Millions of Americans are flocking to airports this summer, and many passengers with disabilities are amongst them. For these specific travelers, flying can lead them to some inconveniences. And recently, a disabled passenger flying with Delta Air Lines faced a problem with his wheelchair. As Business Insider reported this Monday, a passenger named Tim Kelly was offered 400,000 SkyMiles by Delta Air Lines as compensation for forgetting to put Tim Kelly’s wheelchair onto a flight to Dublin from New York and then breaking it on the way back.
These miles in compensation are the same amount as the cost of his ticket (around $4,800).
In an interview with Insider, Tim Kelly revealed that he’d spent two days on vacation without his custom wheelchair after staff forgot to load it onto his flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Dublin on July 2.
According to Insider, Delta offered the passenger two temporary chairs. However, Kellly said they did not work for him, Delta paid for him to hire a chair similar to his own until he arrived from New York.
Kelly had problems on his way back to New York, Insider reported. Delta staff accidentally snapped off one of the chair’s hands brakes, Kelly told Insider. However, he said that this happened occasionally and was easy to fix, and that Delta paid for the repairs.
In a statement to Insider in July, Delta apologized for the problem with Kelly’s wheelchair. “We consider a wheelchair an extension of a person and understand that any mishandling of this mobility device directly impacts their daily living,” the airline stated.
The disabled passenger told Insider that Delta staff initially offered him, his wife, and his two children $1,000 each in Delta Choice vouchers, as well as 37,500 SkyMiles.
The passenger refused the offer. After requiring more compensation, the company said it would give Kelly and his family 20,000 extra SkyMiles each. The company added that his case was considered closed, adding it would be its last offer. According to Insider, Delta said it would no longer communicate with him about the issue.
However, Delta changed its decision. The company decided to offer Kelly a further 400,000 SkyMiles as compensation, Kelly told Insider. “Though I lost close to two days of vacation in Dublin, Delta at the end of the day is doing the right thing to offset it,” Kelly said.