The power of Twitter: outrage at Air Canada ends as quickly as it starts, with the airline replacing dying boy’s wheelchair
This afternoon’s Twitter frenzy—a David and Goliath story that started and ended in a matter of hours—was manna from heaven for news outlets. The story involves a boy named Tanner who suffers from muscular dystrophy. One of his dying wishes is to race through Central Park in a tutu to raise awareness about his disease. A massive online campaign to allow him to do just that raised about $30,000 in just 30 hours. He flew with his aunt Catherine Connors from Toronto to New York on Wednesday in order to prepare for tomorrow’s race. Upon arrival in New York, however, they discovered that Tanner’s $15,000 wheelchair was damaged during the Air Canada flight. Without it, he can’t go anywhere (let alone race through Manhattan in a tutu), and the airline told Connors that a replacement wheelchair wouldn’t arrive until Monday—three days after the event. The family was stranded at a Laguardia Airport and the Twitterverse, understandably, was outraged.
The folks at Air Canada, who must be well versed by now at seeing PR nightmares coming their way, worked quickly. Minutes ago, Connors tweeted that Tanner received a fixed wheelchair.
Looks like all is well and we can go back to making jokes about Air Canada’s food and its slapfight with Porter.
• Tanner, boy with muscular dystrophy, stranded after wheelchair damaged by Air Canada [HuffPo]
• Twitter outrage at Air Canada over Twee-a-thon gone wrong [TechEye]
• Air Canada faces Twitter rage after dying 10-year-old’s wheelchair destroyed [Globe and Mail]