm

Jetty wrote:
kalvado wrote:
UA outlines quite specifically what to do in this case: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... chair.html
AC has a similar procedure - so canadian regulations don't look like a show stopper.
FAA is also on board: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/mor ... ?hazmat=36
Sounds like there should be no specific problem.

I see a potential one:

If you have a collapsible mobility device, the battery must be removed and cannot exceed 300 watt hours.

Not sure it can be removed, but this model scooter does come with batteries ding 300 watt hours as option.

Some of this was Installed in the United regulations AFTER the Law suit was lodged against us in 1999 where a disabled woman who went to Stanford University Sued United or $1M for the damage she claimed we did to her motorized Hi Tech wheel chair. I admit the chair was Hi tech, But she didn't havresponsibilitye ONE document that told us how to reactivate the chair when she arrived at SFO as she claimed Her Father had it. With NONE of my Mechanics being wheel Chair Repairmen? We couldn't get the thing to even Power up! The suit went to federal court in front of Judge Janet Mifflin and I had to go and testify as the Supervisor on Duty. Her Lawyer tried to bully me, Demean me and Accuse me of indifference, Then our Lawyer got to me and asked one question, Did she offer to let you see the operations manual or any Maintenance Manual Information? I said NO. then she asked, Have you EVER seen before or Since a chair matching that chair? I again said No and Judge Mifflin got a Hacked off look on her face and said, "Since it's federal LAW that the battery be disconnected and Packed"? "It was the Plaintiff's responsibility that the instructions be rendered to any Maintenance of said apparatus". "CASE Dismissed"!!.
0 But to add insult to Injury? I still had to go to Work as I worked Swing shift All I got was 2,5 hours Straight time for going to court and $20 for my parking.
 
Blankbarcode
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:31 pm

Here's my issue, working as a service agent and seeing these kinds of situations often (not daily, but certainly weekly) I *know* for a fact there are procedures for handling WCBD (w/ "Dry" Batteries). Passengers can take their batteries with them in the cabin while the wheelchair itself is checked. If the batteries are not removable it's a no-go. It is most certainly not uncommon and we know how to handle it accordingly. Unless Canada has specific regulations, I don't understand how something like this could have happened if there weren't a reason to back it up. I have yet to see a model like this gentleman had, so I don't know if it fits the criteria.
Long story short on my reservations: passengers are generally, well.... a little dumb. Also take into account any newspaper will spring on a situation if United is involved.

That being said, I will not make a judgement on this story and I don't know if these threads do this board any good honestly. There is too much potenitally muddled information in this case as well as many others. The courts will reach a hopefully fair decision.

Apologies if I missed any details.
 
Bradin
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:33 pm

Blankbarcode wrote:
Here's my issue, working as a service agent and seeing these kinds of situations often (not daily, but certainly weekly) I *know* for a fact there are procedures for handling WCBD (w/ "Dry" Batteries). Passengers can take their batteries with them in the cabin while the wheelchair itself is checked. If the batteries are not removable it's a no-go. It is most certainly not uncommon and we know how to handle it accordingly. Unless Canada has specific regulations, I don't understand how something like this could have happened if there weren't a reason to back it up. I have yet to see a model like this gentleman had, so I don't know if it fits the criteria.
Long story short on my reservations: passengers are generally, well.... a little dumb. Also take into account any newspaper will spring on a situation if United is involved.

That being said, I will not make a judgement on this story and I don't know if these threads do this board any good honestly. There is too much potenitally muddled information in this case as well as many others. The courts will reach a hopefully fair decision.

Apologies if I missed any details.


I think we can reasonably infer the battery is removable because in the article, there is a reference to a "spare battery" - which we can reasonably interpret as a battery that can be removed and replaced.
 
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Moose135
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:36 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
But to add insult to Injury? I still had to go to Work as I worked Swing shift All I got was 2,5 hours Straight time for going to court and $20 for my parking.

Talk about first world problems...
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
c933103
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:51 pm

spinotter wrote:
enilria wrote:
Not sure this is United's fault, but these battery restrictions create all kinds of problems. This one is very sad.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary — because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

"Having to crawl across the floor in front of my wife is the most humiliating thing that I can think of," said Hodge. "It unmasks how real my disability is … I haven't been the same since."

The 68-year-old retired contractor from Kelowna, B.C., lost his left arm and right leg in a 1984 workplace accident. He now relies on a portable scooter powered by lithium batteries.

But on a trip to Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 26, 2017, an agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and a United Airlines official told Hodge to remove the $2,000 battery from his scooter and fly without it, as well as his spare battery.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5109369


Do I dare say, "First world problem"? I love how people go into an absolute ecstasy of self-pity - which is not in any way something to make one proud of the human race. My skeptical self whispers that they think it will increase their jury award.

You thought technology aren't helping third world at the same time either?
Peace cannot counter violence when violence are being used by the powerful without mercy. #HongKong
But there is one possible exception. That is if the world could come together and make those who use violence lose their power. #China
 
YYZLGA
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:30 am

This is a sad situation. I'm surprised this issue doesn't come up more often and there isn't an established procedure for dealing with it. To clarify a few misconceptions, Canada doesn't have juries in these types of civil trials. I'm also a little bit surprised that he chose Tulsa as his anniversary vacation destination.
 
