It is imperative for senior citizens who are preparing to take a flight anytime soon to ensure they have pre-booked a wheelchair with the airlines. Much to their chagrin, a senior couple realized this after staff refused to offer wheelchair assistance during their Chennai--Mumbai IndiGo flight.
After initially denying any sort of wheelchair assistance, the staff eased up a bit on the senior couple as senior officials also got involved.
The airline attributed their staff's non-cooperative behavior to the fact that the senior citizens, Octogenarians V N Viswanathan and his wife Sundari Viswanath had not pre-booked a wheelchair. Moreover, there were several wheelchair passengers who were waiting for assistance.
It is worth mentioning here that the aforesaid passengers are between 80 and 89 years old. Although they managed to get a wheelchair at the terminal as requested, the staff were only able to help them till the check-in counter.
According to a relative who was traveling with the couple, the airline staff told them that they have already assisted seven wheelchair passengers and are unable to take more wheelchair users to the boarding gates.
The airlines assist the wheelchair user at the terminal gate till the boarding gate or else if there is via aerobridge for the passengers to reach till the plan, the staff is able to help the wheelchair user till door of the plane. The airlines take the passenger to the foot of the ramp if there is shuttle bus used.
The officials of Senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) have to step in and see that the wheelchair users are getting assistance until the boarding gate.
Since they did have a pre-booking of wheelchair assistance, the staff refuse to assist them a wheelchair at Mumbai airport. Then somehow the relative manages to get a wheelchair in Mumbai by the help of the senior in the airlines.
According to Mr.Viswanathan, at the check-in counter, they had a lot of trouble until they managed to get a helping hand. “We cannot walk all the way to the boarding gate through the security check."
One of the IndiGo senior officials said, in the end, they gave them wheelchair assistance but it is better if people do a pre-booking of a wheelchair so that our staff can provide good service to the wheelchair users.
Image credit: klimkin / Pixabay