Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air Canada | Aeroplan
Reload this Page >

Passenger forced to drag himself off flight after AC failed to provide wheelchair

Passenger forced to drag himself off flight after AC failed to provide wheelchair

Old Oct 27, 2023, 10:50 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: YXE
Programs: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fraggle Rock
Posts: 119
Passenger forced to drag himself off flight after AC failed to provide wheelchair

Holy macaroni this is bad...

Passenger forced to drag himself off Air Canada flight after airline failed to provide wheelchair assistance

I honestly don't understand how somebody couldn't find this poor man the proper wheelchair so he could disembark.

Last edited by Adam Smith; Nov 6, 2023 at 12:02 am Reason: Fixed formatting
Norcanair is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 12:20 am
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,973
Originally Posted by Norcanair
Holy macaroni this is bad...

[size=13px]Passenger forced to drag himself off Air Canada flight after airline failed to provide wheelchair assistance[/size]

I honestly don't understand how somebody couldn't find this poor man the proper wheelchair so he could disembark.
"The Hodgins said they decided to share their experience after seeing a high-profile story about Stephanie Cadieux, Canada's chief accessibility officer."

I suspect we're going to see a lot of stories about how AC has a much bigger problem than one prominent example.

But also... how do you stand there watching someone crawl along the floor and not offer to help in any way you can?

And how do you not have a wheelchair on board?
canadiancow is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 12:48 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK *G
Posts: 3,014
The incident seems too bizarre to be true but so are the countless number of examples of AC mistreating passengers in different ways. I wonder what would happen if the passenger just say he couldn't move and insisted on waiting for a wheelchair.
songsc is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 1:37 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Ottawa, Canada + Edinburgh, Scotland
Programs: AC SE, Star Alliance Gold
Posts: 711
An Air Canada flight crew, including the pilot, co-pilot, two flight attendants and eight cleaning staff watched, but didn't intervene.

Obviously these people arent going to step in to carry him or something like that, but do any of them have even a lick of sense? The pilot should have immediately stepped forward and asked the man to wait just a moment more and then found a way to solve the problem. Theres no way a major American airport wont have loads of those wheelchairs and the pilot has standing to find and commandeer one. At least they should have commiserated wildly and told him they would immediately raise this issue at the highest levels, taken his name, and so on. It sounds like this didnt happen.

In the article AC says theyre sourcing a new provider in Vegas, but they need to talk to this crew as well.
flyingcrooked is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 6:46 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: EVA Air , * G, QR Privilege Club S
Posts: 4,905
I find it bizarre too that they did not even have one Wheel Chair available. I presume that they had a wheelchair outside the gate but did not have one that would fit the aisle? If so the wheelchair pushers normally help the passengers in and out of the chairs and so the one on the jetty could have helped.
Davvidd is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 9:09 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2023
Location: YUL find me in Montreal
Programs: Air Canada SE, Bonvoy Gold, Hotels.com Gold
Posts: 643
Wouldn't surprise me one bit if it was the exact same flight attendants that told those other people to sit in vomit. Same route....
warrens is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 9:24 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sun Peaks, Taupo.
Programs: NZ Elite, AC SE100K, Westjet Teal, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Nexus, Global Entry
Posts: 6,059
An Air Canada flight crew, including the pilot, co-pilot, two flight attendants and eight cleaning staff watched, but didn't intervene.

This part is mind boggling.

Reminds me of being next in line to load on a chairlift last ski season, two parapalegic fellows in front who use chair skis, one didnt get his chair ski high enough and was shoved forward onto his face by the chairlift.
The staff stopped the lift and just stood there, no clue what to do or willingness to try.
We kicked skis off, asked the fellow how he would like to be lifted, did it and all was good. Was an easy solution, got the guy back, restored a little of his dignity and most importantly kept the chairlift moving (skiers will get the sarcasm there)

Point being that so many people today are too stupid, uncaring, inept or oblivious to step in help someone when they need.
It is not difficult to help, just need to ask and theyll tell you.
taupo is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 10:48 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK *G
Posts: 3,014
The problem may not be all about the staff. When their employer does not provide much support to them or even gets them in trouble for doing the right thing, their sympathy and common sense will wear out pretty quickly. Remember that ACs problem isnt just the frontline staff, it starts from the top.

