Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Embarrassing, Uncomfortable and Risky: What Flying Is Like for Wheelchair Users

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Embarrassing, Uncomfortable and Risky: What Flying Is Like for Wheelchair Users

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/08/t...mentsContainer
    To better understand the obstacles faced by wheelchair users, The Times sent a reporter and a photographer to document one man’s plane trip. Here’s what they saw.
    stephen@bike-on.com

    #2
    i hate to like i refuse too but io am 71 to and my kids come to fl

    Comment


      #3
      I’ve had a couple of instances minor chair damage. Nothing that disabled the chair. The one time it justified reporting, my damage report to AA was handled amazingly well.

      This guy is such a complainer. It may not be him, but rather the writer who seems to over dramatize everything, maybe just to build his case against AA. Example: " if he spends more than 20 minutes in an aisle chair, he says, he’s likely to get pressure sores". Likely?

      He says “every step of the process takes longer for him”. Not so. I skip almost every line. Unless I’ve been late getting to the gate, I’ve always boarded first. The manual security scan takes longer, usually a few minutes, sometimes more. I’d like to see a more efficient option for that.

      Staff skill and experience with aisle chairs is a valid issue. With a couple of exceptions, they’ve been conscientious but occasionally unskilled. I’ve never fallen but have come close. Here’s a guy who claims he is so interested in privacy during transfers and then publishes five pictures of his transfers in the NYT.

      He even complains about rough landings (or at least the writer did) and having to hold himself for deceleration like the pilot could brake less. And complains about passengers bumping his leg after he lets it hang out into the aisle. That’s his fault. If he can’t hold it he should travel with a strap for the purpose.

      I'd like flying in a wheelchair to be easier. I'd like everything in a wheelchair to be easier.

      Comment


        #4
        At least it is bringing some level of awareness. Everyone's experience is going to be different but everyone shares the humility, time and safety issues when flying. The only answer is to be able to fly and be seated with your wheelchair but fat chance the airlines will give up additional space "just for wheelchair users." I hope they prove me wrong.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by endo_aftermath View Post
          I’ve had a couple of instances minor chair damage. Nothing that disabled the chair. The one time it justified reporting, my damage report to AA was handled amazingly well.

          This guy is such a complainer. It may not be him, but rather the writer who seems to over dramatize everything, maybe just to build his case against AA. Example: " if he spends more than 20 minutes in an aisle chair, he says, he’s likely to get pressure sores". Likely?

          He says “every step of the process takes longer for him”. Not so. I skip almost every line. Unless I’ve been late getting to the gate, I’ve always boarded first. The manual security scan takes longer, usually a few minutes, sometimes more. I’d like to see a more efficient option for that.

          Staff skill and experience with aisle chairs is a valid issue. With a couple of exceptions, they’ve been conscientious but occasionally unskilled. I’ve never fallen but have come close. Here’s a guy who claims he is so interested in privacy during transfers and then publishes five pictures of his transfers in the NYT.

          He even complains about rough landings (or at least the writer did) and having to hold himself for deceleration like the pilot could brake less. And complains about passengers bumping his leg after he lets it hang out into the aisle. That’s his fault. If he can’t hold it he should travel with a strap for the purpose.

          I'd like flying in a wheelchair to be easier. I'd like everything in a wheelchair to be easier.
          american w would not let me fly in charlotte we were to transfer and a dam dog peed on my chair about that time a pilot walked by said something as i was moving they said i smelled like urine need to change i said that dam dog peedon my chair 5 hr later i got to columbus. i was beyond humilated and by myself . delta dropped me transfering from asle chair i do not want to fly

          Comment


            #6
            Southwest is the best airline. They reserve the front rows for wheelchair users. Wheel in transfer and they take the chair. No isle chair needed. Even if there is able bodied passengers seated there, Southwest asks them to move. Also they preboard you first. I have flown dozens of times and the only issue I have is they twist my D's lock lever on the tubing trying to figure out the lever. All airlines should adopt ths policy.

