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Old Jun 26, 12, 2:16 pm   #1
 
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Interpretation of mobility impairment..

Hi,

We are looking at O/H's daughter flying from Phoenix to Spokane, probably via US airways or United, on her own, and we are concerned regarding the text below and the meaning of whether someone can 'assist' in their own evacuation.

She is wheelchair bound and cannot walk at all. SO can assist in so much as hold on to someone, but not walk assisted.

We are considering a 'safety assistant' and paying for them to accompany her. Does anyone know how we would go about this?

"For safety-related reasons, if a passenger has a mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to physically assist in his or her own evacuation of the aircraft, US Airways requires that the passenger travel with a safety assistant to assist the passenger to exit the aircraft in case of an emergency evacuation. The safety assistant must purchase his or her own ticket."
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Old Jun 27, 12, 12:27 am   #2
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Welcome to FlyerTalk!

I don't know how the airline defines "physically assist", but from my point of view as a person who cannot walk, equating it with "walk" is a mistake. If I ever have to evacuate an airplane, you can bet your booties that I will physically assist with my own evacuation by scooting on my butt, combat crawling, or whatever else is necessary.

I have flown solo on most major US airlines and have never been denied boarding on the basis of the fact that I do not have a "safety assistant", and the same is true of many independent wheelchair users.

The usual advice is that if the airline, upon boarding, tells you you must have a safety assistant, you turn to another passenger in line and say, "Will you be my safety assistant? Assuming we don't crash, there's nothing you'll have to do."

Edited to add: here's a previous go-round on the same question: Physically assisting one's own evacuation?

Last edited by Katja; Jun 27, 12 at 12:42 am.
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Old Jun 30, 12, 9:44 am   #3
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Katja, I respect your ability to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

There are many reports of completely able bodied people who panic in airplane emergencies and fail to help themselves and obstruct others.

I would follow you out of the plane!
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Old Oct 31, 12, 11:19 am   #4
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In some countries, a person accompanying a disabled person gets a discount on their train ticket, I think state owned airlines give a discount too.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 11:57 am   #5
 
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How to go about it? Just buy two tickets, and then call the airline and tell them one is the safety assistant for the other. Request seats together. Inform them how much assistance is needed (see codes in a sticky at the top of this forum). That's it.

What is O/H?
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Old Nov 3, 12, 10:06 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post
In some countries, a person accompanying a disabled person gets a discount on their train ticket, I think state owned airlines give a discount too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafFlyer View Post
How to go about it? Just buy two tickets, and then call the airline and tell them one is the safety assistant for the other. Request seats together. Inform them how much assistance is needed (see codes in a sticky at the top of this forum). That's it.

What is O/H?
If it's offered, the web site of the company, transit authority, or ailrine would have the information on types of discounts and what is needed to get those discounts. I have never availed of one myself, but I have seen discounts for disability on a number of websites. I am sorry, that's all I know. I'll be sure to provide you somre information when I do find some.
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Old Nov 3, 12, 1:11 pm   #7
 
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Deaf Flyer: I have encountered the most significant discounts outside North America. For flights, in some cases an attendant may accompany a disabled traveler for free (e.g., Airberlin), but this is usually contingent on holding the respective nation's "disability ID card." I have occasionally received discounts to attractions in various countries (e.g., Italian museums, Japanese temples or the Star Ferry in Hong Kong), even though I rarely ask (and often, due to lack of the required identification, wouldn't qualify). In the US, some discounts exist, like the access pass for National Parks, but afaik, nothing related to transportation -- most airlines constantly operate on the brink of bankruptcy, and imagine how they'd fare if every one of today's service dog or handicap parking fakers got to bring a free attendant on flights (and how many additional people would come out of the woodwork with imaginary disabilities). Discounts are hard to control if practically anybody can qualify, so they tend to be more significant in countries where proper definitions and easy identification of truly disabled individuals are in place (e.g., the disability ID card in Germany has categories for severe walking impairments, blindness, etc, and benefits are clearly matched to the specific disability). Back to North America, Air Canada does allow "Passengers who are not self-reliant and are severely physically disabled (paraplegic or quadriplegic)" to bring an attendant for free on domestic flights, and at a discount on other North American flights.
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Old Nov 4, 12, 8:04 pm   #8
 
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I didn't realize the OP was looking for a discount, so I didn't mention it. I have never received any discount other than a free upgrade to business class once, years ago.
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Old Nov 14, 12, 2:08 pm   #9
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I didn't realize the OP was looking for a discount, so I didn't mention it. I have never received any discount other than a free upgrade to business class once, years ago.
As jenpdx has stated, unfortunately North America does not offer discounts for people with disability. I have seen discounts for disabled people on many websites of railways and bus systems around the world. In some countries, the discounted is mandated by the government. Usually you are requuired to present some documentation at the time of purchasing or validating your ticket. The discount applies to the disabled person, as well a travelling companion/attendant/nurse. Documentation is usually an an ID issued by local or federal govt of that country. I commend governments who do that.

My father received tremendous amount of assistance as a senior citizen. He wasn't officially disabled as he didn't want to labeled one but he could barely walk or stand straight. He would call the metro station ahead. He would be met at the metro station by a Metro personnel, who helped him get out of a vehicle into a wheel chair. He was taken to the platform (via elevator) and wheeled on a specified location on the platform. The helper wheeled his chair into a special area right next to the driver. At the destination, he was wheeled off the train under direct observation of the driver so that there was no chance of an accident. He did get a senior citizen's discount. No many people used metro at his age and in his condition. He would tell me with such pride how we went to such and such place by metro.
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