A video of American Airlines mishandling a wheelchair has been generating outrage on TikTok.
In the video, workers send a wheelchair speeding down a long ramp before it flips and crashes onto the tarmac.
Data from the Department of Transportation shows this happens thousands of times a year.
A video of American Airlines workers mishandling a wheelchair has been generating outrage on TikTok. And data shows baggage handlers actually damage or destroy mobility devices thousands of times a year.
A TikTok user posted a video from Miami airport over the weekend that shows a baggage handler sending a wheelchair racing down a long ramp and crashing onto the tarmac while an American Airlines worker stands by before casually picking it up and plopping it on a luggage cart.
The poster commented, "Dang, after i saw them do this and laugh with the first two wheelchairs i had to get it on film. That is not what id call "handling with care" for someones mobility device."
The video, which has already been viewed over 730,000 times, received thousands of comments from people expressing their outrage over the mishandling of the wheelchair, with some users sharing their own experiences of airlines wrecking their mobility devices.
"This visual is deeply concerning and we are gathering more details so that we can address them with our team," American Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider, when asked specifically about the incident shared on TikTok. "We will continue to work hard to improve our handling of assistive devices across our network."
Data from the Department of Transportation shows that in 2022, the top 10 US-based airlines lost, damaged, or destroyed 11,389 wheelchairs and scooters.
Out of a total of 741,582 wheelchairs and scooters the airlines transported, that amounts to about 1.5% that were mishandled, according to the data.
The airlines with the most incidents reported in 2022 were Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways, both with over 5% mishandled, followed by American Airlines, with more than 2% mishandled, according to the DOT's data.
American Airlines added in its response to Business Insider that it routinely provides training to its staff on how to handle mobility devices and that it is installing wheelchair movers and lifts at some airports to lower the risk of damage.
The company did not respond to a question asking if it reimburses passengers whose devices have been damaged.
The average cost of a wheelchair ranges from $500 to $1,500, with the most expensive power wheelchairs reaching up to $30,000, according to Freedom Motors.
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