            Comment


            • endo_aftermath
              endo_aftermath commented
              Editing a comment
              I have always preferred SWA, partly for the reasons you mentioned. Unfortunately the newest 737s have a different interior layout so my wheelchair no longer fits to get to the front row and the front row no longer has armrests that lift up out of the way. They say that is so the front row passengers can have a dining tray. So now it's aisle chairs and assisted transfers, like any other airline. I'll continue flying SWA since their older planes are still accessible. Just luck of the draw now.

            #7
            My friend is trying to raise awareness around travel issues
            https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2056830019643

            Comment


              #8
              I've traveled all over the World with sports teams, partner, or my own, and the two worst things that have happened in 34 years is being left on a plane for 50 minutes after landing due to a lift lorry breaking down and the other time my chair not being bought to the plane door upon landing. On every occasion, the Airline involved apologised.

              Comment


                #9
                One flight back to NJ, we were diverted to Boston because the climate control (AC) had failed.
                So everyone de-planed and I was left in a very hot humid environment for an hour or so while the techs fixed the plane, and then waiting for everybody to get back aboard!
                1st on and last off is us.
                Sucks

                fortunately I have a 1,000cc bag! If only my patience was that big.
                but there's a distinction between big and bag
                69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                NW NJ

                Comment


                  #10
                  Originally posted by jamiewm3 View Post
                  I've traveled all over the World with sports teams, partner, or my own, and the two worst things that have happened in 34 years is being left on a plane for 50 minutes after landing due to a lift lorry breaking down and the other time my chair not being bought to the plane door upon landing. On every occasion, the Airline involved apologised.
                  I haven't been at it for 34 years, but I've flown a lot. SWA is by far the best IMO. Customer service is just superior and it was always a HUGE plus being able to access the first row without an aisle chair. It's sad and frustrating that newer planes are eliminating this. I just don't get it. Seems like it would be such an easy design to make that first row pretty much universally accessible. Guess there's just not enough demand for it. I've had very bad experiences with Delta and not so good experiences with AA.

                  My worst experience was actually with SWA, but not really through any fault of their own. We were returning from Cancun and the flight was completely boarded. The plane was moving and preparing for takeoff. But a few passengers were being unruly and the staff decided that they would be removed from the flight. So we continued to taxi around for HOURS until an air marshal finally arrived to remove the unruly passengers. And then for some reason we couldn't return to the gate to deplane. So eventually a shuttle arrived and all passengers exited the plane via stairs. My wife was flipping out, haha. After much debate, the pilot assured us that they could safely carry me in my wheelchair (manual) down the steps out of the plane. And they did just that. But one misstep and we all could have went tumbling down. In all, we were in the plane for almost 5 hours! They said it was something about international restrictions being the cause of the delay with the air marshal and not being able to return to the gate. I was certainly glad that I went to the restroom right before getting on the plane!

                  Comment


                    #11
                    its a crappy article and when people post or repost these articles its ZERO help to our community

                    Do things happen of course they do but how many times I fly and just see people leave there chairs at the counter or at the jetway and give no instructions how to load the chair?

                    We expect people in the airlines to know how each chair freewheels, how a power chair or wheelchair folds or reclines?

                    How about things like turbulence and load shifting cargo?

                    Just because we are disabled doesn't mean we get a get out of jail card meaning we are not free of damage and or things that might impact us

                    Its how you react and always have a plan b

                    Prior to covid we flew monthly just came back from a trip to New York City the night before and I did have a little damage but Southwest has a tech coming out today to order a few parts and to readjust some things like my lights and joystick

                    1st small issues in 9 years

                    Just in this post alone you see people say "See this is why I dont fly"

                    Lets not kid are selfs these people wouldn't fly anyway even if you promised them a damage free flight

                    You can watch the world from the sidelines or you can go out and enjoy and with a little effort before you get on the plane you can Minimize issues

                    Everything is fixable and at the airlines cost

                    Please stop posting these articles because they serve no purpose!

