Wheelchair denied to disabled customer

Old May 22, 17, 3:42 pm
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Wheelchair denied to disabled customer

CEO Doug Parker: I have sent many emails to your customer relations department. They refuse to forward anything to you. Including the certified letter I sent addressed to you. In regard to an incident on October 30th 2015 where American Airlines refused a wheelchair to its disabled passenger, my husband.

Late that night, our flight was cancelled due to weather. My husband cannot walk due to a stroke and his personal wheelchair was in baggage as we were not at our final destination. We needed to leave the airport and go to a hotel for the night to be able to continue our journey the next day. We either needed his chair out of baggage or just a loaner chair for the night. Each time I asked for a wheelchair I was immediately informed there were none available. No one checked to see if any were available, they just told me either "there's nothing I can do" or there are no wheelchairs available". Each time I asked, no one checked to see if there were any available, they just said we can't help you.
American Airlines left their disabled customer in the DFW airport with no wheelchair until the early hours of the following day. He was helpless and no one came to his aid. Even though American Airlines had possession of his wheelchair.
1) American Airlines refused to provide a wheelchair to its disabled passenger when his connecting flight was cancelled.
2) American Airlines had possession of his personal wheelchair.
3) American Airlines kept a disabled man and his family helpless in the DFW airport until the early morning hours of the following day causing him severe nerve pain.
4) This pain, along with the fact they destroyed his personal wheelchair, kept him from continuing his journey.
5) His journey was to ATTEND HIS MOTHER'S FUNERAL.
Please someone, tell me how to forward this email to Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines.
I have been informed by one customer relations employee that he will never see my certified letter. Tim Shore told me that he had seen my letter, then backtracked to say he hadn't seen my letter and that as a very important executive of American Airlines he would not have time to give any attention to the fact that his airline abused its disabled passenger and destroyed his wheelchair.
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Old May 22, 17, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by drenees View Post
CEO Doug Parker: I have sent many emails to your customer relations department. They refuse to forward anything to you. Including the certified letter I sent addressed to you. In regard to an incident on October 30th 2015 where American Airlines refused a wheelchair to its disabled passenger, my husband.

Late that night, our flight was cancelled due to weather. My husband cannot walk due to a stroke and his personal wheelchair was in baggage as we were not at our final destination. We needed to leave the airport and go to a hotel for the night to be able to continue our journey the next day. We either needed his chair out of baggage or just a loaner chair for the night. Each time I asked for a wheelchair I was immediately informed there were none available. No one checked to see if any were available, they just told me either "there's nothing I can do" or there are no wheelchairs available". Each time I asked, no one checked to see if there were any available, they just said we can't help you.
American Airlines left their disabled customer in the DFW airport with no wheelchair until the early hours of the following day. He was helpless and no one came to his aid. Even though American Airlines had possession of his wheelchair.
1) American Airlines refused to provide a wheelchair to its disabled passenger when his connecting flight was cancelled.
2) American Airlines had possession of his personal wheelchair.
3) American Airlines kept a disabled man and his family helpless in the DFW airport until the early morning hours of the following day causing him severe nerve pain.
4) This pain, along with the fact they destroyed his personal wheelchair, kept him from continuing his journey.
5) His journey was to ATTEND HIS MOTHER'S FUNERAL.
Please someone, tell me how to forward this email to Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines.
I have been informed by one customer relations employee that he will never see my certified letter. Tim Shore told me that he had seen my letter, then backtracked to say he hadn't seen my letter and that as a very important executive of American Airlines he would not have time to give any attention to the fact that his airline abused its disabled passenger and destroyed his wheelchair.
Did you ask for a complaint resolution officer (CRO) at the airport. One should have been demanded. Even if they didn't want to they had a duty to unload his wheelchair or make another reasonable accomdation (loaner wheel chair). Did you check and see if the hotel would have one? I some times have to use one and most major hotels (Hiltons, Westins, Marriotts, etc) have wheelchairs for use in the hotel. Thus they could have wheeled to car, loaded, and then wheeled to room.

If they have failed to respond then you need to file a DOT compliant. I recently had to do this myself. I had surgery on my knee and thus it was immobilized. I thus qualifed for bulkhead seating. Booked in F and checked in early enough (1 hour before departure by DOT rule) to request bulkhead. Agent refused to move passenger though the law required it. I left complaint with AA. AA agent who claims to specialize in disability called me, and tried to shrug off the complaint and that they didn't need to move a passenger since I wasn't at the gate 1 hour prior. (It was a connecting flight) I pointed out that the rule was checked in 1 hour and it became clear the specialist had no clue what they were talking about. DOT representative has told me they've been shocked by the lacking level of knowledge/outright lies this employee has shown.
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Old May 22, 17, 4:24 pm
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the DOT will be hearing from me!

i have gone back and forth with customer relations and all I get is the same I got that night. They are so sorry that happened to us but there is nothing the can do. They consider this matter closed. I am needing another way to get word to Doug Parker.
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Old May 22, 17, 4:26 pm
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I was stuck overnight in DFW due to weather and they refused to pull my bag. Other airports don't seem to have this problem. They were quite unfriendly about it too. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that you don't have one central bag claim, but many small bag claims each centered around a single conveyor.
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Old May 22, 17, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by drenees View Post
In regard to an incident on October 30th 2015 where American Airlines refused a wheelchair to its disabled passenger, my husband.
Are you really talking about an incident that happened a year and a half ago? And after no satisfactory response from AA in all that time, you haven't file a DOT complaint?

If you've been sending certified letters to Parker all this time without satisfaction, I doubt any more contact with AA is going to help.
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Old May 22, 17, 6:49 pm
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There isn't enough information here.

