Flying Colours

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stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
edited 23. Apr 2014, 06:02 in Living with Arthritis archive
We deal out plenty of brickbats for unhelpful and, frankly, disrespectful attitudes towards disabled people so I thought I'd redress the balance and maybe persuade some of you that flying is one of the most arthrits-friendly methods of travel. In the 10 years that our son has lived in Los Angeles we've used many different airlines and airports for visiting him but, with a couple of minor exceptions, the service (and we can only afford cattle class) has been second to none. Some examples:

1. The security men at more than one passport control desk who have taken one look at my hands and waived me through without fingerprinting me, sometimes apologising profusely for even asking.

2. The pilot of the plane which landed late in Philadelphia who personally ran up the portal and commandeered a buggy so that we wouldn't miss our connection. (We were last on board.)

3. The desk lady at L.A. who, to ensure our comfort, allotted myself and Mr SW three adjacent seats on an otherwise full-to-capacity airbus.

4. The bus driver taking us to a hotel for the night when a delayed flight meant we missed our connection. She lowered the bus, helped Mr SW to haul me on board and, at the hotel, jumped out to fetch me a wheelchair (as mine, and our luggage, had been booked to go direct so was still at the airport.) After a free, three course meal, with wine, we were flown out business class next day.)

5. The many porters who have refused even a surreptitious tip after wheeling me from one long terminal building to another, usually asking en route if I need the loo and, once, wheeling me right in :o:o

6. The crews who, invariably, not only insist I remain sitting comfortably in the plane until my wheelchair has arrived but also stay with me at the end of a long shift.

7. The wonderful guys who, on more than one occasion have got me up the steep steps of a Fokker (Fokkers can't use portals) by means of standing right behind me and shadowing my every move ie as I placed one foot on the next step, they'd place theirs beside it so I couldn't fall backwards then as I brought my trailing leg up, they'd bring theirs up, too, behind it and gently shoving mine. (Choose the best-looking young fellow and enjoy, ladies :lol: )

8. The care with which I am always wheeled up and down portals and gentled over each bump. (Mr SW's preferred tactic is to hurtle me at them on the grounds that the faster the speed, the more likely we are to clear the bumps without him having to stop and, besides, I don't fall out often :wink: )
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
Steven Wright

Comments

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    SW welcome home...that has replenished my faith in the human race..how lovely of all those people to go out of there way or show compassion...bet you felt good when the pilot help out with the buggy
    I have only flown to Spain since I got arthritis but have found the staff at the airports to be so lovely and helpful...x
    Love
    Barbara
  • 19smp59
    19smp59 Member Posts: 105
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I've enjoyed reading this, so nice to see that the majority of people are caring x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh! :) (DD breaks into song.) Helloooo, Sticky, well helloooooo, Sticky! :D It's so good to have you back where you belong . . . . . der-de-der-de der-de-der . . . . .

    You have Lived with Arthritis for so very long and your spirit remains undimmed; there are many good people out there but finding them can be a challenge in itself: how much comes down to us, I wonder? :? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,154
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    WELCOME HOME STICKY. Mig
  • mike26
    mike26 Member Posts: 416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Welcome home stickywicket
    we missed ya :)
    mike26..
  • applerose
    applerose Member Posts: 3,621
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Welcome home Sticky. You never fail to make me giggle. Must try asking for help up the stairs next time I fly. And must remember to ask for the best looking young man. :lol: It is good to know there are still many helpful people out there.
    Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you everyone for the lovely welcome back. My body and I are slowly adjusting to the time zone and temperature :roll: Tomorrow, let the exercises begin again :mrgreen:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Welcome home Sticky, I am glad to see you were so well looked after and I should think so to :D xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • nearlybionic
    nearlybionic Member Posts: 1,899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Sticky
    Welcome home!and so good to read your stories of you great experiences of customer service, just as it should be too!!
    NB
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Welcome back! So pleased to hear you had a positive experience of travel, always nice to hear. I hope you settle back into normal life without too much jet lag.

    Out of interest, do you sit in the seats with more leg space? How do you find the length of the flight? I'm looking into going away but swelled up very badly on a flight from London to Paris, so a bit hesitant.

    Pleased to have you back. :) x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Starburst wrote:
    Out of interest, do you sit in the seats with more leg space? How do you find the length of the flight? I'm looking into going away but swelled up very badly on a flight from London to Paris, so a bit hesitant.

    There's a website www.seatguru.com If you know what type of aircraft you're flying in, it'll tell you the seats which are best for legroom and those which are more restricted. Mr SW, who is 6' 2”, is a devotee :lol: I like bulkhead seats for the extra leg space but he doesn't because, as the TV screen and controls fold back into the arms of these, they're not as wide.

    Length of flight (10-11 hrs) doesn't bother me as much as length of day, which is never less than 24 hours. My feet do swell and, having once really struggled to get my shoes back on, I now change, in the departure lounge, into sandals which just have 2 velcro straps so can be widened as I go. I only have tea after meals, never more than one glass of wine but do keep swilling water and fruit juice and walk round the plane a lot. (The water and fruit juice ensure plenty of trips to the loo anyway :lol: ) I don't wear flight socks.

    However, if you swelled up on a flight from London to Paris I'd take medical advice if I were you. This is a short, low altitude flight and shouldn't cause any problems. Giiven that yours did, you might need to take further precautions though I don't know what.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Welcome home sticky, I have to agree with you on the way your treated at Airports and on planes. Your treated like royalty almost! From the minute we arrive at certain airports the disabled assistance people are amazing. And even if you have to go outside to board a plane I always go up on the portable lift! And when we get to our destination we always pay extra and get a private transfer to the hotel and on our return at the end of the holiday. Glad you had a nice time Sticky. :D
  • Bonnielinda
    Bonnielinda Member Posts: 37
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    How wonderful! Sounds like you had a great trip. It really is reassuring to see that the public can be so aware and kind of others needs.

    Now, just have to visit a friend abroad and hope for similar treatment:)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Don't just hope, BonnieLinda. Arrange it first with the special assistance people. They need to know you have special needs. After that, it all falls into place :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Bonnielinda
    Bonnielinda Member Posts: 37
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for the tip SW! Will have to remember to request special assistance the next time we travel.