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LHR no longer allowed to accompany someone booked for wheelchair assistance

LHR no longer allowed to accompany someone booked for wheelchair assistance

Old Oct 15, 2023, 6:23 am
  #1  
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LHR no longer allowed to accompany someone booked for wheelchair assistance

Our last couple of journeys through LHR we have encountered a bizarre new policy when using wheelchair assistance. I travel with someone who needs the wheelchair assistance to get through the airport but who also needs me to accompany them. Lately whenever they have used the multi-seater buggies they have refused to allow me to accompany them in the buggy as I am not booked for assistance. These are always used when arriving and sometimes when departing on being collected from the lounge. This leads to much unpleasantness and stress for my travel companion until we either eventually win out or have to go it alone.
The only solution it appears is that I now have to unnecessarily book wheelchair assistance for myself when using LHR. Does anyone have any suggested solution for this problem other than booking us both with assistance? Their service is the most horrendously and incompetently run of any airport I've used so I would rather not put any more strain on it than is needed.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 6:45 am
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Are they refusing you a spare seat on the buggy once all other customers with wheelchair assistance are accommodated?
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you
Are they refusing you a spare seat on the buggy once all other customers with wheelchair assistance are accommodated?
The problem I have seen, maybe because there seems to be less buggies now is that the buggies are full. That is fine but there needs to be an option for the able bodied person to be adjacent to the person getting assistance its fine with wheelchair assistance but not when the buggies head off at speed
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 7:05 am
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I’m sorry but the title was misleading. I didn’t realise this was about buggies to get to the gate. In that instance I agree with you BUT it should be limited to one person only to accompany.

I thought that you meant the Boarding Process. There I’ve watched six or more people accompany the wheelchair passenger. I have to say that this is Alicante. As stated here many times recently, the question is not whether there will be a wheelchair passengers, but how many wheelchair passengers they will be. I have seen up to 16 on one occasion.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 7:23 am
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Personally I don’t think anyone should accompany the assistance customer unless there is some mental issues.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 7:45 am
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In my experience it is only when the buggies are full with people that really need the assistance that able-bodied accompanying passengers are requested to make their own way to the gate.

That makes sense to me and is a practical solution.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 8:56 am
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They should at least guarantee one seat for someone to accompany the person who needs assistance. Why create more stress?
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 9:23 am
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Do you know how many wheelchair assistance customers there are each day and just because you need the buggy doesn’t mean you have to stress?
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you
Personally I dont think anyone should accompany the assistance customer unless there is some mental issues.
I take it you are never alone?🙄
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you
Do you know how many wheelchair assistance customers there are each day and just because you need the buggy doesnt mean you have to stress?
Who cares how many there are? They are pretty much all notified well in advance so very predictable. Yet again were creating excuses for what is well managed at other airports, but at Heathrow seems to be equivalent to sending man to Mars despite some of the highest passenger charges in the world. Of all the first world problems that are mentioned on here, letting a carer accompany a wheelchair bound passenger would seem one of most straightforward and least entitled issues to address.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:12 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69
I take it you are never alone?🙄
You do not know my circumstances and Im only giving my personal opinion.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:16 am
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As someone who regularly travels with someone who has a physical disability, and who has in the past used disability assistance, Im perfectly happy to walk and meet her at the gate etc.
When I get to the gate I know shell have been assisted to a bench etc to wait for me. If shes beyond the barriers (pre boarding area) Ill approach the podium and tell the staff Im with that passenger and am let through to her. Its not an issue.
Certainly, unless there are spare seats, the assistance buggies are for those needing assistance - I have no issue being asked to walk or wait.

As others have said, unless there are differing circumstances such as the person youre with having a mental disability or you having a mobility issue yourself, I feel this is the right call.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:16 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Kgmm77
Who cares how many there are? They are pretty much all notified well in advance so very predictable. Yet again were creating excuses for what is well managed at other airports, but at Heathrow seems to be equivalent to sending man to Mars despite some of the highest passenger charges in the world. Of all the first world problems that are mentioned on here, letting a carer accompany a wheelchair bound passenger would seem one of most straightforward and least entitled issues to address.
You tell that to HAL who contract out this service on behalf of the airlines at LHR.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:16 am
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I had requested wheelchair assistance for my mother's trip over to visit me here in Switzerland from SEA a couple weeks back. In SEA the assistance worked fine she said. In LHR, they didn't bother to meet her at all, as she arrived and was put on a bus. She can walk a bit, and somehow ended up at T2, where she went through security, and afterwards someone bounced her back to T5. She got to A10 where her flight was boarding to ZRH just in time to make the flight. I have to say the service is worse than laughingly poor.
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Old Oct 15, 2023, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you
You tell that to HAL who contract out this service on behalf of the airlines at LHR.
I dont understand your point. Are you now saying its a reasonable expectation to be accompanied by a carer, but its just inept service delivery that it cant be managed? As a customer I genuinely dont care whats outsourced, insourced, or how its managed. And I dont think a customer should be expected to modify their behaviour based on a reasonable expectation for what is ultimately incompetence of others.
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