Had you contacted special assistance prior to your departure and/or booking? If he couldn't move at all without a wheelchair, had you arranged for an on-board wheelchair for both segments? Was your connecting flight also with AA?
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Old May 24, 17, 3:37 pm
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What resolution are you expecting from AA at this point?
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Old May 24, 17, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Alfonso XIV View Post
Are you really talking about an incident that happened a year and a half ago? And after no satisfactory response from AA in all that time, you haven't file a DOT complaint?

If you've been sending certified letters to Parker all this time without satisfaction, I doubt any more contact with AA is going to help.
Originally Posted by kb9522 View Post
There isn't enough information here.

Had you contacted special assistance prior to your departure and/or booking? If he couldn't move at all without a wheelchair, had you arranged for an on-board wheelchair for both segments? Was your connecting flight also with AA?
yes yes and yes. They just left us sitting in the airport helpless.

Last edited by JY1024; May 25, 17 at 10:12 am Reason: Merged consecutive posts
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Old May 25, 17, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by drenees View Post
yes yes and yes. They just left us sitting in the airport helpless.
Okay... so how did he get off the plane? Is there a reason you're hesitant to share the full story?
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Old May 25, 17, 1:43 am
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Yeah not sure if the full story is being told... Whenever I travel with my dad (he's disabled) and I make a complaint to AA via their website, I always get a pretty fast response from someone who makes a reference to "CFR 14 Part 382" even though my complaint was about something else. It seems like they really don't want to get penalized by the DOT when it comes to the Air Carrier Access Act. AA has been pretty good about apologizing for this stuff IME and I'm not sure what you want from them almost 1.5 years later?
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Old May 25, 17, 6:01 am
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I'm sorry to hear about your incident. Not knowing the details behind it, but seeing that after more than 1.5 years you seem to hold a big grudge against AA and are not satisfied with the response you have received from them. Most certainly a complaint to the DOT regarding the incident is warranted, though you've taken some time to do so, however, the complaint should also be written, as that way the DOT collects the data and forwards it to AA, which needs to respond back to the DOT. You mentioned in post 8 that you called the DOT a couple of month back and asked a question and the DOT was less than he???? Not sure what you mean with that, but calling the DOT may not get you anywhere, you need to lodge a formal complaint on line, this is the link: https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escompla...nsumerForm.cfm
You need to be precise with the details and leave the unrelated items out, attending funeral, anger, etc.

It would be helpful if you can temper your anger and provide us with details of the incident. We do not work for the airline, we are group of frequent travelers and we share our stories and help each other out. This is a very large and varied community. This way maybe someone can properly aid you, or guide you towards the right direction, or perhaps provide you with an explanation on what happened, whether positive or negative.

The way you approached us, by basically asking how we can forward a year and half old complaint to Doug Parker, without providing any details other than a person with disability was left unattended for by AA after canceling the flight is not helpful. You are not going to get someone to say, sure, his address is:
D Parker
123 Street
City, State, Zip
and his personal direct cell phone is:
123 456 7890
his email address is:
[email protected]

Or, I will pass this to him.
No one here has answers to the above, but there is protocol to follow on how to submit a complaint.

I'm surprised that after all this time, you have not contacted the AAPD, or even the help of local news when this happened. It seems that all you want is for D Parker to hear about your incident.

Have you received any compensation for the broken wheelchair?

Last edited by arollins; May 25, 17 at 8:17 am
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Old May 25, 17, 9:36 am
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BTW, Doug Parker's email is [email protected].
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Old May 25, 17, 10:12 am
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This is the number to AA's disability team. They are a special group that assists in passengers with special needs.

800-892-3624

Two thoughts. Have you contacted the Americans with Disabilities Act Enforcement group? They are tasked with making sure that people with disabilities are not just ignored. They are at 800-514-0301........this is not a complaint number though. This is there general 800 number, I would start by indicating you had a serious issue at a major US airport and were told that no wheelchairs were made available.

What is Doug going to do though? and I mean this in the kindest possible way. What do you want from Doug? I work for a very large and well known firm, we have a lot of people calling up and demanding to speak to our owner. (we are privately held) Nobody ever gets through to him that way. Ever. It's just not the way to do it unfortunately.


Good luck to you.
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Old May 25, 17, 10:30 am
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I wish we knew the full story...both plusses and minuses. Then we could be candid and honest in helping the OP.
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Old May 25, 17, 10:54 am
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There is a lot missing here. But, the bottom line is that what is way in the past is way in the past. Because this is a public forum and there are others who may need disability assistance or various accommodations, the time to deal with these issues is on the spot.

As to the specific situation, do not check the wheelchair until the gate. At the gate, the chair will be checked just like a piece of valet luggage --- even on mainline --- and brought back to the gate area with strollers and the like. In this way, OP is assured that his wheelchair stays with him even on a connection.

But, if you do make an error and check the chair through and the employee you are speaking with is not helpful, simply ask for the duty Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO). That may be nobody special, but it is someone who has direct dial #'s and the like and can retrieve the wheelchair even though other checked luggage is not. While it was gracious of you to ask for a loaner wheelchair, it's really up to AA and I suspect that it's easier to pull a wheelchair than loan an item which AA may not own.

This is not an out of the routine problem --- IRROPS for handicapped passenger who needs an item --- and a CRO should be able to fix this in a few minutes.

As to writing, simply use the webform online. Using certified mail is great because it reduces the Postal Service's deficit, but does nothing and all that happens when emails, paper and the like arrive is that they are forwarded to or scanned into the CRM database where they would have been had you used the webform.
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