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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,684,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
It's pretty standard to board passengers in wheelchairs first (obese or not), probably because it's much simpler logistically for the airline personnel helping them board if the other seats aren't already crowded with passengers.
My husband is temporarily mobility impaired due to an accident, and we were pre-boarded without even asking over our past couple of flights. He is not in a wheelchair but is moving slowly due to multiple broken bones. For each of our four flights over the past few days they approached us in the boarding area just before they began boarding and asked us to preboard. It takes him a little longer to get around and to get settled, and having him in his seat before the cattle call down the jetway is the smarter option for everyone.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:21 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,829,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
that sucks. I don't think need of certain people should not be place above that of others. Since when extremely obese people are treated better than everyone else?
They are not. Operating procedures call for the passengers requiring special handling to be dealt with first as it is easier in an empty airplane. Particularly if they are using body carts. And somebody screwed up and they were not ready. The weather is just the luck of the draw. I think I have gotten off an airplane after bordering at least 50 times. Even gone to the runway...sit three hours...return and unload. Luck of the drawer.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,696 posts, read 16,145,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
that sucks. I don't think need of certain people should not be place above that of others. Since when extremely obese people are treated better than everyone else?
Obesity is not a covered disability under the Air Carrier Access Act in the United States, but another condition that required the use of a wheelchair likely was, (diabetes complications, maybe?) and the airlines are subject to huge fines for failure to comply with that law. US Airways paid a $1.2 million penalty over failure to provide adequate wheelchair access to passengers in 2013.

DOT Announces Two New Air Carrier Access Act Rules, Issues $1.2 Million FIne | NVRC.org

So likely a case where the airline's home office has hard rules about how disability access is handled regardless of most other circumstances, even if it otherwise impacts airline performance.

I suspect that even if anne didn't have elite status her husband would still be preboarded in a timely manner. US Air would still be going the extra mile on disability cases- temporary or permanent- right now, because their mothership didn't want to face an ever bigger fine because they haven't corrected a known legal compliance issue.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:08 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,684,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I suspect that even if anne didn't have elite status her husband would still be preboarded in a timely manner. US Air would still be going the extra mile on disability cases- temporary or permanent- right now, because their mothership didn't want to face an ever bigger fine because they haven't corrected a known legal compliance issue.
As they saw us walk up and take seats they approached us and asked if he would like to "get a head start" before they began boarding the first class cabin. They didn't know my status or where our seats were. They were very proactive about the small accommodation he needs right now.

Realistically he should be in a wheelchair or electric cart, but he gets stiff from sitting too long and there is also elevated DVT risk, so he wanted to walk between gates instead. I guess the sling, cast, brace, boot, etc. and the fact that he walks about as fast as a snail are a giveaway. The good news is that in another 6-8 weeks he should be fully healed.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,696 posts, read 16,145,172 times
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Excellent that the end of his health issues seem to be in sight
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:49 PM
 
8,991 posts, read 8,144,772 times
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Quote:
that sucks. I don't think need of certain people should not be place above that of others. Since when extremely obese people are treated better than everyone else?
Then you definitely show that you know nothing about federal laws, and regulations that control air lines, work places, etc. The only person that means anything to you, is you. You want the world to stop, and make way for you.

Due to age (84), and some health conditions I cannot walk any great distance at all. When I am going any distance such as the length of an airport to make a plane, I use a travel scoot. Best Mobility Scooters - The TravelScoot is the lightest and best mobility scooter or electric wheelchair in the world! It folds and unfolds as quick and easy as an umbrella, runs on Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries and has legions of devoted customers It folds up and goes into a small bag and easy to take to a plane. The airline will allow me to ride it right up to the plane itself, and they will fold it up, and stow it in the bag. Due to this, I am loaded before the other passengers to get it out of the way for other passengers, and board at that time. As my wife is 86, they board us together.

Imagine trying to take that right up to the plane through the boarding ramps, with other passengers all boarding at the same time.

At the destination, they set it back up for me, and I ride away. Of course I wait for the others to depart to make it easier for exiting.

If you look at the video, you will see an older man lifting it into the back of his car. It is so light, even a woman can lift it, especially if you unplug the battery and lift it off. Fits real nice in the back of our Explorer. Fold it up, and it can fit in the trunk of any car, even small ones.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:23 AM
 
556 posts, read 764,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
A similar thing just happened to me. Plane was ready at the gate but no one was allowed to board because this two extremely obese old people were waiting on special wheel chairs from a connecting flight and needed to board first. After a 30 minute delay they finally got these special needs people on the plane. As soon as that happened high winds and rain picked up and they decided to know delay the plane indefinitely. I left fairbanks Alaska well over 24 hours ago and now am stuck in Chicago for god knows how long because of these two people. Anyways just wanted to rant. FML.
The same could easily happen with two people needing wheel chair assist for any other reason. The problem was not that the passengers were obese. The real problem was that the airline didn't manage the pre-board process. The airline is responsible for having the wheelchairs in place on time.
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:35 PM
 
8,991 posts, read 8,144,772 times
Reputation: 19510
Quote:
The real problem was that the airline didn't manage the pre-board process. The airline is responsible for having the wheelchairs in place on time.
The real problem was that the airline didn't manage the pre-board process. The airline is responsible for having the wheelchairs in place on time.

It apparently took 30 minutes to get those two people in wheelchairs seated and wheelchairs stowed. As planes are released to load, before anyone can be put aboard, it would not normally be possible to have a half hour before normal time to board passengers to put those two aboard. When it was time to board, they put them aboard, and that alone delayed the boarding and ultimately the departure being cancelled.

Having been in charge of air terminals for both passengers and cargo, I understand the problems. The loading, cannot take place until the plane is cleared to load. Loading was scheduled at a certain time, and when they were cleared to load, they first had to load those 2 wheelchair passengers, then other passengers. The passenger handlers, may very well have been sending out other passengers on another plane, and until they were finished and ready to move to this plane to load passengers, there was no one to load those two passengers half an hour before loading time. They never have a loading crew for each plane. They handle each plane separably, and move to the next plane when they finish the one ahead of it. The flight attendants are not the ones that handle those two large older people in wheel chairs. They are bigger stronger men, and are scheduled in cases like this to be there to load them at time to load the plane. They are doing other duties, till loading time.

What passengers don't see, is what goes on overall. They think the plane they are to fly on, is the only thing the airlines have to worry about. Wrong. Especially at a busy airport, they handle passengers and cargo loading in order, one after another. The plane is scheduled to load at 2 pm as an example. They will move into the area to handle passenger loading, just a few moments before time to load, after finishing a previous plane.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Limbo
6,475 posts, read 6,200,902 times
Reputation: 6244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney123 View Post
20 is a significant number of people. My airline would hold for that many. They were probably on a late,arrival and your flight was their "connection". Now if it had been 3 or 4 people, they'd probably have missed the flight. ( no hold).
It's the same at the airline I work at.

Also, if weather had delayed inbound flights and the flight you are on is a busy connection flight, they'll hold it.
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