Airline wheelchair service not up to par

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation has revealed that about two-thirds of the 10,193 complaints passengers filed last year regarded wheelchair service.

Citing poor assistance, the complaints also told of incidents of damaged chairs, bad seating arrangements, long waits and difficult accessibility.

Senior attorney with Paralyzed Veterans of America, Bob Herman, was not surprised at all by the findings and said airlines on the whole were vastly unprepared for disabled passengers.

Statistics show that more than 17 million disabled passengers fly every year.

The government has promised to act and already a number of airlines have made some changes to their arrangements for those needing extra assistance.

America West doubled the number of wheelchairs at its gates in Las Vegas and Phoenix, while Delta has begun giving more training to its employees relating to disabled passengers.

Delta, Northwest, American and United received 60 per cent of the wheelchair-related complaints in the report.

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