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Priority Boarding - is this a record?

Priority Boarding - is this a record?

Old Aug 16, 14, 11:49 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by flyquiet View Post
Quote:





Originally Posted by drvannostren


Ok I understand the concept, but then my follow up questions are...should they be travelling with no ability to speak the language? I know that might be unavoidable, but people need to be able to help themselves.




I can speak and read one or more languages, but not hear. What would you say about me? Should I not travel just because I can't ask directions and understand the answer? Should I not ask the airline to be prepared to give me written directions for my connection when we land? If a client says "I need you in Japan", I kinda think I should go. I swallow the lump in my throat being a little bit afraid of navigating without being able to ask directions or even read the writing, but I think it's good for me and, obviously, the client thinks it's good for them. I think we should be encouraging people to challenge themselves, whatever their limitations are. The alternative is that they live in a ghetto, never going anywhere.

Wheelchairs and other accessible features are not a premium service that is being denied to everyone else. They are a parallel service that exists for whoever would be helped by it, for whatever reason the chair would help them. If you use a wide washroom stall when you have large bags with you, or toddlers, or that one shower at the gym that has the hand-shower when you are wiped out after a hard run, you aren't "abusing" them. You are using them because you need them, for a different reason than most people need them. Feel free to press the automatic door opener if you have tennis elbow or are carrying a large box and can't manage the heavy door. Feel free to turn on the closed captions on your TV. They're not just for me. Captions are useful for watching the muted TV in bed when someone's trying to sleep - or indeed watching TV with swearing on it when little kids are in the room. Some people need the wheelchair (including in the airport, but also commonly seen at theme parks) because of limited endurance for standing or walking, not the absolute inability to produce the biomechanical performance of walking or standing. The more we accept that using parallel methods of performance is normal, the sooner we stop stigmatizing people with disabilities in general.

To the extent that those people get precious preboarding, and that is perceived to somehow deprive others, that is clearly negotiable. Most theme parks do not let a party of 10 enter through the wheelchair gate. A small party enters, sufficient to support the person that is using the wheelchair, perhaps equal to the number that fit the ride vehicle. The rest, as they say, are encouraged to reunite at the exit. An airline could easily break up parties with wheelchairs and strollers, or even decree no priority boarding for wheelchairs (although the latter seems to be a case of "be careful what you wish for".)
Flyquiet you are seriously one of my heroes.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 12:09 pm
  #32  
 
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If a person legitimately requires a wheelchair then fair enough but surely only 1 member of the family of 10 needs to accompany them through the pre-board procedure. If this was policed a lot of the people who don't require a wheelchair would find it not as necessary to scam it so their whole family jumps the queue and boarding times would be sped up. This stuff has been going on for years and I've noticed it the most on BA flights to YYZ but it's now increased to a point where the airlines should start cracking down. I find some of this as repugnant as people who use handicap spaces although the person who the permit is for is not in the vehicle. Having been temporarily disabled twice with bad ankle fractures I stopped using the handicap spots as soon as I could to enable them to be used by people who had serious mobility problems.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 12:10 pm
  #33  
 
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When she was alive, my 90 year old grandmother would use the wheelchair service because it would simply not be possible for her to walk the 200 metres with her cane. That being said, whenever we flew with her, we would always let the agent take her in while the rest of our family boarded normally with the rest of the economy passengers.

Note: My grandmother did not speak a word of English. She lived through WW2 eating bark off a tree, I'm sure she can sit and wait. She never liked being pampered.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 12:17 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by ibopm View Post
When she was alive, my 90 year old grandmother would use the wheelchair service because it would simply not be possible for her to walk the 200 metres with her cane. That being said, whenever we flew with her, we would always let the agent take her in while the rest of our family boarded normally with the rest of the economy passengers.

