What can I do to make sure airlines won’t damage my personal wheelchair?
Airlines do, on occasion, damage the personal wheelchairs of travelers with disabilities. I have been a victim of this myself, but it has happened only a handful of times in more than 300 flights.
There are ways to reduce the risk of your wheelchair being damaged on the course of your journey. Follow these tips to make sure that your wheelchair arrives in one piece:
Stow your manual wheelchair in the aircraft cabin.
Most aircraft have a closet that can accommodate one collapsible wheelchair. If you are traveling with a manual wheelchair, ask for it to be stowed in this closet. Wheelchairs stored underneath the airplane in its cargo compartment are much more likely to be damaged by shifting baggage.
If your wheelchair has to be stored in the cargo hold, remove loose objects.
If you are traveling with a large, non-collapsible, or powered wheelchair that will not fit in the aircraft cabin, be sure to remove attachments that cold be damaged or lost beneath the plane. These include seat cushions, cupholders, foot and armrests, side guards, bags, tray tables, oxygen attachments, etc. All such attachments should be [...]