- Delta sent a passenger’s $ 30,000 power wheelchair to California instead of New York.
- The chair was damaged on both the outward and return journeys.
- “I can’t believe someone would treat a wheelchair the way mine was treated,” the passenger said.
Delta broke a passenger’s $ 30,000 power wheelchair on a trip to Disney and then sent it on the wrong plane to a completely different state on the way back.
Jessica Dalonzo flew from LaGuardia Airport, New York to Orlando, Florida on July 16 with her parents for a trip to Disney World to celebrate her graduation from Queens College with a degree in psychology.
“My chair came out of the plane broken,” she told Insider.
Both the joystick and footplate were broken but her parents were able to quickly fix it because they’d brought tools and screws with them, she said.
Her experience on the way back a week later, however, was much worse.
Delta hadn’t put her chair on the flight back to New York, sending it instead to California.
“After over an hour of trying to figure out where my wheelchair was, we found out Delta put my wheelchair on a flight to Los Angeles,” Dalonzo said.
Dalonzo got her chair back the next day after Delta flew it to LaGuardia via Atlanta but it was heavily damaged and she wasn’t able to use it, she said.
She said that the head rest and one of the arm rests were ripped, the fender on one of the wheels was broken, and the chair was making a “crackling sound which means something is wrong with the motor.” The air cushion, joystick arm, and one footplate were broken too, she said, and the chair arrived “really dirty and dusty.”
The chair is worth around $ 30,000, Dalonzo said.
“My wheelchair is custom made for me,” she said. “I cannot use any other wheelchair that Delta is offering me.”
She told Insider that Delta had offered to pay for the repairs or buy her a new wheelchair, and said that it had refunded both her and her parents’ flights.
“We know our customers with disabilities rely on Delta for their travel needs, and while the majority of wheelchairs and scooters enplaned by Delta are not mishandled, we understand the frustration that comes when we fall short,” a spokesperson told Insider.
“We sincerely apologize for this customer’s experience and are affirmatively working with the customer to make things right via repairs and compensation.”
This was the first time Dalonzo had flown with her power chair. In the past, she had always taken a manual chair, which had also been damaged but not to the same extent as her power chair di lei, she said.
“My wheelchair is my legs and I can’t believe someone would treat a wheelchair the way mine was treated,” she said.
“I’m definitely angry,” Dalonzo added. “They need to do better in handling medical equipment.”