Brentwood, Calif. (KGO) --"This wheelchair is a lifesaver because it allows me the independence," said Lisa Prevost of Brentwood.
Her main way to move around is her electric wheelchair. She was left without full use of her legs after complications from a spinal cord injury.
"I can walk with a walker, but it is very difficult," she said.
Prevost was on a return trip from Las Vegas on Spirit Airlines.
When she landed in Oakland, an attendant brought her her wheel chair. But she was startled by what she saw.
"Oh, my gosh. Where are my pieces? The pieces were missing. It was all scratched up on the side and my wheel had been slashed," she explained.
The worst part is that her chair's motor, which has since been repaired, was left dangling.
Her electric wheel chair could not even be started. It took her husband two days and nearly $400 dollars to repair the chair.
She immediately filed a claim with Spirit, but found the process difficult.
In October alone, almost five passengers out of 2,000 filed a report of baggage mishandled by the airlines. How each airline handles such claims varies.
Budget airlines such as Spirit require that damage reports be made within four hours after landing. Compensation is limited to $3,500 dollars. It's policy is buried in fine print in a contract.
"They said somebody would call me from the Florida office, but I never heard anything," she said.
Then, 7 On Your Side contacted Spirit, which apologized to Lisa.
Spirit said: "As soon as we received the email from 7 On Your Side, we immediately reached out to her... We granted an extension of two weeks to file a claim."
Prevost received full compensation for the repair.
"I can't believe it. They came through and if it wasn't for 7 On Your Side, I wouldn't have that," said Prevost.
For the various airline baggage claim policies, click here.