- Jan 14, 2009
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Welcome to the forum, alibroon.I joined because I am a moderately frequent flyer (1 long haul & maybe 1-2 short haul per year) and I am a wheelchair user. I want to get people's experiences of airports & airlines. From my own experiences some couldn't be more helpful (Air China, AMS) while others (Air France, CDG) couldn't have been more awkward if they'd tried.
As you are a wheelchair user I'd be very interested to hear of your aviation experiences.
I believe this is an important subject and not always given the prominence it merits in aviation forums.
I will copy this post into that forum to start the ball rolling.
Some years ago my wife and I were on holiday in Austria when she broke her leg. We were with a tour company (I think it was Crystal, part of the Tui Group) and their reps in resort were extremely helpful. Most of the holiday was spent with me pushing my better half around the flatter paths in a wheelchair that the reps had managed to source for us. That was an eye opener in itself and brought home to us how difficult it can be to do what are normally straightforward things.
We flew back from Salzburg Airport with XL (now defunct) on a Boeing 737-800. We were put on board ahead of the rest of the passengers and my wife had (courtesy of the insurance company) three seats to herself so she could keep her leg straight. Unfortunately, they were at the back of the aircraft and we had been 'loaded' at the front which meant she had to hobble on crutches to the rear.
On arrival at Bristol Airport we had to wait with another passenger using a wheelchair to be taken off in the ambilift. The captain, who was French, came back into the passenger cabin (all other passengers had by the disembarked) and we had what was to me an interesting chat about the flight for a few minutes. His English was far better than my execrable French, thank goodness.
After leaving the aircraft the airport staff took my wife in one of their wheelchairs to our waiting taxi. We certainly had no complaints about the way things went at any stage of the journey home.