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The airline twice forgot to take a passenger's wheelchair on board on flights to and from New York


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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Icelandair has paid a $2740 compensation to a passenger after it forgot to take his custom-made wheelchair on board. And twice! On transatlantic flights from Europe to New York and back, reports Insider.

Michael Strunk Christiansen flew from Copenhagen, Denmark to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to take a holiday with his wife in early July. The flight was with a transfer in Iceland.

Christiansen said he left his wheelchair at the Icelandair check-in counter before boarding a flight in Copenhagen.

Photo: Istock

Upon arrival in Iceland, the staff carried his wheelchair to the exit. But Christiansen told them he didn't need it because the airport provided him with a wheelchair for the 85-minute transfer.

After that, the staff did not return his wheelchair back to the plane.

After waiting for about two hours at baggage claim in New York, Christiansen discovered that the wheelchair had not made it onto the flight. He said that his seat was sent two days later, and before that Icelandair had not provided him with a temporary seat.

Twelve days later, Christiansen flew back to Copenhagen. He said that despite the fact that JFK officials had promised him that his chair would make it onto flights, Icelandair again forgot his wheelchair.

According to him, he received his chair only three days later.

On the subject: The rights of aircraft passengers about which airlines prefer to remain silent

According to the booking confirmation, Christiansen's return ticket cost $6 for him and his wife. He bought the most expensive type of ticket, Saga Premium, Icelandair's equivalent of business class. He thought it would provide more protection for his wheelchair.

After the story hit the media, Icelandair offered Christiansen $1 in compensation, or about half the cost of his ticket. The airline agreed to increase that amount to $650 after Christiansen pointed out that his wife's vacation was also affected.

Problems around the world

Passengers have faced a summer of chaos on air travel around the world due to staff shortages, soaring travel demand, technical issues and strikes.

Some travelers have experienced flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage and huge queues at passport control. But in some cases, airlines and airports have forgotten to bring wheelchairs on board or lost them en route.

One passenger said he spent two days of his vacation in Ireland without a wheelchair because Delta forgot to put one on the plane at JFK. The airline then broke his seat on the flight home, passenger Tim Kelly said.

Another said that Delta shipped the wheelchair in the wrong condition during the flight and severely damaged it in the process.

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