                    Comment


                    • Yadier
                      Yadier commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Who pissed in your Corn flakes?

                    #12
                    Not everyone can fly exclusively SouthWest. Yes, they provide the best service, but other airlines (American for example) do not, and for international flights you are pretty much at the mercy of the individual airline and staff. If you don't want to read an article posted here, don't click on the link.

                    (KLD)
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      We were flying United to Puerto Rico to get on a cruise. It was me and both my parents (my mother was a full time wheelchair user due to MS). She had a Quicki 2 manual wheelchair at the time. When deplaning, my dad went out to the jetway (I stayed with my mother) and saw someone wheeling a person up the jetway in my mother's wheelchair! He ran after them (he was in his 70s at the time), and just caught them as they were putting the person, AND the wheelchair into a cab at the curb. How they could mistake an airport clunker chair for a Quicki 2 is beyond me!

                      After that our procedure was for him to get off the plane to the jetway ASAP after landing, wait for the chair to be brought up from the hold, and guard it until it was her turn to deplane. We continued this even after she was using a power chair. If my mother had been traveling alone she would have been stranded.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                      Comment


                      • Sheri
                        Sheri commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That’s an interesting tip! I think we do need to also keep on eye on our stuff so it doesn’t “walk.” I was absolutely shocked one day to finish my swim on a stormy day at a rehab hospital and find my wheelchair poncho missing from the disabled locker room! There can be dishonest people in any group.

                      #14
                      Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                      Not everyone can fly exclusively SouthWest. Yes, they provide the best service, but other airlines (American for example) do not, and for international flights you are pretty much at the mercy of the individual airline and staff. If you don't want to read an article posted here, don't click on the link.

                      (KLD)

                      Sorry I missed this but maybe you are not aware Southwest does fly international...including San Juan, PR - SJU
                      But regardless we also have flown Jet Blue, American, Delta etc

                      The point was to speak up on how you want to be loaded, how to have your chair loaded, and what's best for you to fly and be comfortable

                      Can't tell you how many trips we flown with others and they just sit there don't say anything and take the rude and demeaning treatment from airline employees, 3rd party companies that shuttle wheelchair users on and off planes etc

                      Understand the the pilot is in charge from start to finish so introduce yourself and if your having issues talk to him

                      As one is getting ready to land go over your instructions with the lead attendant make sure he or she knows to bring your chair and what kind of chair to the plane or to use a rental airline wheelchair so they can radio to the ground crew prior to landing

                      If its a shift/crew change introduce yourself and make sure the lead knows what is going on


                      Its a time game the sooner you get off the sooner they can take off

                      Help them play the game

                      Make sure also that users of mobility explain how your chair works, breaks down and anything specific it might make to make it more simple to load

                      People will just leave their chairs and never say a word expecting the airlines to know how it works?

                      Do things happen of course but to post about a story and my guess is the original poster doesn't fly...serves ZERO purpose other than to convince others not to fly

                      Life is so much more simple staying home....


                      Click image for larger version

Name:	28644052-9FFD-4C11-B88C-68F2FC7B0B25.jpg
Views:	41
Size:	125.8 KB
ID:	2923712




                      Click image for larger version

Name:	28644052-9FFD-4C11-B88C-68F2FC7B0B25.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	125.8 KB
ID:	2923710 Click image for larger version

Name:	28644052-9FFD-4C11-B88C-68F2FC7B0B25.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	125.8 KB
ID:	2923711

                      Comment


                        #15
                        i use to fly but i don/t now by choice . and totally agree you have to take charge but youi can do it in a way to not to sound like a butt. until they don/t listen

                        i had a fake servicedog pee on my wheels in charlotte. that got ugly fast. then delta dropped me on jetway . i still fly but ... somethings...

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X