- A video of American Airlines improperly operating a wheelchair has sparked outrage on TikTok.
- In the video, workers rush a wheelchair up a long ramp, only to have it tip over and crash into the asphalt.
- Department of Transport figures show this happens thousands of times a year.
A video of American Airlines employees misusing a wheelchair has sparked outrage on TikTok. Data shows that baggage handlers actually damage or destroy mobile devices thousands of times a year.
AND A TikTok user posted a video from the Miami airport over the weekend, showing a baggage handler sending a wheelchair down a long ramp and crashing onto the asphalt while an American Airlines employee stands nearby before casually picking it up and placing it on the baggage cart.
The poster commented: “Damn, when I saw them doing it and laughing with the first two wheelchairs, I had to capture it on film. “This is not what I would call ‘careful handling’ of someone’s mobile device.”
The video, which has been viewed more than 730,000 times, has received thousands of comments from people expressing outrage at the mishandling of the wheelchair, and some users have shared their own experiences with airlines destroying their mobile devices.
“This vision is deeply disturbing and we are gathering more details so we can address it with our team,” American Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider when asked specifically about the incident shared on TikTok. “We will continue to work hard to improve support for assistive devices across our network.”
Department of Transport data shows that in 2022, the 10 largest U.S. airlines lost, damaged or destroyed 11,389 wheelchairs and scooters.
According to data, of the total 741,582 wheelchairs and scooters carried by airlines, approximately 1.5% were wheelchairs that were mishandled.
According to Department of Transportation data, the airlines with the most incidents in 2022 were Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways (both with more than 5% mishandling), followed by American Airlines, with more than 2% mishandling.
In a response to Business Insider, American Airlines added that it routinely trains its employees to use mobile devices and that it installs wheelchairs and elevators at some airports to reduce the risk of damage.
The company did not answer the question whether it refunds money to passengers whose devices were damaged.
The average cost of a wheelchair ranges from $500 to $1,500, with the most expensive power wheelchairs reaching up to $30,000. by Freedom Motors.