Note: My grandmother did not speak a word of English. She lived through WW2 eating bark off a tree, I'm sure she can sit and wait. She never liked being pampered.
I fear that your grandmother's admirable self reliant attitude unfortunately is a thing of the past.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 2:33 pm
  #35  
 
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Grandma badass ftw!
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Old Aug 16, 14, 7:38 pm
  #36  
 
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http://pointmetotheplane.boardingare...gaming-system/

“Surprise, some passengers order a wheelchair to try to game the system and board first. Those people are jerks” Now, I’m not saying that everyone who orders a wheelchair is faking, but I can’t begin to count the times people have boarded the plane in a wheelchair, but by the time we arrive they’ve been miraculously cured of their ailment. It’s a joke between wheelchair attendants and crew members. As we’re getting off the airplane, they’re all lined up with their empty chairs in the jetway as we tell them all the passengers are gone … they were “healed again.” This, folks, is known as the “Jetway Jesus.” Praise be unto him.”

Betty continues spilling her secrets. Thanks to Mark from Yahoo! for sharing a new weekly series called “Confessions of A Fed-Up Flight Attendant” written by “Betty”. Below is the eighth entry from the series, you can check out the full post here and a new one each Monday.

Throughout my career I’ve seen more miracle cures than the pope. It never fails to astonish me how often sick people are instantaneously healed in the process of flying. (Maybe it’s all that ginger ale or maybe it’s the vitamins in the Bloody Mary mix.)

Take this incident I witnessed the other day: I was at the security screening area when a passenger in a wheelchair and her wheelchair attendant moved to the front of the line. I was in my uniform, and I never mind letting a person in a wheelchair go in front of me.

Most people who order a wheelchair actually need assistance or simply can’t walk long distances. Bully for them, they also happen to get on the plane first, typically snagging the best spots to stow their luggage as well. (You can imagine where I’m going with this.)

So this lady hops out of her chair and whisks through the detector and quickly starts walking away. The wheelchair attendant yelled to her, “I have your boarding pass!” He then rolled his eyes at me and said: “Look how fast she’s walking. She’s practically running.”

After I had my heels back on and started down the concourse, I saw the wheelchair attendant pushing manically after the woman down the long concourse, attempting to catch up with her — so she can get back into her chair to board the airplane first.

It’s actually a diabolical plan, because you can’t tell by looking at people if they are indeed disabled. Illnesses and disabilities affect all types of people, of many different ages. And no one in their right mind would accuse someone of faking a disability. … I mean, who on Earth would do such a thing!

But how much do you want to bet that this woman will indeed board the airplane first as a person who needs assistance — but will most definitely not be waiting for her wheelchair at the end of her flight. And why? People in wheelchairs may be boarded first, but when the airplane arrives at its destination, they’re typically kept on board until last so they don’t hold up everyone else who is disembarking.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone who orders a wheelchair is faking, but I can’t begin to count the times people have boarded the plane in a wheelchair, but by the time we arrive they’ve been miraculously cured of their ailment.

It’s a joke between wheelchair attendants and crew members. As we’re getting off the airplane, they’re all lined up with their empty chairs in the jetway as we tell them all the passengers are gone … they were “healed again.” This, folks, is known as the “Jetway Jesus.” Praise be unto him.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 8:56 pm
  #37  
 
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Perhaps a 6 month trial of boarding wheelchair pax and party of 10 after general boarding would see a decrease in the people requiring this service commensurate with the discrepancy of those needing assistance to board but not in disembarking.
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Old Aug 16, 14, 9:04 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by Skiguy View Post
Clipper801, if I send you a picture of my sore ankle, do you think you could send me a prognosis and treatment suggestions? You're obviously some sort of special "shaman like" healer to be able to diagnose one's medical condition simply by watching from afar.....
I was not blind. I could see how that woman stood up from the wheelchair, the way she walked, her speed and the the distance from the gate where she was parked to the toilet which was well over 150 feet each way. She was able to walk unassisted without a cane or other mobility assist device such as a walker or crutch.
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Old Aug 17, 14, 7:02 am
  #39  
 
