I am very disappointed by my in last trip with United Airlines. My husband is in a wheelchair and we were treated as second class. First you took apart his custom wheelchair and did not put it together correctly. That was our first flight. On our second flight you "forgot" to preboard us, even though we checked in 2 hours early and were waiting for you. Instead you decided to use the isle chair and lift my husband in front of a full air plane. This is the most humiliating thing to someone who can not help the fact that they are medically unable to walk. After you kept saying that he should just walk or stand, if he could he would. Your insensitivity and humiliation of my husband was unacceptable. Then after a long flight we landed at our destination the crew came out to lift my husband out of the seat and into the isle chair then treated him in an inexcusable manner. My husband said he was uncomfortable and it was hurting when he was lifted as they scraped his side along the seat. The man lifting him told him that he was ok and that he couldn't feel it anyway. How dare you tell my husband what he can and cant fell. Just because a man is in a wheelchair and can not walk doesn't mean that he has no feeling. He was not fine. You bruised him and cut a huge gash in his side. He was bleeding while you told him to be quiet and that he was fine. This is inexcusable. And to make it worse I have left messages with your comment line and emailed in and I have received nothing. Not even an apology for treating my husband and I so horribly. Is it your normal practice to harm and humiliate a handicapped man and then never address concerns about your airline? We have never been treated so horribly by an airline before.
This is a photo of my husband's side the next day. After it had begun to scab. This does not look like something that he seamed to be making up, as your crew insinuated.
Maybe now I will get a response when more than just your employees can see my complaint.
Here is the photo:
Another significant problem that prevents people with a disability from flying or causes at minimum great angst is damage to expensive equipment such as wheelchairs. Most people I know that use power wheelchairs either do not travel at all or use a manual wheelchair when they fly. This severely restricts their ability to function and can cause potential health related problems. Not many people, for good reason, are willing to risk damage to frightfully expensive and hard to repair power wheelchairs. Even annual wheelchair are terribly abused. I have had my wheelchair severely damaged many times. The problems I encounter and typified by the story above are symbolic of stigma associated with disability. Yes, I can get on a plane. Yes, I can fly to any city in the nation. What I cannot do is travel without significant worry. My worries are not garden variety travel concerns but rather worries that could impact my life for months on end. Wheelchairs are not easily fixed. Wounds such as the one above take weeks or months to heal. At no point in my life am I more aware of my disability than when I fly or try to access mass transportation. This is never easy, problems abound physically and socially. Of one thing I am--I will not stop traveling no matter how poorly I am treated. I have rights and I am not about to giver them up. I merely wish the bipedal hordes that surround my might offer a wee bit of support.