Mishandled Wheelchairs

Airlines that provide the best (and worst) care for your wheelchair

When traveling by plane, passengers have an expectation to arrive safely and on time. But a recent USAFacts ranking shows that not all airlines provide those expectations to travelers that use wheelchairs or other mobility devises.

Every day in the US, approximately 2,000 people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids board a plane. Federal regulations don’t allow passengers to remain in their wheelchair during flights, so they must take a seat while their wheelchair is stored in the cargo hold.

In March 2023, one in every 65 mobility aids (wheelchairs, powerchairs, scooters) loaded onto airplane cargo holds were mishandled — either lost, damaged, or delayed — during transport. That’s nearly 900 people whose mobility aids were not returned in their expected condition in a single month. In comparison, one in 175 checked bags were reported as mishandled.

Some airlines have a worse track record than the rest. Spirit Airlines mishandled approximately one out of 16 mobility aids, and JetBlue mishandled around one in 22. This is 12 and 7 times more frequent than the rates at which these airlines mishandled bags, respectively.

Here’s the complete USAFacts ranking, listed by the percentage of wheelchairs mishandled (worst to best):

  • Spirit – 6.3%
  • JetBlue – 4.6%
  • PSA – 2.4%
  • Hawaiian – 2.1%
  • Frontier – 1.9%
  • Alaska – 1.7%
  • Envoy – 1.6%
  • American – 1.6%
  • Southwest – 1.5%
  • Skywest – 1.2%
  • United – 1.1%
  • Endeavor – 0.9%
  • Delta – 0.7%


Visit to read more about this topic.



Leave a Reply


Recent Posts From PN Online

error: Content is protected !!
Skip to content