My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Wisconsin
Recently, I was traveling on a Delta airline flight that was overbooked and my carryon bag was involuntarily checked due to overbooking and lack of overhead space. I took as much as I could out of the bag before it was checked but I couldn't unpack the whole thing. I had my best pair of glasses in the suitcase as I had lost the nose pad on vacation and was wearing an old pair of glasses until I could get the glasses repaired. I have very bad vision. I had retinal surgery. I cannot drive without corrective lenses and I could not navigate an airport without glasses.
When I got to my destination, someone had opened my bag and removed just about everything. All the zippered pockets were opened so this was not an accident. Anyway, I find that items in the suitcase are subject to the $3500.00 tariff limit but assistive devices for people with disabilities are to reimbursed at the purchase price and are not subject to the tariff limit.
The DOT website state the following:
An assistive device is any piece of equipment that assists a passenger with a disability in coping with the effects of his or her disability. These devices are intended to assist passengers with a disability to hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life. Assistive devices include (but are not limited to):
Crutches, Canes, and Walkers
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
Note: If you are not sure if your device is an assistive device, contact your airline’s disability or special assistance desk.
The airline is claiming that my very expensive prescription eyeglasses (over 1000.00) due to my awful vision, are not an assistive device and they are reimbursing me significantly less than I paid for them for "wear and tear." Except for the missing nose pad which is easily replaced the glasses were relatively new and in good shape. My optician replaces the nose pad for free.
Are the glasses an Assistive Device? If so, any advice on where I go from here?
One thing I learned is that in the future if my bag contains anything like medication or glasses, it does not get checked. I claim assistive devices inside and they can take someone else's bag. I did not know I could refuse to have the bag checked.
Help is appreciated.