Flying with American Airlines, Complaint

Photo of the aisle chair of American Airlines. The seat has no pad at all, only a thin plastic cover.

Complaint about bad aisle chair and damaged wheelchair

Complaint sent to AA on 9.9.2022

On my flight from CLT to LHR the aisle chair was not equipped to cater for people with disabilities: The seat was hard and so was the back, without any protection – making it very likely to harm body parts with bruises.

Also, it was hardly doable to push the aisle chair while using it on the way to the toilet. The female flight attend (FA) was doing her best, but we were continuously bumping into seats on our way to the restroom. It took a very long while (around ten minutes!) to get from the seat to the toilet due to the fact that the chair was hard to be controlled increasing the danger of getting bruises.

Side note: I informed the FA shortly after take off, that I am a wheelchair user and that I would need the aisle chair. I also let her know, that on the other flight with AA (LHR – CLT) there were problems in pushing the aisle chair to the toilet. We agree that we would „figure it out“. Still, when I wanted to use the restroom it took more than 20 minutes before my call was noticed from a FA. It then took a further 20 minutes before the aisle chair was ready. That is not appropriate!

One more point: In London I realized that my wheelchair has been damaged. Both of the side panels of the wheelchair were massively scratched and battered and need to be replaced. (Note: During boarding I asked to put my wheelchair into the onboard wheelchair storage, but although my wheelchair is very small and foldable it would not fit into the designated space!).

Question: Does AA listen to its customers using a wheelchair? How come, that the aisle chair is not properly designed? How come that the accessible seats are so far away from the restroom that it gives both involved persons – the FA who pushes the chair and the passenger – such a hard time? Why is the mandatory cabin space too limited for a small chair such as mine?

I hope you can address these issues, offer a proper compensation and work to making the flying experience for disabled passengers significantly better!

Close up of wheelchair wheel and side panel. Side panel shows scratches and bending.

Wheelchair side panel damaged (scratched and battered) through not careful handling

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