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That security thing was brilliant. If I'm the wheelchair pusher, CLEARLY you're not getting a tip, AND you have her boarding pass...I go the other way mang. She can walk to her gate with no boarding pass and attempt to deal with that.
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Old Aug 17, 14, 12:45 pm
  #40  
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I had a broken leg in a cast and didn't order wheelchair service. Most airports are manageable. Upon arrival at BKK, we had a good 1KM walk ahead of us and I asked TG if they would mind allowing me to ride along on the buggy. "Are you F class?"...no...."Then you should have ordered wheelchair service, sorry".

Nice treatment. Don't be a cripple in Thailand. You will not be worthy.
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Old Aug 17, 14, 1:51 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Ok I understand the concept, but then my follow up questions are...should they be travelling with no ability to speak the language? I know that might be unavoidable, but people need to be able to help themselves.

A friend of mine had the option of spending a bit more and have his parents connect within Canada before going to India or sending them through China. They speak a bit of English, and 0 Chinese. He went the smart route and at least let them connect in a country they could likely help themselves if something went awry.

My other question is, put yourself in that same situation...you speak no Spanish and you're arriving in Bogota...are you going to book a wheelchair for yourself based on the same principal?
Did not say I agree with it, just explaining why they do it. Most of these seniors are not well traveled without family and most speak one language. Unlike the local senior citizens who have worked and traveled many times. More than the wheelchair, perhaps AC and other airlines should provide a golf cart to take a bunch of them to the gate. Solves the problem and avoids the miraculous cures if they can get to the gate with some assistance. They would not get priority boarding. In any case, they just want to get on the correct plane with assistance because of language issues.
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Old Aug 25, 14, 1:15 pm
  #42  
 
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This must be a record - this morning for AC400 YYZ-YUL, there were 7 passengers
(easy to count) in the non-priority lane; everyone else - over 100 pax - was in
the priority lane. When I made a comment to the GA, she just shrugged and said
that everyone on the Rapidair route was priority.
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Old Aug 25, 14, 5:55 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by IluvSQ View Post
This must be a record - this morning for AC400 YYZ-YUL, there were 7 passengers
(easy to count) in the non-priority lane; everyone else - over 100 pax - was in
the priority lane. When I made a comment to the GA, she just shrugged and said
that everyone on the Rapidair route was priority.
Try going YYZ-LAS for the CES show in Jan. I kid you not that 80% of the plane is priority boarding and they all have status. Maybe there will be fewer in the coming year with Rouge on this sector.
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Old Aug 25, 14, 8:42 pm
  #44  
SYM
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Originally Posted by HerpaYvr View Post
Very nice indeed, When I read the OP comment I just moved on as we have seen so many comments such as that go oh so badly, but I knew what he meant, but you Sir did a very nice job explaining things.
Indeed. Even as I was posting I thought to myself this could go so wrong. But it has been an interesting thread so far, and everyone has been well behaved. So let me just throw the cat among the pigeons and add that the party in question was of multiple ethnicities, not all of them the ones that are implied in several postings above.
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Old Aug 26, 14, 10:39 am
  #45  
 
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Ya I was worried, I have a big issue with people faking disabilities for personal gain, its like fraud. Remember the Disneyland wheel chair scam?

My mom suffered a stroke and is wheel chair bound. I fly to YVR monthly to take her out and explore, enjoy non hospital food have fun with my mom. I only have one mom, I love her and she is the world to me.

The malls in the lower mainland are brutal for handicapped parking abuse, especially Richmond Centre. So many times we park there and sit at the White spot along the front and watch people park there, look around and "be handicapped" and then once they cross the mall doors, OH MY GOOD GOD they are cured. I love going up to them and making fun of this but 95% of the time the language barrier seems to be an issue, but I think they get it.

Before the comments start flying with "what do you mean language barrier" its me, my language!
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