You might need extra assistance to and from your flight a number of times during your travelling history. Whether you are recovering from a surgery or passing through a health condition that makes you difficult to walk. You might slip a couple of days ahead of your flight, hence making extremely painful for you to go through the check-in procedure on the departure day.
These are the conditions when you can ask for the wheelchair assistance. Almost all airlines in the UK are offering wheelchair transportation to and from the gates to all the passengers having health issues or disability. In case you have a connecting flight, your airline is legally bound to provide wheelchair assistance for your connections. Rules and regulations may vary, but almost all airlines offer wheelchair assistance to the travellers.
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Below are the ways you can make a request and avail wheelchair assistance at the airport:
Before the departure date and time
You may have to come across delays while travelling during the peak travelling days when the attendants are too busy with other passengers in providing them with wheelchair assistance. Choose the largest plane to book your flight. This will give you more options for seating and restroom when you go with booking the seat in the plane having two or more aisles. Do not forget to call your airline at least 48 hours ahead of your departure time to ask for the wheelchair assistance. The customer service representative will mention “special assistance required” in your booking record and will ask your departure and arrival airports to provide you with wheelchair assistance.
Buy your snacks and other food items before reaching the airport. You might not be able to purchase food before and between the flights as your wheelchair attendant is not bounded to take you to the food court. The ideal way is to go for packed food and carry it with you during the flight.
At your departure airport
Try to reach the airport plenty of time ahead of your departure time, especially during the peak holiday season. In this case, you will have enough time for check-in and go through the airport security screening. Do not expect to get the head-of-line advantage at the checkpoint due to your health condition. You might have to wait sometime for wheelchair attendants who are busy in assisting other passengers like you.
If you will require wheelchair assistance on the plane too, there is a chance that you will be asked to board the plane before other passengers. If you have clearly mentioned your needs, it will become a lot easier for wheelchair and flight attendants to ensure the best possible assistance to you.
Between the flights
Once the plane lands, wait for the other passengers to deplane first. No need to panic yourself. A wheelchair attendant will assist you with the deplaning and will make sure to take you safely to the next flight.
In case you want to avail restroom facility between the connecting flights, mention clearly that due to a certain disability you want to take some rest in the restroom. If you have stated that earlier, you will be taken to the restroom by wheelchair attendant.
At the destination airport
You will meet your wheelchair attendant as soon as you are deplaned with the help of flight attendants. He takes you to the baggage claim area to get your checked luggage.
Although airlines ask the passengers to notify about their wheelchair assistance requirement, at least 48 to 72 hours ahead of their departure time. But if you have met an accident and are looking for assistance at the last minute, make sure to reach the airport plenty of time before the flying time, so that arrangements for wheelchair can be made without risking your flight.
Meet and greet at Gatwick is the ideal service if you are a passenger travelling with wheelchair assistance.