American Airlines staff mishandling a wheelchair caught on video, company reacts | Trending - Hindustan Times

American Airlines staff mishandling a wheelchair caught on video, company responds

Nov 23, 2023 02:00 PM IST

The incident reportedly happened in Miami International Airport at Terminal E between gates E8 and E9.

A video depicting an American Airlines employee offloading a passenger’s wheelchair from a plane has gone viral on social media, resulting in outrage among netizens. The video, posted initially on Tiktok, also made its way to other platforms. The disturbing clip shows the employee recklessly tossing a passenger’s wheelchair down a ramp.

American Airlines staff mishandling a passenger’s wheelchair. (X/@DefectiveBecca)
American Airlines staff mishandling a passenger’s wheelchair. (X/@DefectiveBecca)

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“Wheelchair users have been trying for ages to raise awareness about their wheelchairs being broken so often when they fly, and the devastating impact this has on them. @AmericanAir baggage handlers decided to give a demonstration of how much they enjoy breaking them,” reads the caption along with the video shared on X by user Becca Peter.

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The user also shared a screenshot of the caption that the creator of the video shared on TikTok, along with the video. It reads, “Dang. After I saw them do this and laugh with the first two wheelchairs, I had to get it on film. That is not what I would call ‘handling with care’ for someone’s mobility device.”

Yet another screenshot on the X thread claims that the incident happened in Miami International Airport at Terminal E between gates E8 and E9.

The now-viral video shows a staff releasing a wheelchair down a plane ramp, where it crashes into a metal barrier and rolls before another employee picks it up.

Watch the viral video here:

After the video gained significant attention on social media, an airline spokesperson told HuffPost, “We recognize 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.”

The video even caught the attention of the 19th United States Secretary of Transportation. He replied to this tweet and wrote, “This is totally unacceptable. We’ll be investigating. This is exactly why we are taking action to protect passengers who use wheelchairs. Everyone deserves to travel safely and with dignity.”

Check out how others reacted to the video:

“So disgusting. Custom wheelchairs are extremely expensive & take forever to receive. It can be six months to a year after ordering to get one. Insurance only covers one every five years or so. You can’t just go to Walmart and buy one. This is people’s legs! Treat them that way,” posted an individual.

Another added, “It’s brutal. I’ve had mine broken before. It’s the equivalent to breaking an able bodied passenger’s legs. It’s literally an extension of our bodies.”

“Guess I’ll rethink flying American Airlines in the future. Wonder if other airlines do this to wheelchairs too?” expressed a third.

A fourth commented, “I am enraged seeing this.”

“One time, this company kicked me out of a rental wheelchair because I looked “too young” to need it, and my dad had to carry me out of the airport, disappointed but not surprised,” claimed a fifth.

A sixth joined, “Absolutely disgusting, I hate flying and how they basically don’t care about mobility aids getting destroyed.”

“This is outrageous,” remarked a seventh.

The video was shared on November 20. It has since accumulated over 7.1 million views, and the numbers are quickly increasing. What are your thoughts on this?

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    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times' Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online.

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