Warning: Undefined array key 0 in /var/www/vhosts/nybreaking.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/monumetric-ads/libs/advertisement.php on line 49

Furious passenger blasts American Airlines and Delta after TWO wheelchairs were damaged and destroyed during separate trips in the same year

An angry passenger has called for more training from airlines after two of her wheelchairs were damaged and destroyed on two different flights in the same year.

Deanna Vaillancourt-Thompson, from Illinois, has taken aim at American Airlines and Delta after both her manual and power wheelchairs became inoperable on two separate trips.

Her troubles began in April 2023 when she flew from San Francisco to Charlotte on American Airlines en route to the Psychiatric Service Dog Partners Convention.

When she got off the plane, she was frustrated to discover that her manual wheelchair had a broken brake lever and completely flat tires, meaning she couldn’t use it.

“The guy who brought my wheelchair up said, ‘Oops, sorry,’” Ms Vaillancourt-Thompson said USA today.

The incident left her “terrified” about future travel and, to her dismay, history repeated itself just eight months later in December when a second brand new wheelchair was completely destroyed on a Delta flight.

Deanna Vaillancort-Thompson, from Illinois, criticized American Airlines and Delta after both her manual and power wheelchairs became unusable on two separate trips

After the American Airlines experience in April, she was forced to use the seat as a walker to get to her hotel, where she managed to re-inflate the tires. However, there was no quick fix for the broken brake lever.

Then, shockingly, on the return trip to San Fransico, the mobility device suffered further damage and the airline lost “the other brake lever,” she claims.

Ms Vaillancourt-Thompson, who uses the wheelchair due to ongoing complications from a car accident, revealed: ‘Every time I fly, no matter what airline it is, I always get flat tires and missing brake levers.’

She adds that it took Global Repair Group, which contracts with American Airlines to repair mobility equipment, six weeks to send her the replacement parts and she had to make the repairs herself.

In a statement to USA todayAmerican Airlines said, “American is committed to supporting the independence of our customers who travel with wheelchairs and assistive devices.

‘A member of our team has been in contact with the customer to apologize and fully repair the device.’

Despite her anxiety after this experience, she took a new power wheelchair on another flight eight months later.

This time she flew from San Francisco to Orlando, Florida and back with Delta Airlines.

Ms Vaillancourt-Thompson, who uses the wheelchair due to ongoing complications from a car accident, revealed: 'Every time I fly, no matter what airline it is, I always get flat tires and missing brake levers'

Ms Vaillancourt-Thompson, who uses the wheelchair due to ongoing complications from a car accident, revealed: ‘Every time I fly, no matter what airline it is, I always get flat tires and missing brake levers’

Her nightmare continued when her ‘brand new’ electric wheelchair was destroyed during the journey.

She admits it was handled perfectly from San Francisco to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Orlando and then from Orlando to Saly Like City on the way home.

But during the fourth leg of the trip, from Salt Lake City to San Francisco, her seat was completely unusable when she landed on December 7.

Ms Vaillancourt-Thompson claims the frame was so bent that the seat was unusable and the joystick was cracked and hanging from the harness.

This time, it took over a month until January 24 for Delta’s device repair company Scootaround to replace her seat, as well as her Apple airtag that had been lost in transit.

She added that the airline gave her and her husband $500 each toward future travel and that a customer service representative arranged for her to speak with baggage handlers in San Francisco to ensure this did not happen again.

In a statement, Delta told USA Today: “While the majority of Delta’s scheduled scooters and wheelchairs are handled with care, we understand the frustration that comes from falling short.

‘We apologize for this customer’s experience and have since supplied a replacement wheelchair and offered additional compensation in an effort to make matters right.’

However, the two incidents that occurred so close together have left travelers extremely concerned about future travel.

She is going to another dog convention this spring and is already worried about what will happen. She adds, “I wish the airlines would be a little better trained and show a little more compassion when dealing with this kind of medical equipment.

“If I didn’t have to use my seat in South Carolina, I probably wouldn’t take it.”