A wheelchair motocross star has blasted Qantas, claiming the airline severely damaged his chair on a flight back from the US.

Timothy Lachlan travelled with the airline from Dallas, Texas to Sydney in February but claims his wheelchair was so badly damaged while on board, it is now unusable.

He said the wheels are now uneven and the smallest incline sends the wheelchair falling backwards.

Mr Lachlan has been using his custom-made chair for more than a decade but has since had to borrow one from a friend after the flight, claiming the wheels and guard were left bent and broken.

'This wheelchair is basically my legs, Qantas has basically broken my legs,' he told Seven News.

The airline offered Mr Lachlan $3,500 in compensation, an increase of $1,000 to their initial offer, but said it would be 'subject to the receipt of a signed confidential settlement'.

'That's not even going to cover a set of wheels,' Mr Lachlan said.

Mr Lachlan, who is neurodivergent and lives with Spina Bifida and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (a condition affecting skin, joints and blood vessel walls), also works as an occupational therapist.

He said the damage to his wheelchair has left him unable to work.

'I invite the CEO of Qantas to jump in this chair and tell me it doesn't need to be replaced,' Mr Lachlan said.

A Qantas spokesperson said: 'We sincerely apologise to Mr Lachlan for the damage caused to his wheelchair.

'We have offered him compensation and are waiting to hear back.'

Mr Lachlan gained notoriety in the wheelchair motocross world after becoming the first Australian to land a wheelchair backflip.

He was also selected to represent Adaptive Skating on the world stage alongside skateboarding superstar, Tony Hawk. 

Read more

2024-05-23T06:31:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd