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Airline accused of destroying man’s wheelchair

July 10, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In the latest passenger-relations scandal to strike United Airlines, a disabled Frenchman has arrived in New York to find his AUD 55,440 wheelchair “destroyed” by the airline.

Valentin Duthion suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a debilitating genetic malady that affects muscle movement.

His sister Lucie posted footage to Twitter showing extensive damage to the chair.

The damage reportedly happened in transit after the two departed Vevy, France, on a United Airlines flight to New York, Channel 9 News reported.

The French note on the Twitter post says: “This is how United Airlines accompanies people with disabilities. Armchair destroyed (EUR 37,000), trip to the USA wasted. Shameful.”

Lucie Duthion told French publication Le Progres the chair, weighing 250 kilograms, had been “completely damaged and was unusable” while in United’s care. She alleges many components had been broken or ripped out.

Although the airline offered her brother access to a mechanic and another chair, Lucie said the replacement chair was not adapted to her brother’s needs.

It broke while they were in New York, she says, forcing them to push the wheelchair “for miles”.

Written by Peter Needham

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