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zeke
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:48 am

Caspian27 wrote:
More accurately, a failure of the customer to read in advance what is approved for transport (lithium batteries can never go in the cargo compartments) but blame the airline anyway. I feel for the guy, but we have lost a lot of personal accountability in our modern society.


I suggest you read the IATA guidance on mobility aids


https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr ... 019-en.pdf
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
OccupiedLav
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:29 am

WeatherPilot wrote:
He must have a crutch to move around crowded areas. I'm pretty sure he's not driving the big scooter around the small hotel room. And he was so embarrassed to have to crawl in front of his wife of 43 years they decided to film it? ok...

"No hon, don't use the crutch, get on the floor and crawl around. I'll get the camera. This'll do great in front of a jury."


Yeah this looks like another case of people trying to get some extra $$$ in a lawsuit. Sure, it may have been hard for this guy, and I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is for him to do routine tasks that most people take for granted, but I have a hard time believing they were left with no other choice than to have him crawl around.
 
Babyshark
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:58 am

OccupiedLav wrote:
WeatherPilot wrote:
He must have a crutch to move around crowded areas. I'm pretty sure he's not driving the big scooter around the small hotel room. And he was so embarrassed to have to crawl in front of his wife of 43 years they decided to film it? ok...

"No hon, don't use the crutch, get on the floor and crawl around. I'll get the camera. This'll do great in front of a jury."


Yeah this looks like another case of people trying to get some extra $$$ in a lawsuit. Sure, it may have been hard for this guy, and I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is for him to do routine tasks that most people take for granted, but I have a hard time believing they were left with no other choice than to have him crawl around.


Agree. That’s where the BS flag gets raised. The option is not my wheelchair with lithium batteries or I have to crawl in shame.

And we have a plan in an aircraft for battery fires, but there is a size limit. Life has limits.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1200
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:39 am

OccupiedLav wrote:
Sure, it may have been hard for this guy, and I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is for him to do routine tasks that most people take for granted, but I have a hard time believing they were left with no other choice than to have him crawl around.

"They" as in "The airline staff"? Because how they could be okay with such a situation baffles me. Did they see him crawl, decided "Not my fucking problem" and looked away? That's the other side of a lack of personal accountability. Getting a wheelchair for a disabled man is probably not within their job description so why should they care about some idiots personal problems.
 
Chasensfo
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:06 am

So...are those batteries good for travel per Canadian/United Airlines regulations? If the answer is "no", then I see no story here other than "passenger doesn't read the screen at check in to verify dangerous goods that will not be allowed". I can't imagine life as an amputee, but that doesn't mean safety regulations don't apply. Ask the people who have evacuated aircraft after cellphones exploded, or the families of the flight crew of the Asiana Cargo and UPS 747s.
 
clancy688
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:28 am

Just to make sure everyone here has read the critical piece of information in this article, because it sure looks like to me that most haven't:

Lithium-ion batteries are a potential fire hazard, but global standards issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) allow people with disabilities to travel with compact lithium batteries for medical devices in carry-on luggage.

Hodge said no one from CATSA or United Airlines would listen to him or read IATA documents he had printed out, showing his batteries are permitted on board if an airline gives prior approval. Hodge had received that permission.
 
speedbird52
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:36 am

Whenever I find myself thinking too highly of humanity I just come to this forum and read the comments on a thread about a passenger being mistreated by an airline
 
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CARST
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:08 am

The rules are very clear on Li-Ion batteries. The man should have known better. Sorry that he lost a leg and an arm, but if I want to travel wit ha massive battery-powered scooter, I sure would check with the airline before the flight.

This is purely bad planning from the pax side. The airline is 100% not at fault here. End of story.


The stupid fucking tabloid media of course has to report such bullshit. Because it's a scandalous headline that makes the people click on it. The airline should sue for defamation. Imagine how many passengers the airline will loose through this piece of crap article. This is not free speech, this is not free press, this is just wrong reporting to generate traffic / sales / make money. Absolutely disgusting.
 
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zeke
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:17 am

CARST wrote:
The rules are very clear on Li-Ion batteries. The man should have known better. Sorry that he lost a leg and an arm, but if I want to travel wit ha massive battery-powered scooter, I sure would check with the airline before the flight.

This is purely bad planning from the pax side. The airline is 100% not at fault here. End of story.


You are wrong, lithium batteries for mobility devices may be carried if installed in the device, or if they have been removed by the user carried in the passenger cabin. The airlines prior approval is required.

Airlines all over the world carry lithium batteries that are installed in devices (like new iPads) in the cargo holds on passenger aircraft as long as they are properly packaged and declared. What is not carried is lithium batteries not contained in devices. They can still be carried in cargo only aircraft.

From the article the passenger had the prior approval from the airline to transport the mobility aide and batteries.

From IATA

“Wheelchairs/Mobility Aids with Lithium Batteries

The batteries must be of a type which meets the requirements of each test in the UN Manual
of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3.

