Travel abroad and airport assistance an Insurance

kfrweaving
kfrweaving Member Posts: 45
edited 21. Apr 2018, 02:29 in Living with Arthritis archive
I'm not long back from a trip to Germany and sadly on the way back it was hell. I flew with Ryan Air because of the cost. I found the whole process difficult online and phone due to having epilepsy and struggling to read small print.
The German Red Cross at the airport were amazing, I was taken in a wheelchair to the check in desk and through security without having to get out of the chair.
But the problem came when it was check in. Ryan Air did not make clear that you could only take one piece of hand luggage on. I had a small backpack and a suitcase. The abrupt and non smiling staff told me i would have to pay 48 Euros to get my suitcase home. I didn't even have that in my account. My hip was in pain an I simply went into melt down. Airports i find terrifying. I sat in tears until the wonderful Red Cross assistant asked if i had medical insurance. YES I DID! He handed by documentation to the Ryan Air staff who looked really grumpy and talked in high speed German! Then he turned round and said that me and my suitcase would be returning to Manchester on the same plane! I was so happy! The German assistant calmed me down, as when i get too worked up, sometimes i can take small seizures.
Even though i do not have serious arthritis i can find steps awkward so they arranged for a lift onto the plane. When i got on the plane, it was almost full and i found my seat right at the back! No member of staff offered to help. It was another passenger who lifted my bag and walking stick into the overhead locker. I was so tired and emotional i couldn't be bothered saying what i felt.
Although the staff were polite, they didn't go out of their way. Airport assistance when i got off the plane was excellent. Several lessons have been learnt! I'm not travelling with Ryan Air again! I will definitely ask for airport assistance again as these people were amazing. Most importantly to read through carefully the luggage details. And i will definitely make sure i have medical insurance!!! The whole day was so stressful and my hip was agony. But without the airport assistance i couldn't have got through the two airports in time for my flight. I sent emails back to the airports to say thank you and a complaint to Ryan Air! When i flew out to Hamburg with German wings the experience was the complete opposite. When i got back home i ended up taking 2 huge seizures the next day which made my hip even worse! Thankfully yesterday i got a steroid injection in my hip, so that will hopefully help things.
Also i had to do a lot of research in museums and a lot provided wheelchairs. So during stages in a visit i asked if i could use a wheelchair.......the first time i have ever done so......and there was no problem. It slowed me down, but made me look at the exhibits more carefully. Sorry for the moan, but it was my first time travelling with arthritis. I'll definitely travel again…..just not with Ryan Air!!!!

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,244
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sorry you had such a tough time of things but pleased that Airport Assistance and the Red Cross were so helpful.

    I travel annually to the USA with no problems but I think Ryanair would scare me. Indeed, most short haul airlines these days are economising so much that nothing can be taken for granted and small print must be scrutinised. If you have trouble with that do ask someone else to do it for you. You could probably read it online where print can be enlarged.

    Having said that, I don't think even long haul flights allow two cabin bags. One plus a laptop / handbag, yes, but not two. Space in the overhead lockers is limited.

    Travel insurance and airline research is vital. We do it all over again every year just to make sure.

    On a lighter note, anyone who has not heard Fascinating Aida's song 'Cheap Flights' is in for a treat.



    P.S. I've just listened again to it. I roared with laughter but should advise that the language is not for the faint-hearted.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You poor thing, what a horrid experience and that will surely taint the better memories of your trip.

    As with many aspects of life you get what you pay for and, even though I am not a traveller of any kind where I am not in control, I know from reading the financial press that Ryan Air is one of the premier shyster operations of the cheaper air lines. I am sure that when people are invited round for dinner at Michael O'Leary's they are presented with a bill they have to pay before he lets them leave: costs will include contributions towards the expenses of the gas and electric used in preparing the food and lighting the house, wear and tear on his soft furnishings including carpets, the water used in flushing, hand washing and the extra load on the dishwasher. The man is not known for his philanthropic tendencies. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jennand
    jennand Member Posts: 121
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am sure that when people are invited round for dinner at Michael O'Leary's they are presented with a bill they have to pay before he lets them leave: costs will include contributions towards the expenses of the gas and electric used in preparing the food and lighting the house, wear and tear on his soft furnishings including carpets, the water used in flushing, hand washing and the extra load on the dishwasher. The man is not known for his philanthropic tendencies. DD
    [/quote]

    Plus you can only bring a small handbag and the dining room chairs have just enough legroom under the table to fit a very short person