Reverse American Airlines discriminatory policies against people with disabilities
This petition made change with 8,470 supporters!
I am outraged to hear that American Airlines has created a new policy banning people using power wheelchairs from flying. This is straight up discrimination.
American Airlines, the largest airline in the United States, recently put in place a limit on the weight of a wheelchair (anything over 300lbs) and now many power wheelchairs are deemed too heavy to fly on smaller regional jets.
Most power wheelchairs are customized to people's individual needs, to support health and ensure safety. From custom seating, to motorized functions, or ventilation equipment, this new ban means majority of power wheelchair users are prevented from flying unless they leave their wheelchair's behind. Estimates show that there are at least 250,000 to 300,000 people in the United States alone who use a complex power wheelchair that weighs over 300 pounds.
"My wheelchair has been carried on this exact flight on this same aircraft at the same airline so many times. Nothing has changed. Not on the wheelchair's part. The aircraft hasn't changed. The only thing that has changed is that the airline has made a decision to exclude me" said John Morris in a recent interview with NPR after he was denied access to a flight.
Did you know that prior to COVID, roughly 30 wheelchairs were being damaged a day in the US?
American Airlines has often had one of the worst rankings on those lists of airlines that damage or lose wheelchairs. In the most recent report from the Department of Transportation, for July, American mishandled 1.95% of the wheelchairs and scooters it carried, ranking 16th of 17 airlines.
Like many, I have personally had my wheelchairs damaged or totaled. I have faced extreme discrimination, emotional trauma and physical harm.
What the entire travel industry needs to do is redesign wheelchair handling and overall customer care for people with disabilities...not further isolate and discriminate paying customers.
I am calling for an immediate reversal of this new discriminatory policy by American Airlines, and further, a complete and comprehensive review of how American Airlines addresses customers with disabilities in designing new policies moving forward.
Please sign this petition!
#CripAmericanAir to end ableism in travel.
[image credit: John Morris, wheelchairtravel.org]
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