American Airlines investigates video of wheelchair falling from luggage chute

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg weighed in, condemning the incident.

A viral video showing a wheelchair falling from a plane’s luggage chute and crashing onto the airport tarmac has sparked an investigation by American Airlines and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Driving the news: The video was posted on TikTok by Haeley Dyrdahl, who said she saw baggage handlers do the same thing twice before and laugh about it.


  • In the video, the first baggage handler lets go of the wheelchair as a second handler steps back, causing the wheelchair to slide down, strike a barrier, and flip over.
  • The Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits US airlines from discriminating against disabled passengers in air travel, and a bill of rights for disabled passengers created by the DOT in July 2022 aim to protect the rights of passengers with disabilities.

What they’re saying: American Airlines called the incident “deeply concerning” and established a Customer Accessibility team and Accessibility council to improve the travel experience of customers with disabilities.

  • Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg condemned the incident and said the DOT would conduct an inquiry. 

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