Air Canada repairs wheelchair after “Twitter pressure”

Pressure from Twitter users has made Air Canada fix a terminally ill boy’s wheelchair after it was damaged during a flight, his family has said.

Appeals for help from the aunt of 10-year-old Tanner Bawn went viral on the micro-blogging website.

An airline spokesman said they had acted as soon as they had heard about it. It has now promised to send the boy to Disney World…

Tanner Bawn’s $15,000 wheelchair arrived at New York’s La Guardia Airport in pieces, during a trip to the city for a charity run…

The airline is reported to have contacted an overnight repair centre after hearing about the boy’s problems from other Twitter users and had the specialised chair returned to Tanner a day later.

“I’m impressed with how Air Canada has stepped up. But I’m still distressed that it took the internet shrieking loudly at them for it to happen,” Mr Bawn’s aunt, blogger Catherine Connors, told the Globe and Mail newspaper.

She added: “If my sister and Tanner had been here on their own with no blogging or without the vast social-media network to help them, it wouldn’t have turned out this way.”

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline had acted as soon as they had heard about the problem…

Air Canada has promised to make permanent repairs when the group returns home to Kamloops, British Columbia.

Two thoughts:

I can’t believe anyone other than a journalist or pundit actually said “vast social-media network”.

More to the point – though I often support online advocacy, mobilizations, social pressure on stodgy institutions – I also firmly believe in trying to get an issue kicked upstairs at the point of conflict.

Same circumstance, I would have pressed and pushed to the highest majordomo for Air Canada at the airport – and tried for higher if refused. But, then, I never said I was a nice guy.

OTOH, a bajillion Tweets makes a helluva impression!

3 thoughts on “Air Canada repairs wheelchair after “Twitter pressure”

      • P J Donnelly says:

        No, I do prefer Mr. It’s just you very rarely see it applied to young men aged 10. I hope others follow Eideard’s example.

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