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Old 05-16-2013, 05:19 PM   #16
lost*in*cyberspace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesia123 View Post
....

I hope they've just decided to upgrade you to first class :-)
Not going to happen, unless OP pays for an upgrade.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #17
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There are some planes that do have rows that are both bulkheads and exit rows. I've sat in that type of row on Austrian Airlines before. But I haven't seen it when flying domestically.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:29 AM   #18
dawnball
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Originally Posted by DuckyCurtains View Post
I checked the ACAA and they're required to give us bulkhead because I have an immobilized leg but they refuse to because people already chose those seats (even though I called months ago and was told I could have bulkhead). So now we're in the middle of the airplane and I'm not even sure I can get through the narrow aisle on crutches. Plus I have to have enough room to keep my leg straight, which I won't have with a regular seat.

I can bend my knee for short periods of time (like 15/20 mins tops) but if I leave it bent for a 2.5 hr flight it will dislocate.

Any ideas?
The code says4) For a person with a fused or
immobilized leg, the carrier shall provide a
bulkhead seat or other seat that provides
greater legroom than other seats,
on the side
of an aisle that better accommodates the
individual’s disability.

But it's only for fused or immobilized, and I suspect either that the agent you got is of the opinion that you don't qualify because you can bend your leg for periods of time, or they may have placed you in a seat that has additional leg room, but is in the middle of the plane.

If it's the former, you should call and reiterate your situation, calmly and firmly, then speak with a supervisor if needed. If it's the latter - then they're in compliance and upgrading may be your only option.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:09 AM   #19
Gracie09
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I'm confused did you book months ago and they changed your seats or did you just book and the seats were already assigned? I guess if you don't know why someone else has those seats ( maybe they also have a disability and require those seats and booked first) all you can do is call and speak to a supervisor. If its non disabled person in the seat they may be able to do some shuffling but if its not maybe they can move your flight to one where you can get the seats you need.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #20
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the only problem with the airline doing some shuffling is that I need a special seat, which I pre-plan well, and reserve that seat when I book, but I don't tell the airline why I need it. so, they may not know if the person needs it or not. I also get to the air port very early and check in to make sure everything is still going smoothly. I have never had any problems. but, since I reserved my specific seat over six months in advance as soon as I booked this trip, I would be very upset if they moved me. Then I would not be able to fly. Not to be insensitive to a need, because I have one myself, but special seating is limited, it is very important when you need something special that you plan ahead to insure you have what you need and can choose the best available options. sometimes to accommodate your needs, you have to be willing to adjust to a different flight, which shouldn't be a problem if planning well in advance. (I also don't expect to be upgraded, therefore I am prepared and willing to pay extra for what I need)
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:02 AM   #21
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Any of the times I've had a seat that I'd requested due to disability reassigned or had problems getting the type of seat I needed, I've been able to straighten it out at the airport when I checked in. I do show up early if I need to change where I'm seated. I tend to get to the airport early anyway because I know how much longer it takes for me to get through check-in, TSA, getting things tagged, and pre-boarding since I'm a wheelchair user. I don't actually like bulkhead seats (I usually fly solo so being in a seat where I can't store anything with me is incredibly inconvenient). I don't know if bulkhead would be more difficult, but I've had airlines on the day try to move me to bulkhead, even on very full flights, so I don't think it's impossible.

If for some reason the day you fly you can't get moved to bulkhead, you can at least request to be moved farther forward within the same seat class. The other option is to use the aisle chair. I don't know how hard it would be to get them to understand why since you can stand, but it at least reduces the chance of your falling. If you do end up using the aisle chair, see if you can get them to load you into it inside the plane. For wheelchair users who need it, the assistance folks have us transfer outside the plane door. That can result in some twisty turns to get to the point where you're actually being moved up the aisle so it would be better if they're willing to wait to when the chair is actually lined up with the aisle. I would highly suggest whether you end up in bulkhead or something else requesting to pre-board if you weren't already planning on doing so. The only warning there is that I've had airlines start pre-boarding 40 minutes before the flight so it's another place to plan to get there very early.

