A video showing an empty wheelchair bouncing down a ramp from a plane to the tarmac at Miami International Airport has gained national attention.
The footage featured on Only in Dade last week, shot by an onlooker tagged on TikTok as @haez93, went viral.
“An American Airlines worker can be seen mishandling a customers wheelchair at MIA,” explains OID on the post set to the “Oh No” song. “A passenger filmed the video after she saw the workers laughing and do it with the first two wheelchairs while she was waiting for her flight.”
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reshared the clip, telling followers that his department will be investigating.
“This is totally unacceptable,” Buttigieg wrote on Nov. 20 of the undated footage. “This is exactly why we are taking action to protect passengers who use wheelchairs. Everyone deserves to travel safely and with dignity.”
Greg Chin, spokesperson for MIA, told the Miami Herald Monday that wheelchair service is solely the responsibility of the airlines. The passenger in the wheelchair had already boarded before the ramp incident.
American Airlines spokeswoman Bri Harper said in a statement that the company had reviewed the video and will be taking “necessary next steps.”
“We recognize how important it is to support the independence of customers with disabilities by ensuring the proper care of mobility devices throughout their journey with us,” Harper said. “This visual is deeply concerning and we are gathering more details so that we can address them with our team.”
She said that in-house moves are being made, including establishing “a customer-accessibility team” and installing wheelchair movers and lifts at airports with “high mobility device traffic.”
Miami Herald staff writer Vinod Sreeharsha contributed to this report.