Airline Liability

Airline Liability

You need to know what to do if your wheelchair or other assistive device is damaged.

According to, the good news is that “Assistive devices used by passengers with disabilities that are lost or damaged during DOMESTIC air travel are not subject to the rules limiting liability for lost or damaged baggage. On domestic flights, airlines’ liability for lost or damaged assistive devices is the original purchase price of the assistive device. If an airline destroys or loses a $20,000 assistive device during a domestic flight, the airline is liable for $20,000. If an airline damages but doesn’t destroy a $20,000 assistive device, then the airline is liable for the damage up to the cost of original purchase price.”

Assistive devices include (but are not limited to)

  • Crutches, Canes, and Walkers
  • Braces/Prosthetics
  • Wheelchairs
  • Hearing aids
  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines
  • Prescription medications and any medical devices needed to administer those medications, such as syringes or auto-injectors

Thank you to the author of this webpage, Jacob Gapko. Jacob is 45 years old with Duchenne. He uses a power wheelchair and non-invasive ventilation 24/7. He has a BS, an MLIS, and is a specialist. Jacob has an incredible passion for helping our DMD community. He can be reached at