Well, well, well, hold on to your hats, folks, because there’s some jaw-dropping news about American Airlines making the rounds. A shockingly viral video has surfaced, showing some of their baggage handlers at Miami International Airport treating a passenger’s wheelchair like it’s a prop in a circus act. It’s been causing a real ruckus among those who cherish common sense and basic decency.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 23, 2023
In this mind-boggling video, which has racked up nearly 3 million views on TikTok alone, an American Airlines employee is caught releasing a passenger’s wheelchair at the top of a long, open baggage chute with all the care and delicacy of a bull in a china shop. As the wheelchair hurtles down the metal ramp, the employee on the ground couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger to prevent it from crashing into a metal gate, going airborne, and somersaulting multiple times before coming to a rest.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the employee then trots over as though nothing out of the ordinary just happened, and unceremoniously dumps the wheelchair onto a dolly with other mobility devices. The original poster of the video claims that this callous treatment wasn’t a one-off, alleging that the workers were having a good laugh doing the same thing to two other wheelchairs before the recording began.
Needless to say, this outrageous display of disregard for passengers’ property has ignited a fiery storm of outrage on the internet, with travelers coming forward to share their own horror stories of damaged mobility devices courtesy of American Airlines. Even Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg felt compelled to weigh in, expressing his disgust and vowing to launch an investigation into the matter. But wait, there’s more! Senator Tammy Duckworth, a wheelchair user herself, added fuel to the fire, slamming the incident as “infuriating” and calling for airlines to do much, much better.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, hold onto your seats because American Airlines responded to this whole fiasco with a tepid statement saying they are “reviewing the video” and will be taking “necessary next steps.” They also had the nerve to claim that they provide training for their teams to handle wheelchairs and other devices properly, despite being ranked 13th out of 15 carriers for incidents where mobility devices were damaged, according to US Department of Transportation figures.
So, if you needed any more reason to be skeptical of American Airlines’ commitment to treating passengers with respect, care, and dignity, well, here you go. This whole mess just goes to show that the only thing taking a nosedive at American Airlines is their handling of customers’ property.