Customer Service Fault

Coming home from a road trip is always a little tough, but this one has been infinitely more difficult. It’s been a full three weeks since United Airlines broke my wheelchair, and the thing still hasn’t been completely fixed. Instead of focusing on The Here and Now Project and our upcoming events, I have spent the better part of the last eight days feebly trying to tie up loose ends between the five companies in six states that have had a hand in getting my legs back into working order.

If you catch yourself thinking that shouldn’t be my job, you’re exactly right.

The fact is, I’ve heard nothing from the airlines since I blew them up on Twitter two weeks ago besides a couple of five word emails covering their asses with the mobility company in New Jersey. I emailed them 12 days ago to inform them that my chair was still faulting and heard nothing. The guy in Jersey has followed up multiple times, but the ones truly responsible for the nightmarish start to our vacation don’t seem to be bothered much by it.

The whole situation is completely surreal. If they had broken my actual legs, this would be an open-and-shut personal injury lawsuit, complete with compensation for pain and suffering and then some. But because of the general, systemic ignorance towards people in situations like mine, it’s much easier to write off what happened as, “it’s just his wheelchair.”

But it’s not just my wheelchair that they broke. That flight ended with my backside bloodied, and a trip to the emergency room. It led to a panicked run for my life in the Amtrak station.  If it weren’t for an amazing team and my own support network, I might still be stranded on that bench in Philly.


No, that’s not me trying to start a new Instagram craze. Quadriplegic planking! Everyone’s doing it! That’s a panicked pressure release to avoid losing my entire summer (or much, much worse) to a sore because the wheelchair United Airlines broke almost caught fire.

In total, I spent 11 of my 14 days on the East Coast without my legs. And for all those troubles, the only thing I’ve gotten is a couple of tweets. I find it a little more than infuriating that I have to go all seventh grade on social media to get a phone call from these people. If that’s what it takes, so be it.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. kazg10 says:

    Thoroughly enthralled by your “laugh at the situation” descriptions of your life and adventures whilst highlighting the very serious side as well. To think just travelling to another city by plane could have ended very seriously if not for your team. I really do take things for granted. Thank you for taking me into your life and showing me what needs to happen still in this world to make things better for those that need more support to enjoy travel, adventure, life and love, which most of us take for granted. You truly are a great voice, keep it up and lets hope United get their comeuppance!

  2. Pam Bradford says:

    That’s not ‘going all 7th grade’on ’em.
    That,Sir, is advocating for yourself appropriately!
    And are you sure this isn’t as much or way more of a personal Injury lawsuit than a couple of broken legs? Seems so to me.
    Anything I can do I’d be delighted. Just holler.

  3. P.M. says:

    Kenny what can people do to help you? I can contact United and maybe others can too that read your blog. Whatever I can do otherwise please let me know.

  4. Tami says:

    United is the worst….among our experience traveling with sports equipment, yet I find that all airlines have an attitude of ‘we will just fix it’. They seem clueless, or worse really don’t care, that the vendors do not carry parts and it can take weeks to get parts for repairs….depending of the repair. Kenny, you are just the person to make the airlines stand up and be more conscious of their passengers with disabilities

  5. andyfoss says:

    Here in good ol’ Texas…3 people cut right in front of me for handicap stall ♿ first guy was elder may be considered disabled, next two middle age, whether or not disabled should wait turn…peed in corner wit urinal rather than using catheter. Then had to try to toss 2 feet to regular toilet that came open, after passing urge to through piss over door on last guy quickly cutting by me in handicapped stall. Did get a little satisfaction by parking chair parallel to the door and blocking for 3-5 minutes as he pushed against door trying to get out then simply rolled away without saying a word.

    Here in Texas I have actually gone to two restaurants where wheelchair simply does not fit: Crazy Jose’s Mexican restaurant and then the Olive Garden in Beaumont Texas. I was 6’1″ with Ti-lite Aero chair…WTF??? ADA folks should really slap these people. Was amazing how individual who claimed to be the owner of Crazy Jose’s when asking how food and service had been was more than willing to let corporate take the hit when I showed him personally how chair does not fit thanks to baby changing station on wall masking it impossible for my wheelchair to enter.

    Olive Garden was kind enough to offer to clear Ladies room as they believed the ladies handicap stall was bigger. No I want manager to see for herself what I am talking about by demonstrating for her the issue. I simply cath’d in doorway for all to watch me put urinal down my pants, lube with sterile surgical gel, and grab hold for all to see 350ml into plastic urinal, pull out catheter while clamping it so as not to spill on myself, then empty and wash out urinal with soap and hot water, then washing hands and giving manager contact information to hear back “from corporate”…😡😱😳🙏🤙🏽

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