Disabled Person Holiday Discussions

Are you disabled or know someone who is? What are your experiences of hotels and resorts as a disabled person?
Define Disabled – Just because you don’t have a wheelchair is no indication you do not have a disability.
My comment elsewhere regarding Manchester Airport and the long trek to the gates amply demonstrates (in my opinion) how little understanding there is. Yes you can book assistance but many of us have no wish to do so but that is not to say we are without problems.
Personally I suffer from Osteoarthritis in both knees and ankles. According to the specialist it is a self-inflicted condition in my case – when we are younger we run and jump around and the result is what I have finished up with although I confess I got a great deal of pleasure from my outdoor pursuits so I can’t complain.
Of course it is not just travelling around the country or the world that throws up problems. Visit a car park, shopping centre or Supermarket and there are car park spaces for holders of Blue Badges (as well as the mother and child spaces) but if like me your disability is hidden from view – I have good days and bad, on the bad I use a walking stick - but as I said when I wrote about Manchester Airport the long walk becomes a problem. It should not require Acts of Parliament to address the problem – we all get old so why wait until it effects you personally.
  • Edited by fwh 2019-10-18 19:21:33
Fwh, but in that case, not requesting the assistance is your choice and one you are perfectly entitled to make but then one must accept the consequences. I've booked the assistance many times for my Mum at Manchester and it has always been excellent and we've been whisked through via much shorter routes not accessible to the public. She is a Blue Badge holder but we've never been asked to provide proof of her need for assistance, just information about what sort of assistance she needs. Whilst I agree that a lot of airports could have better access designed into them, in large airports some places are always going to be further away than others. The law requires them to make reasonable adjustments and providing assistance in the form of a help with luggage, a wheelchair or golf buggy, access to a shorter walking route etc is fully within the requirements of law. But if passengers are unwilling to request such assistance then that is up to the passenger, the airport/airline has complied with the law as long as they make it very clear that the assistance is available and how to request it.

In many years of flying, she only encountered problems on two occasions. One was due to the parsimony of Ryannair compounded by the incompetence of the cabin crew and we've never flown with them since. The other was when a family argued that their need to sit together because of the age of their children trumped her need to have a medical seat close to the door. It only added insult to injury that despite checking in before us, we could see them arguing with the check-in staff ahead of us in the queue little realising what the argument was about, that they had to be paged in the departure lounge and were the very last to board and held everybody up. They dashe on just before the cabin crew were about to close the aircraft door for take-off and give up on the em as a 'no show'. In that instance the situation was saved by a couple of fellow passengers who when they realised that my Mum, Dad and I were not only being seated apart but were spread over the whole of the aircraft, offered to swap their seats with my Mum and Dad so that my Mum could have an aisle seat rather than the middle one of three between solo travellers that we'd all been allocated at check-in.
  • Edited by SMa 2019-10-19 10:14:54
My friend has Lymphodemia in both of her legs. Her legs are extremely swollen & she cannot get around without her mobility scooter. She can walk very short distances with assistance, but it's painful & uncomfortable.

Her holidays are her lifeline as, at home, she rarely gets out & about. The main reason is it takes her so long to get to the car & her husband has to pack up the scooter, help her to the car, then it's putting the scooter back together, helping her out of the car & onto scooter at their destination &, of course the same for the return. It's so tiring for her she feels a short run out isn't worth it. Plus, the effort leaves her very tired & her legs ache.

She does however love her holidays as she's always been a very sociable person plus, it's a change of scenery with fresh air & blue skies.

Planning a holiday takes lots of research for her, but, despite her best efforts things don't always go to plan. A hotel she recently booked described itself as disabled friendly with a ramp at the entrance. On arriving, they discovered that this ramp was very steep, too narrow & with a sharp turn so was unusable for her scooter to have access. She had to climb, with her husbands assistance, into the hotel. Consequently, she couldn't leave the hotel & spent the next 7 days in her room.

Airlines can be a problem also. She has to use the ambulift which is fine, except on arriving at their destination, the ambulift will be sent to the other end of the aircraft on occasions. They expect her to walk from one end of the plane to the other. There's been a few times when she has had to stick to her guns & insist they bring the lift to the end of the plane nearest to her.
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