We’re all a little anxious as we wait for our airline baggage after a flight. We hope that our suitcase will happily bounce down onto the conveyer belt and we can grab it and be on our way.
If our luggage is delayed or damaged in some way, it’s always a major irritant. We have to fill out forms and wait for the items to be returned or replaced.
But what if the damaged item is your wheelchair, walker or scooter? It then becomes much more than an inconvenience – it may literally cause you to be stranded at the airport for an indefinite period of time. This is especially true if it was a device specifically designed for you and your disability.
Fortunately, Congress has just passed a law that will make airlines more accountable. On October 5, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, H.R. 302, was signed into law. Among other things, this new law requires airlines to more closely track mobility devices on flights, as well as pay increased penalties for damaged equipment. Airlines are also required to enhance training for security officers on this issue.
One of our biggest challenges is to help people understand that our mobility devices are really an extension of ourselves, and should be treated as such. This new law brings us closer to that goal.
For more information, see the article below by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.