Airlines Behaving Badly

Message
Author
PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#21 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Nov 07, 2023 12:00 am

Wheelchair passenger says he had to drag himself off Air Canada plane

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/air- ... index.html

For most people, arriving for a trip to Las Vegas brings excitement, mixed with a little trepidation.

But for Rodney Hodgins, who traveled in August, his flight into the city was an experience so traumatic, he says, that it ruined the rest of his trip.

Hodgins, a wheelchair user, says that he had to drag himself along the aisle, helped by his wife, when mobility assistance staff from the airport didn’t turn up to assist him. He says that Air Canada staff instructed him to disembark on foot – despite the fact that he can’t walk – so that they could turn the plane around.

Hodgins – who has spastic cerebral palsy – can support his own weight but cannot move his legs.

Hodgins and his wife Deanna were flying from Prince George in British Columbia to Vancouver, and then Vancouver to Vegas in late August. It was a special occasion – their first wedding anniversary.

The couple had married in 2022 in Vegas, and this was to be a chance to enjoy Sin City without wedding planning or stress. Hodgins had booked six days in a suite at the fancy Delano Las Vegas hotel, as a surprise for Deanna. “He’d planned the whole trip – he was heartbroken when it went sideways,” she says.

‘We thought he was kidding’
The narrow aisles on commercial passenger aircraft generally cannot accommodate wheelchairs onboard – although an innovative new idea aims to resolve the problem – so users are usually asked to leave their chair at the door of the plane, where it is loaded into the hold. The passenger then transfers into their seat with an aisle chair – a narrow, notoriously uncomfortable implement – by airport assistance staff. Upon landing, the reverse happens.

Because of his condition, Hodgins generally needs two or three members of mobility assistance staff to help him in the aisle chair – and the couple say they informed Air Canada of his requirements when they booked the assistance alongside the flights, eight months ahead of travel.

But while the first flight went according to plan, when the second one landed, Hodgins says that nobody turned up to assist him off the plane for 20 minutes.

“When we landed in Las Vegas we were happy. It was Vegas, it’s warm, it’s beautiful, we were ecstatic,” says Deanna Hodgins.

But then reality hit.

The couple say that about 20 minutes after landing, while they were in their Row 12 seats, watching the power chair being removed from the hold and brought up to the jetbridge, a male flight attendant walked over and asked them to walk to the front of the plane. The reason? They needed to prepare for the next flight, he said.

“We thought he was kidding at first, because everyone was in such a good mood,” says Deanna Hodgins.

“He was the flight attendant – he was there the whole flight – he saw my husband be brought on the flight with an aisle chair. So we laughed, thinking it was absurd.”

But the flight attendant wasn’t joking.

“He insisted that the plane had to turnaround, and had another flight, and we needed to get off,” she says.

“We started panicking. We were like, what do you mean we have to get off? We can’t – his wheelchair’s out in the jetway. We didn’t know how we were going to do that.”

But, they say, the flight attendant continued to insist.

As they were pointing out that Hodgins couldn’t walk, they say, one person arrived from mobility assistance to help with the aisle chair – the only person during the incident to treat them kindly, they say.

Passenger needed more assistance
Rodney Hodgins said he wants to use the incident to raise awareness of what people with disabilities have to cope with while flying.

Hodgins needs more than one person to maneuver him into the chair – but he says this staffer told him that nobody else was coming. “I’ve radioed twice, there’s no one here,” he told them.

The couple decided to wait, assuming that someone else would eventually turn up. Meanwhile the cleaning crew worked their way down the plane and the cabin crew appeared to be discussing what to do with the pilots and staff on the jetway.

Finally, as the cleaning team reached their row, the Hodgins still felt pressure to move, says Deanna Hodgins. “They were like, ‘we have to turn this plane around.’ That’s when Rodney finally just said, ‘We’re going to have to get off this plane somehow – I’m just going to have to drag myself.”

