This is a guest post from my niece, Alyssa. She has been in a wheelchair since the age of six, due to a near fatal car accident. I feel she raises some good points, things that should be talked about.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be on an airplane for hours at a time and have to go to the bathroom but not being able to go because there is no wheelchair on the plane? (Wheelchairs are kept with the luggage.)
I am in a wheelchair and I love traveling! It sometimes is a struggle though to fly for many hours and not have any way to go to the bathroom. I never order food or drinks on the plane because I am scared I will have to use the bathroom and basically I would be screwed!
Let me explain. An Aisle chair is what is used to get those of us in wheelchairs from the gate to our seat on the plane. Your typical wheelchair does not fit down the aisle, that is where an “aisle chair” comes in to play. However, for reasons that I do not understand, “aisle chairs” are not actually kept on the plane. Once I am safely in my seat, I am stuck there for the duration of the flight. Yay me.
My last trip from Virginia to Texas made me wonder a lot. I’m sure there have been many people besides myself who are unable to walk who need to use the restroom but have no way to get there. Nobody should have to depend on a person to help them if they are independent themselves. So my question to the airlines is this.Why is there not an aisle chair that stays on the plane at all times during flights? If myself, or anyone else had to use the restroom on flight, we would either need to be carried by an adult, or crawl on the aisle to the restroom. Honestly, that does not seem fair.
On my last flight a flight attendant asked me, “So, because of your situation, if an emergency occurred what could we do to help you?” My mom replied back with, “Well, since we don’t have any sort of wheelchair I guess you can say we would be screwed” It shouldn’t have to be like that!
Also, another problem, last flight I went to check my chair and make sure it was at my next destination. They promised me it would be there which it was thank God (last time they forgot so I had to wait an hour for my personal wheelchair to arrive) but they messed up one of my arm rest and the rubber cut my arm. My grandma had to melt the rubber so it would be smooth again. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT!
I wish airlines would take it into consideration that people who are disabled (who did not choose their disability) cannot wait hours to go to the bathroom and should not have to worry about drinking anything because they can’t go to the restroom; and why is there not an aisle chair on every airplane at all times in case of these situations or in case of emergencies? I feel like they should roll around for a day to realize how important it is for people who do have disabilities to have their equipment.
I am just trying to open the door for more communication and answers for those of us who are confined to a chair.