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Old Jan 23, 11, 6:43 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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How do you arrange for wheelchair assistance in the terminal?

Next week I am flying with my mom TVC-DTW-LGA-MCO (love those Delta skymile itineraries). We have exit row seating on some legs of the trip. The problem: Mom sprained her ankle 3 weeks ago and is still gimpy. Some of the connections will no doubt involve those airport-end-to-end sprints that we who fly regionally are so used to. She can walk without a cane but is slow, and the traversing the terminals will be exhausting for her.

A friend suggested that we request wheelchair assistance for her to ensure that she can get to the connecting flights. I am not sure how to do this or what it will entail. Also, will she become ineligible for exit row seating if she does this (if the plane went down, she could RUN out of the plane, but in the interim the extra leg room will be very helpful for her).

Thank you in advance to you folks who have experience in this sort of thing.
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Old Jan 23, 11, 7:01 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by melehundele View Post
Next week I am flying with my mom TVC-DTW-LGA-MCO (love those Delta skymile itineraries). We have exit row seating on some legs of the trip. The problem: Mom sprained her ankle 3 weeks ago and is still gimpy. Some of the connections will no doubt involve those airport-end-to-end sprints that we who fly regionally are so used to. She can walk without a cane but is slow, and the traversing the terminals will be exhausting for her.

A friend suggested that we request wheelchair assistance for her to ensure that she can get to the connecting flights. I am not sure how to do this or what it will entail. Also, will she become ineligible for exit row seating if she does this (if the plane went down, she could RUN out of the plane, but in the interim the extra leg room will be very helpful for her).

Thank you in advance to you folks who have experience in this sort of thing.
Not sure about the airline you're flying with, but at my airline wheelchair assistance is automatic removal from the exit row. Try getting a row with an empty seat in it so that she can elevate it, or go for the bulkhead. IMO the exit row is not the place for her right now.
Have a good trip!
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Old Jan 23, 11, 9:36 pm   #3
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You call your airline.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 3:18 pm   #4
 
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Yeah, your airline will do it, either in advance by phone or at the airport when you check in for the first flight.

I guess you have to decide what is more important: your mother's comfort and ease of getting from one gate to another or hanging on to those exit row seats. I have difficulty walking and always opt for a wheelchair.

But, why don't you present her with the options and have her make the decision?
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Old Jan 30, 11, 5:03 pm   #5
 
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When you arrive at the airport you can request it at check in and even request it from a sky cap or curbside check in. They will be more then happy to help.
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Old Jan 31, 11, 2:16 pm   #6
 
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When you arrive at the airport you can request it at check in and even request it from a sky cap or curbside check in. They will be more then happy to help.
Only if you tip. Right?
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Old Feb 1, 11, 1:08 pm   #7
 
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not necessarily.
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Old Feb 2, 11, 7:41 pm   #8
 
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It looks as if you are flying Delta. You can go online to your reservations and request a wheelchair. When you check in, they can see that you need a wheelchair and order one for you. You can also order one from the check-in counter.

You will not be able to be eligible for exit row seating regardless of whether or not you order a wheelchair if your mother has any obvious signs of disability like a cast on her foot or a limp or a cane.

It is seriously not a good idea for your mother to be in these seats. Able-bodied people should occupy them. If there was an emergency you would not want your mother to be responsible for the inability of passengers to exit as quickly as possible. I would never even think of sitting in one of those seats.

If there are no visible signs of disability, and you order a wheelchair it is likely that the flight attendant will ask you to move, and she should do that because it is an unsafe situation.

So if you have to make a decision between using a wheelchair to move around in the airport, or having a exit row seat, I would always opt for a wheelchair. It seems like most of my flights this winter have not arrived on time, making my connection time very quick. Without my wheelchair I would have certainly missed my last plane changes in Orlando and Detroit.

I find the pain of walking to be much more severe than the slight advantage of a bit of extra room in the exit row, and making a connecting flight is generally much more important to me than a bit of extra legroom.

The best seat for people who need extra legroom is the bulkhead seat. Sometimes I have called my airline and asked them to release a bulkhead seat. Normally these are assigned by the gate agent, but if you have a valid request (I had just had my hip replaced) they will often just assign you to bulkhead seats in advance. The only danger is that you can be bumped from those seats if someone is on the plane with a service dog. That has never happened to me, but when they give me bulk head seats in advance they always warn me about that contingency.

My experience with Delta is that if I am not successful with the first phone call I just call until I get someone who will do what I want them to do, so if at first you do not get bulkhead seats, try again.

I would order a wheelchair and call Delta and ask them to pre-assign you and your mother to bulkhead seating.
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