“There was no way I could get to the front of the plane because of course I can’t walk,” Hodgins tells CNN. “I was pretty ticked off, but I told my wife to help me up on my feet. I can’t really move my legs so my wife had to go on the floor and help me [move them].” Hodgins supported himself by holding onto seats on either side of the aisle as his wife moved his legs. With her on the floor and him dragging himself with his arms, they managed to go the whole 12 rows.

But when they reached the galley area ahead of the front row, there was nothing more for him to hold onto – and still no sign of any assistance staff. “I had to get my wife in front of me and hold me up with her shoulders,” he says.

They called for the staffer with the aisle chair to bring it – he’d been sitting further back in the plane as they struggled to the front – and managed to maneuver Rodney into it, with the help of Deanna, to get off the plane and into his power chair, which had been waiting for them at the aircraft door the whole time.

The incident had a knock-on effect on their trip to Vegas, they say, as Hodgins had sustained physical damage. “He couldn’t even get in the shower for three days,” says Deanna.

The airline passengers getting 'unacceptable' treatment
Seeking resolution and change
In an email from the airline to the couple in response to the Hodgins’ account of how they were treated, seen by CNN, Air Canada says that, “Based on the information we currently have available, we have to regrettably admit that Air Canada was in violation of the disability regulations.”

Air Canada said in a statement released to CNN that they had tried emailing and then called the couple to apologize offered compensation to Hodgins for his “upsetting travel experience.”

“The level of care that should have been provided at the destination airport was not. We use the services of a third-party wheelchair assistance specialist in Las Vegas to provide safe transport on and off aircraft. During our investigation into what happened, we determined the flight attendants followed procedures, including offering assistance that was declined. Following our investigation into how this serious service lapse occurred, we will be evaluating other mobility assistance service partners in Las Vegas.”

The airline declined to offer specifics in response to CNN’s questions about the Hodgins’ allegations.

Enforcement officers of the Canadian Transportation Agency are investigating the incident, the agency told CNN.

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, has called on Air Canada to meet this week with him and Canada’s Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities.

“I was horrified to learn about another incident on an Air Canada flight. All Canadians must be treated with dignity and respect. Full stop,” Rodriguez said in a statement, adding that the airline “must present a plan to address this.”

Deanna Hodgins says that a female flight attendant offered to carry their bags – but is adamant that no other assistance was offered. “They didn’t offer assistance to move him in any way, or assist us in moving him, at any time at all.”

And while Air Canada appears to be blaming mobility assistance staff, the Hodgins lay the blame firmly at the feet of the airline.

“It wasn’t the transport crew that told us to get off the plane,” says Deanna Hodgins.

Looking for ‘dignified treatment’
The airline has sent them $2,000 in flight credits, but the couple were hoping for something rather cheaper: time.

“Rodney was hoping that someone high up from Air Canada would just have a human to human decent conversation about how it made him feel, just to make him feel human again,” say Deanna.

“Just to say, ‘Hey, this is how you failed. And this can never happen again. And this is kind of the policies that we’d like to see you put in place, because you can say sorry all you want, but until you do something, it doesn’t mean much.’

Hodgins now wants to use the incident to raise awareness of what people with disabilities – roughly one in six of the global population – have to cope with while flying.

He also wants to campaign for more effective penalties for airlines and airports that fail their special assistance passengers, suggesting that if passengers haven’t been helped off the plane within 15 minutes of reaching the gate, airlines should be fined.

Rodney Hodgins celebrated his 50th birthday this month – but the couple, who try to travel as much as possible, canceled their trip. “We were so scared something would go wrong on the flight,” says Deanna.

“We didn’t want special treatment. We just wanted to fly, and we just wanted dignified treatment. No one’s asking for special treatment – just simple assistance.”

