Which airlines are best for passengers with limited mobility?

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Traveling as someone with limited mobility can be stressful, but picking the right airline could make a big difference.

Since 1986, the Air Carrier Access Act has required airlines to provide equal access to passengers with disabilities, the responsibilities of which include the airlines’ handling of wheelchairs and scooters during boarding and deplaning.

However, not all airlines are as adept as others at providing these legally-required services.

A new report by data journalism website Stacker analyzed data from the Air Travel Consumer Reports for the first quarter of 2022 to rank popular airlines based on how often they mishandle wheelchairs and scooters.

“Airline travel can be a challenging experience even at the best of times. Travelers may face flight delays or cancellations, long airport check-in lines or TSA screening lines, congested terminals, and other issues boarding or deplaning flights. These stressors are compounded for passengers with limited mobility, who have additional needs to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience, ”wrote Beth Mowbray of Stacker.

A mobility device is considered mishandled if the passenger files a complaint after the flight.

During the first three months of the year, data shows that 2,894 out of a total of 195,965 mobility devices were mishandled, for an average of roughly 1.5 per every 100.

Here’s a look at the 10 airlines that best serve passengers with limited mobility, based on the percentage of mobility devices mishandled.

1) Allegiant Air

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 0.3%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 16
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 5,939

2) Horizon Air

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 0.4%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 9
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 2,055

3) Delta Air Lines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 395
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 41,393

4) SkyWest Airlines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 109
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 11,354

5) Endeavor Air

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 39
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 3,806

6) Mesa Airlines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1.1%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 23
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 2,078

7) United Airlines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1.2%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 303
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 25,990

8) Republic Airways

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1.3%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 45
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 3,522

9) Alaska Airlines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1.3%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 93
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 7,088

10) Southwest Airlines

  • Percentage of mobility devices mishandled: 1.3%
  • Total mobility devices mishandled: 588
  • Total mobility devices serviced: 44,030

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