Dubai T3 WheelChairs porters refuse that I will wheel my suitcaseBack to Forum
I am a frequent 1st class Emirates customer but handicapped and therefore in a need of a wchc.
Anywhere in the world the porter helps me with my 1 pc suitcase which I push roll myself.
Only in Dubai T3 home base airport of Emirates, the porters refuse saying that they are not allowed and that only a porter paid by cash only need to be engaged. I seldom have cash on me, resulting in the porter forcing me to get off the chair. I often get help from a local police seeing my distress but the experience is unbearable.
I tried to get intouch with Emirates and the airport but was being push from one service to another with no reply.
Does anyone has some notion on the matter?
Tanks6 Dec 2019
Hi talparis – very sorry to hear about your experience. I will be writing an article about accessibility in aviation for the next issue of Business Traveller. Would you be willing to share some of your experiences by email? Please get in touch with me at [email protected] if so. I will also see if there’s anyone at Emirates I can get in touch with about this issue. Thank you.6 Dec 2019
Very sorry to hear about your experience. Just to add, I personally always carry cash wherever I go and wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without it
Probably one of the most unhelpful responses of 2019. What a pointless comment. Sometimes it’s better to stay quiet if you have nothing sensible to say.
In my experience Dubai International is at the better end of the scale and they have improved significantly in recent years (and certainly light years ahead of Heathrow).
OP doesn’t say whether they actually requested assistance before travel – this is normally requested via the airline. Certainly I would have expected this to be seamless for someone travelling in F. On the other hand if you didn’t request assistance, it is correct that the porters in T3 arrivals provide a paid for service. A better option would be to approach a member of Emirates or airport staff and ask for some assistance, even if it means going into the Baggage Services office for First and Business travellers (RHS on arrival).
Unfortunately these things have a habit of spiralling rapidly if not addressed, however it isn’t entirely clear what exactly happened here.
1 user thanked author for this post.6 Dec 2019
Thanks for your comments and yes as a frequent Emirates F traveler the WCHC is always booked in advance with the airline and the service is impeccable waiting for me by the door on arrival.
Trouble start when we get to the luggage carousel and my suitcase arrives. Than I am told by the porter that he is not allowed to handle the suitcase. He say he will clarify this with his superior and after a brief chat in his language on the phone he come back to say he is not allowed and that a paid porter should be engaged at a fee.
This process happens again and again every time and there is never an emirates representative available at this area.
I have contacted the airline and the airport authorities which are the same company several times but was sent from one to another with no reply.
I was wondering if anybody have had an experience or solution to this issue, hence this letter.
Nowhere else in the world have I encounter this problem.7 Dec 2019
‘talparis’ That which you relate above is a terrible situation and a disgrace to both the airport and the airline and to some degree also the pusher who could probably have been more helpful even if risking a slap on the wrist.
Being of a fairly cussed character I would have refused to get out of the chair, demanded to be pushed to a floor manager (always some around at these large airports) and demanded that the manager render appropriate assistance or somon someone who could. By escalating the situation you would probably been well looked after and perhaps changes would have been instigated to the future benefit of others.
I realise of course that not everyone is comfortable in tackling this sort of issue head on.
I am sorry that this happened to you but perhaps Jenni Reid’s upcoming article will shame some into offering a decent service.
1 user thanked author for this post.9 Dec 2019
I agree. Totally unacceptable. But I don’t agree there are no EK personnel around. There are quite a number in the baggage hall, and always present in the baggage services office of the right hand wall entering the baggage hall. There is a separate office for F/J/Status passengers.9 Dec 2019
I am a little late coming to the thread but would like to mention the fact that disabled passengers are not always obviously disabled, or able to communicate their needs, and such passengers become wholly dependent on co-operation from airline/airport staff. Disabilities aren’t always physical, are often not visible, and people with non-physical disabilities often need just as much, if not more, support.
The most wonderful mother-in-law in the entire world came out to visit us in Hong Kong for the last time a few years ago. She had shortly before been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a particularly aggressive form of dementia, which starts in the speech centre of the brain, and meant that although she was physically fit, and (at that point in time) quite able to understand what was said to her, and “inside her own head” was perfectly able to work out what she wanted to say, sometimes she simply couldn’t locate the right words and really struggled to communicate (particularly in an unusual situation). When she talked to us and hesitated, we learnt to suggest a word to “fill in” the bit she shouldn’t articulate, and then she could agree or disagree.
You will all understand that when travelling, encountering people who didn’t understand her condition, this was always going to be fraught with difficulty.
Because we knew that, although she was physically capable, it would be very difficult to communicate with other people, we engaged a special taxi firm to take her to LHR so that the driver would communicate for her at the check-in desk and hand her over to the wheelchair staff, not because she needed the wheelchair to move but because they could manoeuvre her through the airport without her having the stress of trying to communicate. We gave her a set of laminated cards to use along the way, one of which (for boarding) said (I paraphrase because I can’t remember the exact wording) “I have a speech disorder which means I can say certain standard phrases such as Thank You but otherwise I need to use these cards to communicate, please tell other members of the crew and be understanding if I struggle for words”. Other cards dealt with requests for tea, water, and all the other things we could think of during flight.
Tears are pouring down my face as I write this and recall how hard we, and she, worked to make this her last wonderful trip, to be with us and her grandchildren, and how much the staff she encountered along the way helped her to achieve it. It was a wonderful experience.
As I mentioned, the staff she encountered along the way were all very sympathetic and understanding, but I can imagine that it could very easily have been otherwise. We all need to be very aware of these invisible, and non-physical, issues that people can face.16 Dec 2019
A very poignant and touching post, Ian. Can’t have been easy to bare your soul; your words touched a chord with me. Two years ago my Mother’s battle with dementia was nearing the end.
Indeed not every disability is visible, and if our forum raises awareness of this, what better way to end 2019.
Warmest wishes and safe travels to all.
1 user thanked author for this post.16 Dec 2019