PP

User avatar
tango15
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 2363
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:43 pm
Location: East Midlands
Gender:
Age: 79

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#22 Post by tango15 » Fri Nov 10, 2023 8:03 pm

It seems that there may be more to the forced landing of the Ural A320 in Godknowswhereski than we were led to believe. Note the highlighted paragraph. I wonder if that's why the aircraft hasn't been moved? It can't be too far off snow time where it is currently.

https://avherald.com/h?article=50e4701a&opt=0

PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#23 Post by PHXPhlyer » Wed Nov 22, 2023 4:24 am

A video of American Airlines workers mishandling a wheelchair is spreading outrage on TikTok. Data shows this happens thousands of times a year.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/video-americ ... 48592.html

A video of American Airlines mishandling a wheelchair has been generating outrage on TikTok.

In the video, workers send a wheelchair speeding down a long ramp before it flips and crashes onto the tarmac.

Data from the Department of Transportation shows this happens thousands of times a year.

A video of American Airlines workers mishandling a wheelchair has been generating outrage on TikTok. And data shows baggage handlers actually damage or destroy mobility devices thousands of times a year.

A TikTok user posted a video from Miami airport over the weekend that shows a baggage handler sending a wheelchair racing down a long ramp and crashing onto the tarmac while an American Airlines worker stands by before casually picking it up and plopping it on a luggage cart.

https://v16m-default.tiktokcdn-us.com/0 ... =e00008000

The poster commented, "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 id call "handling with care" for someones mobility device."

The video, which has already been viewed over 730,000 times, received thousands of comments from people expressing their outrage over the mishandling of the wheelchair, with some users sharing their own experiences of airlines wrecking their mobility devices.

"This visual is deeply concerning and we are gathering more details so that we can address them 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 our handling of assistive devices across our network."

Data from the Department of Transportation shows that in 2022, the top 10 US-based airlines lost, damaged, or destroyed 11,389 wheelchairs and scooters.

Out of a total of 741,582 wheelchairs and scooters the airlines transported, that amounts to about 1.5% that were mishandled, according to the data.

The airlines with the most incidents reported in 2022 were Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways, both with over 5% mishandled, followed by American Airlines, with more than 2% mishandled, according to the DOT's data.

American Airlines added in its response to Business Insider that it routinely provides training to its staff on how to handle mobility devices and that it is installing wheelchair movers and lifts at some airports to lower the risk of damage.

The company did not respond to a question asking if it reimburses passengers whose devices have been damaged.

The average cost of a wheelchair ranges from $500 to $1,500, with the most expensive power wheelchairs reaching up to $30,000, according to Freedom Motors.

PP

User avatar
llondel
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 5847
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:17 am
Location: San Jose

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#24 Post by llondel » Wed Nov 22, 2023 5:52 am

Sounds like the solution to that one is some sort of wheel locking device fitted by the owner so it doesn't roll.

PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#25 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Dec 24, 2023 6:00 pm

Spirit Airlines put an unaccompanied child on the wrong plane
Fort Myers, Florida, television station WINK-TV identified the child as a 6-year-old first-time flyer who was supposed to visit his grandmother.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sp ... rcna131071

Spirit Airlines has apologized after it mistakenly put an unaccompanied child on the wrong flight during the holiday season travel rush.

The child was supposed to fly from Philadelphia International Airport to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers on Thursday. But the minor was “incorrectly boarded” on a flight to Orlando, according to the airline.

“The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them,” Spirit said in a statement Saturday.

“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our Guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation,” the airline added. “We apologize to the family for this experience.”

Spirit did not provide any information about the child or explain how the mistake happened. WINK-TV, a television station in Fort Myers, identified the child as a 6-year-old first-time flyer who was supposed to visit his grandmother.

“I ran inside the plane to the flight attendant and I asked her, ‘Where’s my grandson? He was handed over to you at Philadelphia?’ She said, ‘No, I had no kids with me,’” Maria Ramos, the boy’s grandma, told WINK-TV.

Fortunately, Ramos’ grandchild called her and said he had landed — 160 miles away. She told WINK-TV that she wants answers.