Unasked for upgrades are unusual, but I did once get upgraded to business class when flying internationally. The flight was incredibly full and I'm not sure why the gate agent changed me, but it happened very last minute (as in, they were about to board me and came up to me with a new boarding pass) and I hadn't requested anything. Luckily, business class seats on international flights are all set-up so that the things I need in a seat are present so I didn't have to worry at that point about whether they were upgrading me to something that wouldn't work. It's not something I'd ever count on happening (I certainly never expect it to happen again), but it does happen on occasion. I'd always thought such upgrades were a myth about the supposed "perks" of flying as a wheelchair user until it happened to me. The related option to that is to try to upgrade to first class with paying the upgrade fee, which you can still ask about up until you actually board. It's not always possible since first class may be full, but if you have the money to do it, trying to get more space that way may be the best choice for you.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #22
goofieslonglostsis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
Not true. I think you may be confusing a bulkhead seat with something else; they are not in emergency exit rows, they are the row behind a wall. On many planes, this is where they seat PAX with infants because a bassinet can be hung on the wall.
As HoosierDisneyDad already also has stated, it is not black or white either bulkhead or exit. It really depends on the specific configuration of type of aircraft (so not just style, but specific configuration, which can vary per airline and within airline there can be multiple configurations for one type of aircraft). There are options where a bulkhead is also an exit seat row. There are even options where the all bulkheads on that aircraft are also exit seat rows and thus not going to get any bulkhead if you do not match the safety requirements for exit seat rows.

Simply put they are seats in an exit row. More space because of the exit row and emergency door being there. This can confuse some people because of the extra space (which can really be huge), but as soon as there is a bulkhead wall/bathroom "in front" of the space in front of that seat that will result in these seatings being bulkhead exit row seats.

This can happen on both narrow and wide body aircrafts, both international and US legacy carrier (not being from the US and with itineraries I'm eyeing have never been able/wanting/needing to use the other US-based airlines like SW etc. so can not speak from experience about them). Given the needs I have, as said I always do my homework before considering airline, schedule etc., let alone before I ever book. Each and every time I will run across multiple itineraries that will have at least on location where bulkhead seats are also exit row seats and each time there will be more than one itinerary where at least one of the 2 segments will be carried out by an aircraft that only has exit row bulkheads.

Obviously since I've had to start flying business class, bulkhead options have seriously decreased (most of the times max. 1 row with less seats compared to 3 or even 4 rows with more seats per row) compared to economy class, but this is one of those thing that where I still look at the full seatmap and know options in both classes.

It can be confusing, when always flying on certain routes and/or with certain airlines. When always having itineraries that might not have this seat option on the aircraft, it can give a sense that it must be either bulkhead seat or exit row seat industry-wide. But it's out there alright.
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Always keep wishing, dreaming and hoping.

Beyond greatfull for so many WDW trips, dear friendship and even a dlrp wish trip in october 2014 to close the Disney chapter. Lifes come and go, memories last for ever.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by WheeledTraveler View Post
For wheelchair users who need it, the assistance folks have us transfer outside the plane door.
Actually, as with all other, communication is key in this subject also. Default mode is indeed transfer outside plane door. Much has to do with confined space onboard, not everybody being able to move properly to board with a chair, most commonly used and default training setting. But that does not mean it is the only option, take it or leave it.

I always board myself seated in my manual chair. Could even do it in my powerchair on most aircrafts incl. 737 but that would require busloads of communication (needs 100% trust in very good driver skills, any wrong move can result in huge problems afterall), but use my manual as said. I do not transfer until actually onboard and in the narrow hallway or galley (depends on door used for boarding and config. of plane). It does get some eyebrow raising when they first sence in my communication I'm going down this route, but experience has learned most either comes from thinking it will make things more difficult for me or default training setting. As soon as I continue, explain I do it all the time and most of all why, there very rarely is any discussion. Never had it not happen, whether US, Europe, Asia or Australia. But, lots does depend on communicating about it and me being able to rely to those involved this can indeed be done and me boarding in anything else but my own chair will result in 2 dislocated hips and them needing to call in an ambulance to get me to hospital. My chair has 4-point suspension and using my own technique, I can board with it in a way that limits the damage the big bump does to my body. I deplane the same way.

