I had to share this BBC news story (link at end of post) about how Airport disability help shocking, I haven’t flown since the about 1988, back then I didn’t have any health problems and so my biggest grumble was lack of leg room and delays.
However I have heard stories from disabled people who I know about their problems, wheelchairs being destroyed by not being handled and stowed properly, one person was going to Australia and their power chair was damaged so badly they couldn’t use it and had a hired chair. That may not sound like a problem but wheelchairs are custom-made to suit that person and their disability.
I heard from another friend that he was asked to transfer into an airport wheelchair so they could take his one and get it in the hold. Then the flight was delayed for hours and he was left in a wheelchair that is unsuitable. Many disabled people get used to their wheelchair, it becomes, I want to say part of them but that sounds wrong, what I mean is that they feel comfortable in it. A heavy steel wheelchair is hard to push, its big and cumbersome and the cushion won’t be a pressure relief cushion and so several hours in that and they are starting to have problems.
I have no intention to fly, I was never happy about being on aircraft and now that I am disabled, well its a big “no way”.
The BBC posted a story this morning about some of the problems and especially about a company called Omniserv who provide assistance at airports and how disabled people are being lifted in ways that can cause injury and offence and how sometimes they are even just left there without any help.
Taken from the Omniserv website –
Passengers with Reduced Mobility
The highest standard of care for passengers with disabilities or mobility issues and, of course, all the Paralympians that transited through London Heathrow Airport in 2012. We are there every step of the way – from arrival at the airport all the way through to the departing aircraft and vice-versa. Our goal is to make their journeys as seamless as possible, with highly trained, knowledgeable and friendly staff on hand for their needs.
However Disabled passengers are being “humiliated” and “disrespected” by people who are supposed to be helping them at airports, campaigners say.