Wheelchair in airport

Old Sep 6th, 2000, 10:58 AM
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Wheelchair in airport

My elderly dad will be traveling to Prague in two weeks to visit my brother and he needs a wheelchair to get around the airport (he walks fine but slow and not far) and I was wondering if you arrange for a wheelchair ahead to time or just when you arrive at the airport. He's going to be traveling alone and says he'll just get one when we gets there. Is that true? any advice would be appreciated.
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 11:49 AM
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I have had these same experiences with my mother before she passed away. Also with my mother-in-law when we took her on vacation with us and ended up in an airport marathon due to storm-induced flight cancellations. Often you can just find a wheelchair at the airport when you get there if you need it, but it might be a good idea to call the airports to find out availability and location of the chairs. If you call the particular airlines ahead of time, they will have someone waiting with a wheelchair to shuttle you to other flights or to your ground transportation.
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 08:37 PM
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I agree, the airlines are more than glad to assist you. Just give them a call beforehand. They will also arrange for transfers between flights it that is necessary. He'll be in good hands.
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 09:36 PM
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It's important to notify the airlines your father is using when you make the reservations that a wheelchair is needed at all airports. If they are already made, call them again and ask that 'wheelchair needed at all airports' be entered into their computer. It is the airlines, not the airports, who take responsibility to get their passengers from one spot to another within the airport.
Even with the info the computer, it is important that your dad REMIND a flight attendant during flights to have a wheelchair and attendant waiting. He will be preboarded and will be given any assistance needed to get to his assigned seat.
We always tip each employee assigned to wheel me (almost all airlines do not allow my husband to do it) at least $2 (more if the distance is fairly long).

Your dad is wrong to just wait till he gets to an airport -- the wait might be quite long as they then have to page an employee who may need to pulled from another job assignment, who then has to walk to get a chair, who then has to wheel it to wherever your Dad is, etc.

All American airlines are wonderful about providing this service.

I hope your brother is making arrangements to have a wheelchair for your Dad's use during his visit.
Old Sep 7th, 2000, 02:12 AM
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I have travelled around the world with my elderly mother who requires wheelchair assistance in airports. It is definitely the responsibility of the airline and works perfectly if it is requested at the time of check in at your point of departure.All airlines are accustomed to providing this service and I have never had a problem.
Old Sep 7th, 2000, 09:28 AM
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I agree with NeedOneMyself that your brother should arrange to have a wheelchair for your father at his home. We always rented one when my mother came to visit so that we had it if we needed it. Whenever we took her anywhere that involved a lot of walking, she rode in the wheelchair. It made the outings much easier and more pleasant for her.

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