Communication can go as far as those providing assistance that are safety rule sticklers to make sure that gets done...... creatively where needed. Like the darn straps on aisle chairs. Some don't care about the rules as long as you promis to stay put and not fall off but some do not budge to not using them. Have had all of those been pro-active to make it not just safe but go beyond. How and why I board as I do will teach them loads about my health. Explaining them why no help/support, even not if I were to fall, during me making a transfer is safer and better for me healtwise does the rest it seems. They'll conclude themselves that tight straps crossing joints will be a problem and either only use them loose enough or get enough padding so we can strap me in without the pain or risk of injury.

I'm going quite a bit off topic, but I can't stress enough how important it is to communicate needs and why when travelling with needs. Not just once to have it put into a booking, but repeatedly to all of those involved. Some rules can not be bend, regardless. Those tend to be safety rules that are there for a very good reason. Aside from that, I've found that within reason and availability, a lot is possible to make sure needs are met where can be. But if default mode does not suit one, communication really can make or break things.



Quote:
The only warning there is that I've had airlines start pre-boarding 40 minutes before the flight so it's another place to plan to get there very early.
Influences are stuff like how many pax, how many doors to load, expected take off time, when aircraft is given free, destination etc. On domestic flights preboarding tends to not be that long before (ranges of 20-40 minutes are not unheard of) but on international and/or flights with big loads of pax boarding can begin as early as 60 minutes prior. Expected boardingtime tends to be known when check in opens and many airlines print it on the boarding pass. Obviously preboarding is right before boarding begins. That will give a very good idea already of a time, to combine with an extra timeslot to arrive earlier in case an unexpected windfall results in decision to begin boarding earlier in hope to make an earlier departure slot.



Quote:
It's not always possible since first class may be full, but if you have the money to do it, trying to get more space that way may be the best choice for you.
Agree it can be a good strategy, but be aware it does come with risks. First come, first serve. This could result in these bulkheads already being assigned to such an extend they will not move them for you. Also know the configuration of the aircraft operating the flight so there is no risk of "oops, more seatpitch, but seats do not meet my needs on this config".

I have been rather lucky on my upgrade history when still doing eco. But; not just because I wanted one or "oh poor her". Nothing like that at all, frequent flyers will get those domestic upgrades before those things would even enter any head. Pure combination of luck, having a airline special needs manager hovering over my flights to get my needs met and decisions based on motives for airline and crew.
- Luck; full flight, some more paxs on waitlist due to missed connections etc. All upgrades were solo and solo is easier to move. The "luck" of finding real damage to powerchair after first leg might or might not be of influence, still not sure.
- airline/crew motive; full or very close to full flight, problem with bulkhead in eco etc. But also stuff like having troubles locating aisle chair, wanting to get going, some more details causing some problems or hurdles which in total make it a pretty big thing and challenge for crew and assistance to get me to and from assigned and/or other seat that suits me. So to make it easy on all; upgrade, all solved within 1 minute instead of 15 minutes or longer, not being able to solve or high risk of problems.


In all of those years I've only been upgraded from eco to business on international leg. This was an upgrade for 3, and was on return flight with Hellish Airways. That was a result of seriously damaged powerchair, manual chair, huge problems with crew on the ground (incl. namecalling and abuse), busloads of serious problems and you name it. Nevermind business class, that was still a flight from hell. Not worth it to "score" an upgrade that way.
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Does it really work that way? Doors closing, windows opening, can you really allways count on that? I'll just continue to wish, hope and pray to make sure. Knock on wood, one, twice and trice. Still can't believe it, I really get to visit Mickey again..........


Always keep wishing, dreaming and hoping.

Beyond greatfull for so many WDW trips, dear friendship and even a dlrp wish trip in october 2014 to close the Disney chapter. Lifes come and go, memories last for ever.
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