“I want them to call me [and] let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando,” Ramos said. “How did that happen? Did they get him off the plane? The flight attendant — after mom handed him with paperwork — did she let him go by himself? He jumped in the wrong plane by himself?”

PP

G-CPTN
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7539
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:22 pm
Location: Tynedale
Gender:
Age: 79

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#26 Post by G-CPTN » Sun Dec 24, 2023 7:24 pm

I believe it is called 'Air Experience'.

PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#27 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Dec 29, 2023 4:44 pm

PHXPhlyer wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2023 6:00 pm
Spirit Airlines put an unaccompanied child on the wrong plane
Fort Myers, Florida, television station WINK-TV identified the child as a 6-year-old first-time flyer who was supposed to visit his grandmother.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sp ... rcna131071

Spirit Airlines has apologized after it mistakenly put an unaccompanied child on the wrong flight during the holiday season travel rush.

The child was supposed to fly from Philadelphia International Airport to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers on Thursday. But the minor was “incorrectly boarded” on a flight to Orlando, according to the airline.

“The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them,” Spirit said in a statement Saturday.

“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our Guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation,” the airline added. “We apologize to the family for this experience.”

Spirit did not provide any information about the child or explain how the mistake happened. WINK-TV, a television station in Fort Myers, identified the child as a 6-year-old first-time flyer who was supposed to visit his grandmother.

“I ran inside the plane to the flight attendant and I asked her, ‘Where’s my grandson? He was handed over to you at Philadelphia?’ She said, ‘No, I had no kids with me,’” Maria Ramos, the boy’s grandma, told WINK-TV.

Fortunately, Ramos’ grandchild called her and said he had landed — 160 miles away. She told WINK-TV that she wants answers.

“I want them to call me [and] let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando,” Ramos said. “How did that happen? Did they get him off the plane? The flight attendant — after mom handed him with paperwork — did she let him go by himself? He jumped in the wrong plane by himself?”

PP
Spirit gate agent no longer working for airline after escorting child to wrong flight

https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/29/travel/s ... index.html

Spirit Airlines says the person who escorted a child onto the wrong flight last week is no longer working for the company. The 6-year-old was supposed to fly from Philadelphia to visit his grandmother in Fort Myers, Florida, but ended up on a flight to Orlando instead.

“To better understand what occurred, we immediately launched a thorough internal investigation and discovered that a gate agent in Philadelphia (PHL) escorted the child to the incorrect aircraft,” Spirit Airlines said in a statement. “This agent is no longer working with Spirit, and any individual whose actions resulted in the incorrect boarding will be held accountable for failing to follow our procedures.”

The airline previously apologized for the error. In its latest statement, Spirit added, “We are also reiterating our procedures to the team, and we are in communication with the child’s family about this matter.”

Spirit said the child was under the supervision of a Spirit employee the whole time.

Panic set in for Maria Ramos, who was identified as the child’s grandmother, after the plane her grandson was initially supposed to be on landed and he wasn’t on it, she told CNN affiliate WINK-TV.

She said she had to drive nearly 160 miles from Fort Myers to Orlando on December 21 to pick up the boy.

PP

PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#28 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:01 pm

Again?
Teen traveling alone on Frontier Airlines from Tampa accidentally flown to Puerto Rico

The 16-year-old was supposed to fly to Cleveland. His father said the gate agent did not scan his boarding pass.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/te ... rcna131691

In what appears to be an ongoing theme this holiday season a 16-year-old boy traveling by himself from Tampa, Florida, was accidentally flown to Puerto Rico, Frontier Airlines said, offering an apology to the family.

The teen was supposed to fly to Cleveland, Ohio, on a Dec. 22 flight out of Tampa International Airport but "mistakenly boarded a different flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico," a spokesperson for the airline company said.

Both flights departed from the same gate, with the San Juan flight departing first, Frontier said.

The teen was immediately flown back to Tampa and put on a flight to Cleveland the following day.

