Gene J. Puskar/AP
Last year, US airlines mishandled 11,389 wheelchairs and scooters.
American Airlines is facing questions after footage from Miami Airport showed baggage handlers throwing a wheelchair down a ramp.
The chair hits the bottom with such force that it is catapulted off the chute.
In the caption, she wrote: “Dang, after I saw them do this and laugh with the first two wheelchairs I had to get it on film.”
She added that it wasn’t what she would call “handling with care” for a mobility device.
Viewers were upset at the footage, with one labelling it “sick”.
Another added that “these chairs cost upwards of $3k plus. They aren’t easily replaceable and insurance only covers new chairs every 5 years”.
”It’s 2023 and we don’t have a better way to handle wheelchairs?!?” was another comment.
American Airlines spokesperson Amy Lawrence told USA Today in a statement: “We recognise how important it is to support the independence of customers with disabilities by ensuring the proper care of mobility devices throughout their journey with us.
“This visual is deeply concerning and we are gathering more details so that we can address them with our team. We will continue to work hard to improve our handling of assistive devices across our network,”
Last year, US airlines mishandled 11,389 wheelchairs and scooters, reported the Washington Post. A bill has been introduced requiring the Transportation Department in the US to report on the type of damage that occurs to wheelchairs and mobility aids.
Wheelchair users have long complained about their treatment when flying.
Three wheelchair-users Olivia Shivas, Rebecca Dubber and Grace Stratton fly from Auckland to Dunedin to show what it’s like travelling with a disability (video published in August 2021).
Last month, Air Canada was forced to apologise after a disabled man had to drag himself off a plane when the airline failed to provide wheelchair assistance for him.
Last year, a Spanish airline also had to say sorry after a disability-rights advocate was forced to drag herself down the plane because there was no aisle chair onboard.