Handicapped services and tipping

Apr 25th, 2008, 09:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5
Handicapped services and tipping

My husband and I are going to Paris soon, from Chicago (ORD) to CDG. He normally uses a wheeled walker but in the airports he will be in a wheelchair.

How much should we tip the person who pushes him?

Also, given his mobiity limitations, what is the best way to get from the airport to the city? We'll be staying at the Citadines Bastille-Nation, near the Nation Metro stop.

He can walk short distances and climb a flight of stairs if he goes slowly.

Also, does anyone know what we need to do to have him met with a wheelchair when we return to CDG for our flight home? In the US, we request a chair ahead of time, and at the curbside check-in, they call someone for us. In London, at Heathrow, I had to leave him at the curb, go to the check-in desk and get the chair, then manage the luggage myself until he was checked in.

Any help we receive will be much appreciated.
bambamsgrl is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,190
That shouldn't have happened in London. Sorry it did.

There is no need to tip at all, but if it was me I think 1 euro.

Check with the airline about the wheelchair - they should be able to get someone to meet you at the curb.

Beware the metro - they hide flights of stairs and sometimes have long walks underground between platforms.
sashh is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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double and triple check that your wheelchair/assistance has been requested all the way through not only arrival, but DEPARTURE at every airport.

There have been some issues at CDG. (been there/done that). and we werenīt the only ones. seems sometimes arrival assitance is requested, but departure is not punched in computer properly so you are left there until some kind soul decides to take on your case so you donīt miss your flight.

I think 2 euros is fine.. but then if he has a lot of luggage, tip more, as the assistance will wait for luggage on both ends, so it is more for their time than anything else.

actually, the assistant in spain refused to take anything in valencia. ????

p.s. best not to tell the airlines he can walk steps (in france) as possibly they will not take the people mover then to your flight.. the people mover is GREAT, and saves alot of time.

lincasanova is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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I use a wheelchair at the airports everytime I travel. In Spain they refuse to take tips, but then they work for AENA, not for a private company that provides the service to the airport as in other countries. I usually don't tip unless they do something I know it's special for me. If I would be carrying too much luggage I would tip, for example. I tipped at Heathrow because she (it was a young woman) took me to the Heathrow Connect, helped me to buy tickets and stayed with me till the train arrived ..so I gave her 5 pounds (I don't know if it is OK or too much or too little, I didn't have any cash but a 5 pound note from a previous trip and I didn't want her to lose more time with me finding a cashier).

You have to make sure when you book your plane tickets that they understand you want the weelchair service in both legs, going and return. In most airports, they expect you ask for your booked wheelchair at check in but if you need it before the check in ask for it at the airline desk and with a bit of luck they will help you !!
I usually haven't had that luck ..but it sometimes happens so it doesn't hurt to ask for it

I've never been in CDG so I don't have first hand info from there

kenderina is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Hi B,

>How much should we tip the person who pushes him?

Nothing other than a "Thank you".

>Also, given his mobiity limitations, what is the best way to get from the airport to the city?

Either a shuttle van (about 19E pp) or a cab (about 50E).

ira is online now  
Apr 26th, 2008, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
My mom used a wheelchair in a few airposts, ( not CDG) but we never tipped as it seemed inappropriate.

Take a taxi to hotel, costs vary on time of day and traffic, but can range from 40-65 euros.

Stay out of metro too many stairs and walking ,, take the buses, they are good.
bozama is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Thank you for the responses.

We usually travel very light, with only carry-on luggage because I am the one who has to handle the luggage (and I'm not a very big person, besides having a few limitations of my own). We only take what will fit onto his walker, since I have to push that while he's being wheeled around.

It sounds like the bus will be our best choice to and from the airport. I have the web address for the Paris buses but have not looked up any route information yet.

When we travel, we usually make sure that the wheelchair request is in the computer for all legs of the flight. We still have to make the request, or at least tell them it's been requested, when we arrive at the airport for the return flight,and that's where there is sometimes a problem.

I'm particularly worried about Paris because my French is pretty basic. In the US, when we arrive at the airport, I speak to the first person I see -- usually a curbside baggage handler -- about the need for a wheelchair. In Paris, I don't know if that person will even be able to understand my request!

We're scheduled for May 16-24. I'll post a trip report when we get back.
bambamsgrl is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I have always tipped when extra help is required, especially with the luggage. It's more than worth it. The wheelchair-pushers at CDG don't seem to expect tips compared with the people in the U.S., but the CDGers were greateful when I gave them a Euro or so. How much depended on how far my wheelchair had to pushed; sometimes one person took me to a waiting area and then someone else returned to get me onto the people-mover.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Underhill that is because( as if this has not been stated many times) France ( like most of Europe) does not have the huge tipping culture that the United States does. Everyone likes a tip, but most people do not expect them in Europe( or in some cases in the States, basically they demand them!)

Bambam have you thought of getting a card and having it written in french " Excuse me , could you please assist me in finding a wheelchair for my husband" or some such thing.. at least that way if language is an issue( which it well may be as everyone does NOT in fact speak english)you can at least hand them the card.
I would also get a few key phrases translated and have handy for various situations( you know, like where is the elevator, are there many steps, where it the wheelchair rental, etc. )
bozama is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
there are no baggage handlers curbside at CDG.
you might see a worker smoking outside.. and he/she can direct you.

there are a few seats inside each group of doors if i remember correctly at CDG, so he could easily wait there while you get the chair arranged.

"I have requested a wheelchair and We are flying AIR France" will get you pointed in the right direction. hope someone can give you the EXACt translation since my french is not good enough for me to tell you what to say!

i agree they will not be expecting a tip like in other places but if you do.. they will take it gladly.
lincasanova is offline  
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