According to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) between January and August 2019, U.S. airline carriers reported having mishandled at least 6,915 wheelchairs. That’s an average of 29 times a day or about 1.6% of all wheelchair damages that were gate-checked by the airlines.
A new federal law requires airlines to tell the DOT how many passengers travel with a wheelchair or mobility scooter and how often people report those medical devices as damaged.
Airlines wheelchair damage
From January 1 to August 31, 2019, airlines damaged 6,915 wheelchairs or about 1.6% of all that were gate-checked.
Some experts believe that the real number of mishandled wheelchairs is likely much higher than 29 per day since many passengers don’t formally report damages to the airlines.
Percent of mishandled wheelchairs ranked by airline
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation