- Delta sent a $30,000 electric wheelchair for a passenger to California instead of New York.
- The chair was damaged on my return trip.
- The passenger said, “I can’t believe anyone would treat a wheelchair the way I was treated.”
Delta smashed the $30,000 passenger electric wheelchair on a trip to Disney and then sent it on the wrong plane to an entirely different state on the way back.
Jessica D’Alonzo flew from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Orlando, Florida on July 16 with her parents on a trip to Disney World to celebrate her graduation from Queen’s College with a degree in Psychology.
“My chair came out of the plane smashed,” she told Insider.
Both the joystick and footplate were broken but her parents were able to fix them quickly because they brought tools and screws with them, she said.
But her experience on the way back a week later was much worse.
Delta didn’t put her chair down on the flight back to New York, instead sending it to California.
“After more than an hour of trying to figure out where the wheelchair is, we found out that Delta had put the wheelchair on a flight to Los Angeles,” Dalonzo said.
D’Alonzo said she got her chair back the next day after Delta flew it to LaGuardia via Atlanta, but it was badly damaged and unable to use.
She said the headrest and one armrest were torn, one of the wheel fenders broke, and the chair was making “a crackling sound which means something is wrong with the engine.” She said the air cushion, joystick arm and footplate also broke, and the chair arrived “very dirty and dusty.”
D’Alonzo said the chair is worth about $30,000.
“The wheelchair is made just for me,” she said. “I can’t use any other wheelchair that Delta gives me.”
She told Insider that Delta offered to pay for repairs or buy her a new wheelchair, and said she refunded her and her parents.
“We know that our customers with disabilities depend on Delta for their travel needs, and while the majority of wheelchairs and scooters designed by Delta are not handled, we understand the frustration that comes when we fall short,” a spokesperson said.
“We sincerely apologize for this customer’s experience and are definitely working with the customer to make things right through repairs and compensation.”
This was the first time that Dalonzo had flown with her electric chair. In the past, she’d always take a manual chair, which was also damaged but not to the same extent as her electric chair, she said.
“My wheelchair is my leg and I can’t believe someone would treat a wheelchair the way I was treated,” she said.
“I’m definitely angry,” D’Alonzo added. “They need to do a better job of handling medical equipment.”