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Any helpful hints on wheelchair transports in airports?

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Apr 21st, 2014, 03:55 PM
  #1
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Any helpful hints on wheelchair transports in airports?

My Dad recently had to fly into a large airport so I requested a wheelchair for him and his brother. They're both in their late 70's and have mobility problems. The airline noted it on his reservation (which I have a copy of ) but they didn't have a wheelchair at the gate for either of them.

He ended up walking with the two others that were with him and they flagged down one of those golf carts and they got a ride that way. I told him he should have reminded one of the flight attendants on the plane that they needed wheelchair transports.

Does anyone have any helpful hints to prevent this from happening in the future?
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Apr 21st, 2014, 04:53 PM
  #2
 
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It never hurts to be cautious amd ask the attendeents to radio ahead..Shpouldn't happen but it has more than once to foks we know!!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 05:07 PM
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Always wise to double check on these type of arrangements. Before boarding your flight ask the Gate Agent to make sure your wheelchair request is noted on your flight record and then once you are airborne check again with the flight attendant. Beyond that, there's not much else you can do.

If there's no wheelchair waiting when you deplane ask the Gate Agent (there's one meeting every plane) to assist you but keep in ind there could be a little wait until the skycap with the wheelchair gets to the gate.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 05:56 PM
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As a flight attendant, if a request is in the passenger's info on our departure form we always reconfirm about 30 minutes out with them. Then we let the pilots know so that they can reconfirm to the company and they will be there when the passenger deplanes. Many folks want a wheelchair but won't wait for everyone to get off first and then are upset that the wheelchair isn't there.The reason why we have to do this is because it is impossible for passengers to get through the jetway when there are wheelchairs blocking the way.
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Apr 23rd, 2014, 04:14 PM
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Thank you for the advice. The W/C use is needed for getting from one gate to another. They should be able to walk off the plane and up the ramp to the gates. I will make sure that we notify the flight attendants that they need one when we get on the plane. They can let us know the proper way that they handle the transfers.

I wish we could just pay to have them ride one of those golf carts that they drive in the airports. It would be so much easier. They can both walk but distances are really hard for them.
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Apr 23rd, 2014, 09:04 PM
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The wheelchair should be order when making the reservation and reconfirmed when you check in at the ticket counter so you can get a chair to your gate if needed. The golf carts are only used at certain airports but you are always welcomed to go to a meeting area pickup for one or ask the gate agent for one when needed.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 03:06 AM
  #7
 
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The gate attendant will call fro a wheelchair. Just flew with my mother who needs one for distance. In Florida, wheelchair and person was there. In Boston, they were not but the gate guy called and one appeared in a few minutes. They are busy and sometimes it takes longer to get a person from Point A to B and they are delayed getting to the gate.

When we checked in at Logan, my mother flagged down a wheelchair (she was worried they would forget), but there was one waiting for us at the JetBlue counter anyway. In FL, the called - again, one appeared.

And I did not realize that as her "companion" we both got to cut the security lines. Not our intent, but I did not object.
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Apr 28th, 2014, 07:37 PM
  #8
 
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Unfortunately, due to mobility issues, I always need a wheelchair at the airport. Here is a list of suggestions:

1) Request the wheelchair at the time of reservation
2) If you need it at the check-in counter, remind them and allow plenty of time.
3) Always be courteous and respectful to the "pusher"
4) If asked kindly, I have had success purchasing a sandwich or beverage beyond the TSA screening or using the restroom.
5) When you arrive at the plane, make sure you TIP the attendant. They receive low wages. Tip more if they perform a service, such as helping you grab lunch or duty-free purchasing.
6) When you are still on the plane, remind the attendant (nicely) that you have requested a wheelchair to meet you at the gate.
7) Again, tip extra for service like collecting your luggage and pushing you (and it) out to the curb to meet your party.

Luckily, I have never had a problem. The same rules of courtesy apply as anywhere, but many of the attendants pushing me have told me horror stories about some of their clients. Remember what Mother taught you: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
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