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Requesting Special Assistance - Your Feedback Requested

Requesting Special Assistance - Your Feedback Requested

Old Oct 28, 22, 11:44 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
I can see why that'd be an issue for particular types of mobility passengers. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I wonder how much is airport controlled like you said, and how much influence the carrier would have. I'll have to dig into it.
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There are a few airlines that choose to use their own staff to provide assistance services but in general it appears to be contracted out to the airport's preferred service provider. It would be difficult for any airline to provide staff and equipment at all airports, especially expensive equipment like Ambulifts which require a staff of 2/3.

Unfortunately not all airports have Ambulifts or they are not always available when needed which can lead to severe problems for disabled passengers who are faced with with unacceptable alternatives:
  • Navigate stairs themselves with assistance
  • Being carried up/down stairs which is uncomfortable, frightening and possible dnagerous
  • Using a stair climbing wheelchair, my wife had such a bad experience using one at Bournemouth being painfully jolted on every step that she now refuses to use one.
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Old Oct 28, 22, 4:15 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
Transferring meals when a disruption occurs (i.e. a change on the day where e.g. the aircraft was changed, flight was cancelled, and you were put on a replacement flight etc.) is an issue were aware of and looking at currently. The logistics of it can make it tricky especially if its a short delay/amount of time to get the meal onto the new aircraft but were still looking into it.

Meal labelling has come up a lot in the comments here so I'm going to group them - our meals are provided by a third-party but given it's such an issue, I'll investigate what is there now and if it's possible to add better labelling if that's an issue within our airline. To be honest, I don't know at the moment what is on our meals I havent gone to that level of detail yet but that will be todays line of investigation.

If you all had a wish list for labelling could you tell me exactly what you'd want to see? I'm assuming the typical carbo/protein/fat etc. breakdown won't suffice, but allergens isn't an area I'm overly familiar with so if I'm asking for better labelling, what does that translate to exactly? Do you have an example where the labelling provided told you everything you needed to know, and an example where they mightve tried but failed?

I'll look into the snacks with the meals. They could well be from different suppliers so I'll have to check that also. But again, both variety and labelling seem to be the main issues so will take that away.

Thank you all for the above comments both in this reply and the other replies. This is extremely valuable feedback and is much appreciated.
I know things are typically tight with space, but an idea might be to carry one or two extra of the various meals, for situations where someone is added to the flight last minute.

As far as labeling, I'd like a list of ingredients, a list of allergens, and a statement about if it is made in a facility that also manufactures items with the various allergens. For example, a local to me ice cream company manufactures something like 100 different ice cream flavors. I have a nut allergy, so I was concerned that I couldn't eat most, if any of their ice cream, because a lot of it contains nuts, and many times, manufacturing lines are cleaned between batches, but you don't know if someone is going a great job or not. Said ice cream company is very allergy conscious, and plans their production runs around allergen usage. They start with the ice creams that don't have common allergens, other than milk, and add ingredients as their production schedule progresses. Once they manufacture the ice creams with allergens, they shut down that production line and do a deep clean of it. I think they said something like it is out of service for 30 hours, being disassembled and cleaned top to bottom, before they use it again. As such, I can be confident that a nut-free product from them really is nut-free. They don't label any of the ice creams that don't have nuts as being made where they manufacture items with nuts, because of their cleaning processes.
Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
Hi Kipper. For additional seating you'd have to purchase that but it is possible. I'm adding something to the new flow for it also.
I would be open to that, if it wasn't at full fare.
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Old Oct 29, 22, 4:14 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
I bolded some of your text that initially sounds unbelievable but I wonder if it's liability-related. For example, if you fell while being assisted by e.g. a cabin crew member would that leave the airline open to legal action. I wonder is that why they're hesitant if that's what you've experienced.
It may be as you suggest, though I don't know how helping me not fall would incur more liability than wheeling a wheelchair around. It may also be that personnel are not trained on what to do when someone can't negotiate that gap replete with obstacles, on entering the plane. It is hard to say. I would think an airline's legal department could give a useful opinion on whether there is more liability in not helping, when a passenger has put the airline on notice of a visual disability, or in helping.

Thank you again for all you are doing.
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Old Nov 4, 22, 12:54 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I know things are typically tight with space, but an idea might be to carry one or two extra of the various meals, for situations where someone is added to the flight last minute.

As far as labeling, I'd like a list of ingredients, a list of allergens, and a statement about if it is made in a facility that also manufactures items with the various allergens. For example, a local to me ice cream company manufactures something like 100 different ice cream flavors. I have a nut allergy, so I was concerned that I couldn't eat most, if any of their ice cream, because a lot of it contains nuts, and many times, manufacturing lines are cleaned between batches, but you don't know if someone is going a great job or not. Said ice cream company is very allergy conscious, and plans their production runs around allergen usage. They start with the ice creams that don't have common allergens, other than milk, and add ingredients as their production schedule progresses. Once they manufacture the ice creams with allergens, they shut down that production line and do a deep clean of it. I think they said something like it is out of service for 30 hours, being disassembled and cleaned top to bottom, before they use it again. As such, I can be confident that a nut-free product from them really is nut-free. They don't label any of the ice creams that don't have nuts as being made where they manufacture items with nuts, because of their cleaning processes.

I would be open to that, if it wasn't at full fare.
Hi Kipper

I've now seen the meals themselves and the menus we offer in the cabin. We clearly state ingredients and allergen information. It is also made obvious where particular meals e.g. were made in a factory that handles nuts, or that there may be traces of nuts in the food provided.
Definitely happy you all raised this as an issue and delighted we are currently providing the information that passengers need to comfortably complete a journey.

Also, to answer a comment further up on combination meals e.g. a meal that is lactose free and gluten free, while there is no SSR code or specific meal advertised for this, our special assistance department does handle these requests and will accommodate them wherever possible (which is almost always, and normally made in-house).
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Old Nov 4, 22, 4:37 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
Also, to answer a comment further up on combination meals e.g. a meal that is lactose free and gluten free, while there is no SSR code or specific meal advertised for this,[u] our special assistance department does handle these requests and will accommodate them wherever possible (which is almost always, and normally made in-house).
Now tell us what airline you work for! I've got travel to plan.
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Old Nov 7, 22, 11:47 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Now tell us what airline you work for! I've got travel to plan.
haha! I would imagine given the EU regulations, that the EU carriers would be compliant, but I would've expected non-EU carriers flying into the EU to have the same compliance on those particular flights at least, but I could be wrong. That tends to be the way for our carrier when we fly to the US, for example - we have to comply with DOT regulations on those particular flights. But I'm certainly not a lawyer and perhaps most of the flights in question are e.g. internal US flights.

Hopefully improvements are made there as it sounds like a pain.
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Old Nov 7, 22, 12:05 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Jerry5566 View Post
haha! I would imagine given the EU regulations, that the EU carriers would be compliant, but I would've expected non-EU carriers flying into the EU to have the same compliance on those particular flights at least, but I could be wrong. That tends to be the way for our carrier when we fly to the US, for example - we have to comply with DOT regulations on those particular flights. But I'm certainly not a lawyer and perhaps most of the flights in question are e.g. internal US flights.

Hopefully improvements are made there as it sounds like a pain.
Let's just say transatlantic EI has been known to make MAJOR labeling mistakes...
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