Where the battery is removed by the user, if the mobility aid is specifically designed to allow it to be, following the manufacturer’s instructions, the battery must not exceed 300 Wh, or for a device that is fitted with two batteries required for its operation, each battery must not exceed 160 Wh.

If the battery is not removed, there is no limit to the Wh rating for the installed battery(ies)

A passenger may carry a maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares each not exceeding 160 Wh.

Any battery removed from the mobility aid and any spare batteries must be carried in the passenger cabin. The removed or spare batteries must be protected from damage (e.g. by placing each battery in a protective pouch).”
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:39 am

zeke wrote:
CARST wrote:
The rules are very clear on Li-Ion batteries. The man should have known better. Sorry that he lost a leg and an arm, but if I want to travel wit ha massive battery-powered scooter, I sure would check with the airline before the flight.

This is purely bad planning from the pax side. The airline is 100% not at fault here. End of story.


You are wrong, lithium batteries for mobility devices may be carried if installed in the device, or if they have been removed by the user carried in the passenger cabin. The airlines prior approval is required.

Airlines all over the world carry lithium batteries that are installed in devices (like new iPads) in the cargo holds on passenger aircraft as long as they are properly packaged and declared. What is not carried is lithium batteries not contained in devices. They can still be carried in cargo only aircraft.

From the article the passenger had the prior approval from the airline to transport the mobility aide and batteries.

Even in we accept the claim that they had prior approval, that still means limits applied to what batteries were allowed. There are certainly batteries that aren’t allowed despite prior approval to carry batteries in general, also for the model this gentleman used. Nowhere is it stated what battery they used thus we don’t know who was wrong.
 
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zeke
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:52 am

Jetty wrote:
Nowhere is it stated what battery they used thus we don’t know who was wrong.


It was stated in the article that the airline had given prior approval. That approval only comes after the type of mobility aide and batteries have been provided by the passenger to the airline.

“Hodge said no one from CATSA or United Airlines would listen to him or read IATA documents he had printed out, showing his batteries are permitted on board if an airline gives prior approval. Hodge had received that permission.”

I have a lot of sympathy for this passenger. Able bodied passengers take for granted the amount of planning needed for a person with this level of mobility to travel. It is a significant undertaking.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:07 am

zeke wrote:
Jetty wrote:
Nowhere is it stated what battery they used thus we don’t know who was wrong.


It was stated in the article that the airline had given prior approval. That approval only comes after the type of mobility aide and batteries have been provided by the passenger to the airline.

How do you know this? United’s public information suggests otherwise because it only says to give advanced notice without mentioning any requirement to specify the type of battery. It does clearly specify which batteries are allowed and which are not, thus I wouldn’t see the need for United to approve a specific type of battery in individual cases either.
 
Jetty
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:19 am

zeke wrote:
Jetty wrote:
Nowhere is it stated what battery they used thus we don’t know who was wrong.


It was stated in the article that the airline had given prior approval. That approval only comes after the type of mobility aide and batteries have been provided by the passenger to the airline.

The type of aide and batteries shouldn’t have been a problem, it is the capacity that might have been.
 
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zeke
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:11 pm

Jetty wrote:
The type of aide and batteries shouldn’t have been a problem, it is the capacity that might have been.


I have difficulty believing that. Typically there are staff specifically trained in the airline head office that provide the permission from the airline, they regularly process these sort of requests. It is a regimented process. The battery type and capacity would be part of the checklist.

Also passengers with this level of mobility would have experience with the process and requirements as they live it 24/7.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Jetty
Posts: 1044
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:22 pm

zeke wrote:
Jetty wrote:
The type of aide and batteries shouldn’t have been a problem, it is the capacity that might have been.


I have difficulty believing that. Typically there are staff specifically trained in the airline head office that provide the permission from the airline, they regularly process these sort of requests. It is a regimented process. The battery type and capacity would be part of the checklist.

I can't be sure what United asks or what was asked in this specific case, but I have no difficulty believing they would have only asked about type and not capacity because I know that's what other airlines do. Air Canada on the form they use for this purpose i.e.: https://www.aircanada.com/content/dam/a ... r_form.pdf

The protocol for such a conversation should of course include to refer to check the general requirements on the website, which United does provide. That's where it might have went wrong on the passengers part. Doesn't have to be of course, but I was just making the point that with the facts we know we can't know for sure United was wrong.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: 'I had to crawl': Amputee seeks damages after United Airlines and airport security seize scooter batteries

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:48 pm

Perhaps he failed to mention the scooter was battery operated when he checked with the airline ? What I don't get, is that he has been an amputee since 1984, but that he hasn't encountered this problem before ? I know Li-ion batteries haven't been around that long and that the regs have tightened in recent years but surely he must have been aware there might be an issue ? As an amputee myself I can sympathise, but as soon as I know I'm flying, I e-mail the airport(s) with my details, normally there's a passenger assistance unit who will deal with disability issues and also at the airline too. Someone in that position ought to be savvy enough to ask if the buggy is battery powered. It sounds like the 'lithium ion' part of the conversation somehow got omitted. Even so, surely the batteries could have been removed and carried in the cabin ?

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