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Wheelchair service

Melbourne, Australia
3 posts
Wheelchair service

Hi Friends,

My mom would be travelling in plane for the first time. She would fly with China southern from Delhi to Melbourne. She is not well versed with English and has problem in knees. She is travelling alone. We booked wheelchair service for her. My flights has to be cancelled so now she will travel alone. I am scared and she too. Can someone please provide feedback on wheelchari service especially when the passenger is alone and does not speak English? It would really help. And is there any forum where I can ask if anyone is travelling in the flight on the same date so that I can request them to assist my mom if needed.

Thank You

australia
Level Contributor
2,551 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Wheelchair service

Ring the airline and tell them she is now travelling alone and will require assistance

Melbourne, Australia
3 posts
2. Re: Wheelchair service

Thanks for your reply. I did and its booked. However since its the first time, I am just a bit nervous and wanted to kow how it works and if its reliable especially with China Southern.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
28,378 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: Wheelchair service

I would make sure she has a note in English with her name, what is supposed to happen and who is meeting her. --if it makes her more comfortable you may decide to make index cards for each part. "Hi! I'm ______ and I am supposed to have a wheelchair" --and on the same card write it in Indian. This way she knows EXACTLY what she is "saying" at any given time.

BUT--if the flight is coming from Delhi there is also a good chance there will be bi-lingual passengers aboard who will help in a pinch. I know, years ago there were times I landed from Israel at JFK and ended up translating into Hebrew ( and gads was my Hebrew horrendous at the time)

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
14,332 posts
74 reviews
4. Re: Wheelchair service

Hi,

I agree that some printed material would be a good pro-active measure.

I'll also say that when a carrier "orders" a wheelchair service for an arriving/transit passenger it's very common for that order to specify who is to be transported, but also to where...

(Note: Many carriers and airports now use a 3rd party contract agent or airport staff to provide this service and not direct airline staff themselves)

But I do think as a pro-active measure, some printed material would be a good plan.

Travel Safe,

Melbourne, Australia
3 posts
5. Re: Wheelchair service

Thank You rdglady and GOPBI for your replies. I will do what you suggested and hopefully all will go well.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
Level Contributor
4,024 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: Wheelchair service

IGI (Delhi airport) is vast, but I found their wheelchair assistance excellent - far better than Heathrow! Let your mum know she will probably be asked to wait until the other passengers debark, then the cabin crew will help her to the aircraft door where her chair and pusher should be waiting.

In IGI there is no certainty the pusher would speak English - but they will have their instructions and will know who they are collecting and where to deliver them :)

Winnipeg Canada
Destination Expert
for Winnipeg
Level Contributor
4,051 posts
308 reviews
7. Re: Wheelchair service

Excellent idea about your mother having english cards.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
54 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: Wheelchair service

This is not likely to be a direct flight and would transit in Guangzhou, would this be a long or short transit? You should take this into consideration when you write up the printed materials.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
Level Contributor
4,024 posts
42 reviews
9. Re: Wheelchair service

Honestly, I think the more you give your mother to do, the more potential there is for her to panic and confuse the porter. The porter has his instyructions - collect Mrs X from Gate A and take her to Gate B. If your mother thinks he's not understanding the cards, that will create tension for her and if he in fact does not understand them, they'll add confusion for the porter. Who's to say that an India porter can read, never mind read English? And for the avoidance of doubt, there is no such language as "Indian" (post 3) so which of the many common languages would you use (or several, so adding to the possible confusion).

Basically, a porter is going to turn up with clear instructions to take your mum where she needs to go. I would really, really, strongly recommend she smiles nicely and says thank you when she reaches the departure gate. If she wants more peace of mind, I'd suggest she asks the cabin crew to confirm with the porter that he's taking your mum to the appropriate gate, and if he shows any signs of uncertainty, they should call their ground staff to confirm the situation. I'd expect the porter to have some form of printout or note showing agte and flight number - the crew can confirm this against your mum's boarding card.

I'm assuming here that we're talking about one airline. If the onward flight is with a different airline and your mum has to checkin again, then again the basic principles would be the same - make sure before leaving the plane that the porter knows what he's doing ... in other words, use the cabin crew as a multi-lingual translator and PA!

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
28,378 posts
21 reviews
10. Re: Wheelchair service

John--I let it pass the first time, but now--The first person who is having problems with English appears to be you. Go back and read the OP. Mom is going FROM Delhi to Melbourne. Mom is NOT well versed in English. During her outbound leg, in Delhi mom will have no problems. It is only upon arrival in English speaking Melbourne that there is a potential for misunderstandings. Yes, you are correct the porters should all be waiting and everyone should know what they are supposed to do. However, if there isn't mom has cards that are in English and whatever Indian language she does speak. ( okay, I made an error with the name of the language, but my point remained constant) The English is for the English speaking Melbourne porters. The second language is for mom.