Although aggravated, I must say, the worker who assisted me in baggage claim was great! She located my scooter and gave me the news that it wouldn’t be arriving until 8:30 pm. Well, I did not receive my scooter at all during my stay in Seattle. Not until I returned to the airport to go back home. I missed my flight trying to retrieve it, but that’s another story.
Fortunately, the airline gave me a loaner scooter. Sad to say, airlines not only lose mobility devices, but they also break them.
Even though I was glad to have wheels, the loaner didn’t fit me. It had no arm rests and I was afraid I was going to hit a bump and fall out. It had no basket for me to store my purse and the seat sat too close to the steering wheel, making it difficult to steer. Like I always say, not all mobility devices fit all people. Still, with all that, I made it happen because I wasn’t going to let anything mess up my trip.
There needs to be a serious call to action to airlines about accessibility because situations like mine happen too often. Because I didn’t have my scooter when I got off the plane, I wasn’t able to use the restroom independently, get food, and had to reschedule ground transportation.
After contacting and complaining to the airline’s corporate office, my favorite guy and I were given a credit for our flight, which wasn’t the full price of what we paid. I don’t understand how this is right because taking away a person’s mobility device is just like taking away a person’s legs. I depend on my scooter to get around and I love it. I love my scooter so much, I even gave it a name, Cherry!
Will I fly again? Yes! I will never transfer from my scooter into a wheelchair in the airport lobby again. From now on, I’ll be known as the woman of many questions while in the airport.
Shari Cooper is a public relations assistant at Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley.