Airline Issue-Missing Scooter

Have you ever lost something while traveling on an airline?

Perhaps, you’ve lost luggage, a phone, wallet, or even a purse. And, although upset and inconvenienced, none of these things stopped you from physically moving around.

If only I could have just lost my luggage when on my fall vacation to Seattle, Washington. The airline I flew with forgot to board my scooter on the plane while on a layover in North Carolina. Usually, I ride my scooter down the tunnel to board the plane and I’m usually the first to board. But, on this trip, I was asked by a TSA worker to transfer into a wheelchair while in the lobby. The TSA worker told me, he was going to take my scooter down on the elevator and it would be boarded on the plane.

For some reason, I felt physically sick after transferring. It’s like I had separation anxiety. Unfortunately, my feeling was validated. After getting off the plane in Seattle, my scooter was not waiting for me to roll-out and I was heated. My favorite guy was equally heated.

After asking several people where my scooter was, even maintenance, I was told it was probably in baggage. I knew then there was going to be a problem; for even if it was in baggage, it was broken. Have you ever watched how TSA handles baggage?

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 a whole other post for a different day.

Fortunately, the airline gave me a loaner scooter. Sad to say, airlines not only loose 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.

6 comments on “Airline Issue-Missing Scooter

  1. Michelle Cella on

    I am so sorry that happened to you Shari! I am grateful that it wasn’t broken but misplaced and that your spirit kept you going to be able to enjoy your trip. I don’t think any, if any at all, airport personnel realize what a scooter or wheelchair really means to those that use them! It is literally having no way to be able to physically move, and not all scooters and wheelchairs are the same! My aunt, who is a motorized wheelchair user, has had more than one of her devices broken beyond repair. And not only is it expensive to replace, it takes WEEKS if not MONTHS to get a new one!
    Love your spirit, Shari!!!

  2. Monae Dawson on

    Wow Shari! The things we take for granted. I pull from your positive energy every time the opportunity presents itself. You truly are remarkable with so much class. It’s hard to imagine life without full mobility because I’ve always had it. Thank you for making so many people aware of the many difficulties you could have faced yet, triumphed through. Now you have another testimony and an addition to add to your book.

  3. Danielle on

    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry that happened but I am glad that you made the most out of your stay. Not sure what I would have done or how I would have reacted in that scenario.

  4. Rick on

    Yikes!! Shari, my lost luggage experience earlier this year, pales in comparison to your experience! Thank you for sharing and making all of us aware of the challenges you and others overcome each and every day. You are a true inspiration!

  5. Mary Pfeil on


    What a stressful experience. I can relate and that is why I refuse to fly with my big power wheelchair. The airlines do not physically handle baggage or mobility devices with any care. When a mobility device is broken or misplaced, people do not understand what a profound inconvenience that is to someone who depends on a device for mobility. Furthermore, I wish people would understand that any wheelchair will do to adequately replace for the one that is custom fit to your needs. Wheelchairs are not toothbrushes; one size does not fit all. I have been hunting for a lighter weight portable power wheelchair that is more suitable for flying. I may have found one to purchase early next year.
    You always handle these very stressful situations admirably. May your next trip be more enjoyable!


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