Ryan Lose told "NBC Nightly News" that his son, Logan Lose, was nervous about flying alone for the first time and checked with the gate agent before boarding his flight. Ryan Lose said the agent checked his son's baggage and looked at his boarding pass but did not scan it.

When the plane landed in Puerto Rico, Logan frantically texted his family.

"I could feel the fear in the text messages. I could feel how scared he was," the teen's father said. "My heart pretty much sank at that point because there was nothing I could do."

The teen eventually arrived in Cleveland, where he was visiting his mother for Christmas, on Dec. 23.

Frontier Airlines said it allows children 15 and older to fly alone and does not have an "unaccompanied minor program" that provides escorts for minors.

"Frontier has extended its sincere apologies to the family for the error," the spokesperson said.

In a separate incident last week, a 6-year-old child flying on Spirit Airlines from Philadelphia to Fort Myers, Florida was incorrectly put on a plane headed for Orlando. The airline said the agent responsible was no longer working for the company.

PP

PHXPhlyer
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Location: PHX
Gender:
Age: 69

Re: Airlines Behaving Badly

#29 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:35 pm

No Lights, No Food, No Recline: The 5 Hour American Airlines Flight Where Even The Toilets Were Shut Off

https://viewfromthewing.com/no-lights-n ... -shut-off/

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/america ... 024-a.html

American Airlines reportedly sent a redeye flight from Los Angeles to New York on February 2 without working electrical systems. There was only emergency lighting in the cabin. Flight attendants couldn’t prepare food in the galley of the cross country flight, and business and first class seats didn’t have power so could not recline.

According to a passenger who reported on FlyerTalk.com that they were seated in first class seat 3F, “The cabin exit strips and the emergency light in toilets were illuminated [but] toilets did not flush.”

Cross country flight AA28, scheduled to depart at 10:47 p.m. and land at New York JFK at 7:00 a.m. the next morning, is operated by American’s premium Airbus A321T, a product that is beginning the process of being eliminated. It has coach, business class, and a Flagship First Class seat as well.


American Airlines A321T Flagship First Class

Passengers in Flagship First Class – something no other U.S. airline offers – were given “no food, 1 cocktail.” Flight attendants tried to perform service but their “flashlights were running out of power” as the flight progressed.

But the lack of food even in first and business class, and an inability to recline into the bed that American had promised to customers, was the least of passenger concerns: “Toilets were disgusting people were peeing in the sinks since they drain.” (I imagine those sinks looked like the ones on this Delhi flight.)


American Airlines A321T Business Class

I was somewhat skeptical of the story at first, because the aircraft in question appears to have spent less than two hours on the ground in New York before flying Westbound to Orange County and wasn’t hasn’t spent significant time out of service. However I reached out to American Airlines more than day ago about the incident and haven’t heard back. I will update this post if they respond.

It seems strange to me for American Airlines to make the decision to proceed with the flight without power in the cabin, no meals, no reclining premium seats. Every customer in a premium cabin should get their money back, since they did not receive the product that was sold to them (and if they were in business they they did not just buy “transportation from A to B”).

Delay the flight for a fix, or if not possible in a reasonable time announce to passengers:
We need to operate this aircraft to New York
As a courtesy we will permit you to travel in your assigned seat
However if you opt not to, this is essentially an involuntary denied boarding
We will provide you lodging and meals for the night as well as rebooking options

American Airlines A321T At New York JFK

American Airlines has flown New York to Chicago without a lavatory before but passengers knew in advance they’d have to hold it for the duration of the trip. (On a flight to Hawaii, American told passengers to go in a bottle when the lavatories became inoperable.)

On the other hand, an American flight from New York to London turned back when only four of the plane’s 12 lavatories went inoperative on the argument that passengers congregating for the remaining lavatories was becoming a security risk.

Apparently passengers on the Los Angeles – New York redeye did not receive any proactive apology message or compensation from the airline.

PP

Post Reply