Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters by Airlines

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) now includes the number of wheelchairs and scooters checked and mishandled by the 12 reporting airlines. The damage statistics are now required for the monthly consumer reports following Paralyzed Veterans of America’s lawsuit against the DOT, and subsequent Congressional action in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. This new information has been long-sought by disability rights organizations, led by Paralyzed Veterans of America, whose members say damaged equipment is one of their most common travel hassles.

January 2019:

 
RANK CARRIER JANUARY 2019
NUMBER OF WHEELCHAIRS AND SCOOTERS ENPLANED NUMBER OF WHEELCHAIRS AND SCOOTERS MISHANDLED PERCENT OF WHEELCHAIRS AND SCOOTERS MISHANDLED
1 DELTA AIR LINES NETWORK 12,670 107 0.84
- DELTA AIR LINES 10,239 91 0.89
- BRANDED CODESHARE PARTNERS 2,431 16 0.66
2 ALLEGIANT AIR 863 11 1.27
3 UNITED AIRLINES NETWORK 6,845 88 1.29
- UNITED AIRLINES 6,160 69 1.12
- BRANDED CODESHARE PARTNERS 685 19 2.77
4 ALASKA AIRLINES NETWORK 1,632 23 1.41
- ALASKA AIRLINES 1,297 20 1.54
- BRANDED CODESHARE PARTNERS 335 3 0.90
5 HAWAIIAN AIRLINES NETWORK 573 10 1.75
- HAWAIIAN AIRLINES 573 10 1.75
- BRANDED CODESHARE PARTNERS 0 0 0.00
6 JETBLUE AIRWAYS 1,213 30 2.47
7 SPIRIT AIRLINES 1,360 42 3.09
8 FRONTIER AIRLINES 772 25 3.24
9 SOUTHWEST AIRLINES** 4,352 178 4.09
10 AMERICAN AIRLINES NETWORK 2,835 167 5.89
- AMERICAN AIRLINES*** 2,271 130 5.72
- BRANDED CODESHARE PARTNERS 564 37 6.56
  TOTAL 33,115 681 2.06

* All U.S. operating airlines with at least 0.5 percent of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenues, as determined by DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

**Southwest informed the Department that for a portion of January 2019, it reported mishandlings of all power-assisted and manual wheelchairs and scooters; however, Southwest stated that its enplaned wheelchairs and scooters number did not include any manual wheelchairs enplaned by the carrier. Southwest has disclosed to the Department that it will have the ability to reliably capture manual wheelchairs enplaned on or after January 15, 2019, in its enplaned wheelchairs and scooters number submitted to the Department.

***American informed the Department that for January 2019, it reported mishandlings of all power-assisted and manual wheelchairs and scooters; however, American stated that its process for determining the enplanement number of wheelchairs and scooters may not have consistently accounted for all wheelchairs and scooters enplaned. American has also stated that this process may have impacted American’s wholly- owned subsidiary Envoy and American’s other branded code share carriers ExpressJet and SkyWest. American has indicated to the Department that it is enhancing its process to reliably capture all reportable enplaned wheelchairs and scooters, which may take a few months.
 

Full report from transportation.gov


Earlier reports:

December 2018 Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters | Full report from transportation.gov

Read our press release in response to the report.