After talking to some small shop owners in the rougher part of the town, the TTC bus drivers, police officers, etc, and learning about what they have encountered on a pretty much daily basis, its easy to understand why they react to certain things very differently. Likewise, its not surprising that many AC frontline employees shows no sympathy and do the bare minimum, and get extremely defensive and dismissive once they sense a customer is trying to raise a concern. I bet that the wheelchair issue at LAS or in general is pretty well known to staff and something was holding them back to do the right thing, therefore they all showed zero sympathy.

As for AC trying to source a new wheelchair service provider, to me this sounds like the equivalent of I am fed up with AC and will fly WS instead.
songsc is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 11:48 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 10
Tip of the iceberg

Happens more often than you think. Our son had to carried off of an AC Q400 down air stairs in SEA on Thursday in the aisle chair by contracted ground crew. Dangerous for the passenger and ground crew. AC crew, while sympathetic, were more concerned about the aircraft turnaround for the flight back to YVR. Was told by lead FA to please send in a complaint. In all of the kerfuffle my wife forgot her IPad at her seat. AC check in staff were able to relay to GAs to get it back to us just before flight left. Sent a e-mail with photo to AC medidesk to try and get things setup for our return on Monday.

Last edited by choppertester; Oct 28, 2023 at 11:58 am
choppertester is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 11:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 7,939
Originally Posted by flyingcrooked
An Air Canada flight crew, including the pilot, co-pilot, two flight attendants and eight cleaning staff watched, but didn't intervene.
Sit long enough and several police officers will show up to assist with deplaning.
tracon is offline  
Old Oct 28, 2023, 8:30 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by tracon
Sit long enough and several police officers will show up to assist with deplaning.
We would welcome police assistance since our son cannot walk. Karma, Tracon, Karma.
choppertester is offline  
Old Oct 29, 2023, 1:08 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: YVR
Programs: UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Norcanair
Holy macaroni this is bad...

[size=13px]Passenger forced to drag himself off Air Canada flight after airline failed to provide wheelchair assistance[/size]

I honestly don't understand how somebody couldn't find this poor man the proper wheelchair so he could disembark.
In the US, airlines are under a legal obligation to accommodate passengers with disabilities. This incident happened in the US; I hope the passenger is following up with the US DOT. This is not just a customer service issue, its a human rights violation.
eigenvector is offline  
Old Oct 29, 2023, 1:48 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,482
Unfortunately, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't here.

Leave the chair behind? Awful humans.

Damage the chair trying to load it? Awful humans.

Don't have a spare plane lying around to accommodate? Awful humans.

If everything goes well, the chair is loaded and unloaded successfully. The guy gets where he's going relatively on time. etc

STILL you're just the airline providing a service, 99/100 no one is posting a glowing review about how well their chair was treated and how everything went fine. I'm by no means saying they should attempt to refuse the passenger, we all live in the same society and they cant do that. But unfortunately, it's basically a no win situation for the service provider here.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Oct 29, 2023, 5:42 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Ottawa, Canada + Edinburgh, Scotland
Programs: AC SE, Star Alliance Gold
Posts: 711
Isn't it more that you're damned if you don't, don't and don't? Eg if you don't bring the chair, if you don't load it properly, or if you don't have a way to fulfill your legal obligations (e.g., spare chair)? All the passenger is asking is that the airline fulfill its legal obligations. Yes, they don't get a glowing review when they do, any more than people post glowing restaurant reviews based just on the fact a restaurant's health and safety certificate is up to date rather than lapsed.

The reason it's a "no win" for the airline is that having adequate provision for people who use wheelchairs is a baseline requirement, not something they deserve special praise for.
flyingcrooked is offline  
Old Oct 29, 2023, 7:00 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: EVA Air , * G, QR Privilege Club S
Posts: 4,905
Originally Posted by flyingcrooked
Isn't it more that you're damned if you don't, don't and don't? Eg if you don't bring the chair, if you don't load it properly, or if you don't have a way to fulfill your legal obligations (e.g., spare chair)? All the passenger is asking is that the airline fulfill its legal obligations. Yes, they don't get a glowing review when they do, any more than people post glowing restaurant reviews based just on the fact a restaurant's health and safety certificate is up to date rather than lapsed.

The reason it's a "no win" for the airline is that having adequate provision for people who use wheelchairs is a baseline requirement, not something they deserve special praise for.
Exactly and the passengers are paying for flying that airline. It is not as if it is a charity and they fly the passengers free. I wonder what code was entered on the passenger's record? It also doesn't say if they had a wheelchair on the jetty. So this may also have created this whole mess.
Davvidd is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.