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Travelling by airplanes can seem to be a daunting challenge for people with special needs or for individuals who suffer from an injury. At such times, people with reduced mobility are unable to board their flight without the help of a wheelchair at airports.
Due to an increase in awareness about the special needs of people with disabilities, wheelchair facility at airports has been made available. This has made life easier for individuals who need wheelchair assistance and has allowed them to have satisfying travel experience.
Nowadays, airports and airlines offer several options for people who wish to opt for wheelchair assistance. However, there are certain steps and measures that you need to take to ensure that you get a wheelchair at the airport.
So, let’s look at how to get a wheelchair at the airport for a person having disability or injury.
Yes, your preparation for getting wheelchair assistance at airports needs to begin before you even book your flight. Also, in case you are flying for the first time, early preparation might be one of the most useful tips for your first-ever flight.
You can start by checking with your respective airline about the guidelines for wheelchair assistance. Since almost all airlines offer wheelchair assistance at airports, you need to check for the related guidelines and policies to avoid any kind of last-minute hassles.
For example, if you wish to get wheelchair assistance with IndiGo, you need to notify them about your special needs/requests at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure. Apart from this, you can also inform them about your wheelchair requirement while making your booking.
Similarly, Air India offers wheelchair assistance to help you navigate and go through the customs and formalities at the airport. You can also ask for mobility assistance while you book your tickets.
This will help you get a clear idea about the airline policies for flying with a personal wheelchair at the airport as well as sizing requirements of your wheelchair. You can either check for this information on their website or you could give a call on one of their helpline numbers.
Wheelchair Assistance at the Airport
Once you have booked your tickets, you need to prepare for the airport screenings and security checks. On the day of your flight, you need to reach the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight.
You can then contact the concerned airline for a wheelchair facility at the airport. You can also do this at the ‘Airline Counter’ in the ‘Visitor’s Lobby’. After your wheelchair is approved, a helper or assistant will be assigned to you. The assistant will guide you through the airport.
Most of the time, you will find reserved vehicular lanes for your wheelchair at airports. These lanes prove to be very helpful as you can use them to reach your terminals on time. You can also request the airport staff to provide for wheelchair assistance in case of connecting flights.
Also, most airlines offer the pre-boarding facilities for individuals with special needs as part of their wheelchair assistance. You need to inform the gate staff about your pre-boarding plans in order to use this wheelchair facility at airports.
You need to also be present near the gate early so that you can have a hassle-free boarding experience. Airlines will also prepare for ramps, lifts or aisle chairs in order to get you onboard safely and conveniently.
Apart from this, some countries and airlines require you to have a travel insurance as well. This helps you stay financially secured even if there is any kind of damage to your belongings.
In addition to this, you need to be prepared for the recent coronavirus pandemic as well. While you carry your passport and other important documents, you need to wear face masks and also carry other essential things during Covid-19.
So, the next time you are worried about how to get wheelchair assistance at airport, you can just relax and follow these basic steps. This will help you stay calm during the whole process and will also allow you to have a comfortable travel experience.
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