Airline FAIL: Man Says United Lost His Wheelchair, So They Sent Him Another Passenger's
Fontana resident John Ramirez says that United lost his wheelchair when he flew to Mexico last March—and he hasn't seen it since then.
Ramirez lost his right leg as a child and needs his wheelchair to get around. In the meantime he's been using crutches, but he told KTLA that he's sick of getting the runaround from United.
"I faxed a property request," Ramirez explained to KTLA. "I sent the tag that was on my luggage that was for my wheelchair, because my wheelchair was taken from the gate up to the plane."
But United seems to be pretty suspicious of his claim since they also do not have a record that Ramirez ever had a wheelchair. They're asking for him to send in the receipt for his wheelchair or a picture of himself in the wheelchair to prove that he's not some kind of fraud. KTLA caught the testy exchange between United and Ramirez.
Charlie Hobart, a spokesman for United Airlines in Chicago told Ramirez, "We are not being unreasonable. Do you know how many claims we file a year?"
Ramirez fired back, "To be honest, I don't care how many claims. I just want my wheelchair. I'm not asking for money. I've been asking for my wheelchair for three or four months."
At some point in the past few months United did send Ramirez a wheelchair but it very clearly was not his. It had a tag on it that identified it as the property of a woman in Honolulu, but it seems that United couldn't be bothered to check the tag and call up the rightful owner. KTLA gave the number on the property tag a ring and found out that United had lost the owner's wheelchair when she flew through Houston. United sent her a new replacement but the owner was eager to have her old one back. As is Ramirez, we're sure.
United offered up this statement: "Mr. Ramirez's claim is pending as we wait for him to provide any documentation -- such as a purchase receipt, information about the wheelchair's purchase, or a photograph of himself with his wheelchair -- to enable us to verify the claim is not fraudulent."