Lack of wheelchair assistance at airport by DME

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Simba's Mom, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    I really want to write to someone (or even send my complaint to several places) regarding the lack of wheelchair assistance at the airport when getting to the airport on DME. Who would you recommend sending my letter of complaint to? I'm seriously wondering if I should risk future travel (solo) to WDW. A couple months ago, after I'd been assured at every turn that all I needed to do was alert my bus driver, who'd then call and a wheelchair would be waiting for me when the bus arrived to whisk me off to the gate, as you can guess, that didn't happen-the bus driver had no idea what I meant, why I'd been told that, and refused to call anyone. When I called DME to complain (first they gave me the same assurance of what was supposed to happen, then I told them what DID happen), they promised me that they'd address the issue with their drivers and that it would never happen again. But then I read recently that it did just happen to someone else. And since I travel solo and aren't very strong, bringing my own wheelchair isn't much of an option and really shouldn't be necessary anyways. So what to do? Who to contact?
     
  2. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    DME has nothing to do with providing assistance. that is the airport/airline's responsibility. since DME is way the heck out in no man's land, the chances of having a porter nearby is pretty close to zilch. if lucky, a DME agent will call for one, but there is no guarantee anyone will show in a timely manner. usually when checking in to a flight, the ticket agent/ luggage dudes outside are the ones to call for help.
     
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  4. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

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    Seems like there was miscommunication in my opinion.
    When I traveled solo and was in need of assistance once at the airport I asked the DME driver to direct me to an airport employee after he unloaded the luggage.
    He flagged down an employee for me and I asked them for the assistance I needed.
     
  5. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    I was told by DME that it was their responsibility to call ahead for a wheelchair (I was even told that when I called) and yet my bus driver claimed to know nothing of calling. When I called DME later, they were appalled that he hadn’t called ahead as they insisted that was their policy
     
  6. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

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    Even the DME FAQ on the Disney website says DME does not provide wheelchair assistance and you must arrange it yourself with your airline.
     
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  7. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    not the drivers though. the agents at the desk.
     
  8. Sparkly

    Sparkly Starlight, starbright...

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    I agree that you should have informed your airline. The airport we usually fly from tells people to inform their airline at least 48 hours in advance so they know to get it set up for you.
     
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  9. Oliviaxxx

    Oliviaxxx Mouseketeer

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    For what it's worth we arranged with the airline to have a wheelchair waiting and it wasn't when we got off DME. There was no one around to ask. We had an awful morning on DME and were delayed about an hour and a half. When we got to the airport we didn't have time to wait around for someone so we had to wait till we checked in to get a wheelchair. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming when you or someone in your group desperately needs assistance but no one is around to help.
     
  10. CrankyDad

    CrankyDad Mouseketeer

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    Why not travel with a wheelchair if you are so reliant on one?
     
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  11. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    The issue is that, while normally passengers enter the terminal on the Departures level where people are readily available to ask for assistance, DME drops off on the Ground Transportation level where, undefstanably, no airline employees are stationed.

    OP, contact wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com and explain, succinctly, the disconnect between the information you were given and your actual experience. Ask for solutions.
     
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  12. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    Send the letter to everyone - Disney, the airport, the airline.

    But I would also suggest getting your own scooter and using that from now on. How do you get around the parks?
     
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  13. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    this. in spades. the 'terminal' for DME is nowhere near where the rank and file employees are easily flagged down. and the trek to such an area is by and of itself akin to making a connecting flight at Atlanta where you fly in to the furthest gate in Terminal B and have to make a connection at the furthest gate in Terminal A.

    basically you either need to have your own pusher, be able to walk under your own power to the main departures area, or invest in an ECV
     
  14. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    Hopefully the above part of my OP answers your question. And I rented an ECV from Gold Mobility to get around the parks.
     
  15. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    I don't get the " really shouldn't be necessary anyways." part about supplying your own mobility device - are you stating that others should be responsible to supply it for you? It doesn't make sense to me - the courtesy wheelchairs they have at airports are just that, a courtesy the airport does above and beyond ADA, right?
     
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  16. Starwind

    Starwind DIS Veteran

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    No, if a passenger requires wheelchair assistance at the airport, in the US the airline is required by regulation to provide it, from terminal entrance to gate and if needed onto the aircraft to to your seat. In some other countries the responsibility may be the airline or the airport or a combination thereof, depending on the particular country's regulations.

    The passenger must arrange the service [which is free] with their airline.

    The problem is that at MCO where DME drops off there are often no airport employees around from which to get assistance to ID you need wheelchair assistance.

    See: https://www.transportation.gov/indi...r-protection/wheelchair-and-guided-assistance

    https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/what-do-if-you-have-problem

    One option that may be helpful, if one can find out the info, is to find out how to contact the airline's Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) at the airport.

    OP, filing a complaint with the airline and DME and Disney may be helpful, and if that does not bring resolution, then with DOT, particularly as it appears it is a systemic problem at MCO.

    SW
     
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  17. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    Sorry, perhaps I misunderstood. Since I can't physically handle a wheelchair when I'm solo, and according toy, no one's required to provide me with one at the airport, I guess that just means an end to my solo trips. I guess it's sad, but seems true.
     
  18. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    so what is preventing you from investing in an ECV? or powered chair? ultimately, yes we are all responsible for our own needs and should never demand anyone else to be at your beck and call immediately. its no different than being at the main departure terminal and then finding out there are no porters available right away to bring you to your gate. I have also witnessed them on their radios asking where a free chair has been left so that they can run to get it for someone. there are sometimes lines of them in the tunnel to the airplane waiting top take people departing and you should be well aware that those pax are last off most off the time.

    yes the service is a nice amenity provided by the airports, but it is based on availability. so until Disney itself hires their OWN porters to meet people at the drop off point, you have to accept the status quo.
     
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  19. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    Personal responsibility. We really do understand that you are physically unable to operate a manual wheelchair. There are powered alternatives, as the above posters indicate. You could rent one from a local company. You could see if any local service organization (Knights of Columbus, Elks, Masons, etc.) have one you can borrow. You could buy a used but well-cared from the rental company. Maybe get the direct terminal phone number before leaving the airport.

    Yes, the airlines are required to provide wheelchair assistance. But DME drops people off SO far from Departures (three levels and potentially at the opposite corner), it's unreasonable to expect airport employees to just "be" there. Start your complaint with Disney. If they tell you the bus driver will call ahead for a wheelchair, and the driver doesn't know what you're talking about, Disney NEEDS to know about this disconneect.

    After they resolve their end, or not, contact the airport for a solution.
     
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  20. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    All of this just sounds like a nightmare to me. My disability needs are probably more than most here at this point in my life. But it was only a year or so ago that this could have been me. I've traveled as a solo for DECADES. Starting in the early 90s when I went to Orlando for a lot of conventions where I was often the keynote speaker. (I once got to go there 7 times in one year).

    Along with many, many trips after my early retirement (to care for elderly parents) Disney was my get away place for respite. My now DH will do anything for me - but he's not a Disney fan. Since he does so much for me I try not to impose too much of my will on him. I made several solo trip (by air) before I became so disabled.

    I always felt like I could travel solo (ME, etc) no matter what my needs were. But unfortunately I no longer think that is true.
     
  21. Veronique

    Veronique Mouseketeer

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    I think calling ahead to confirm a wheelchair IS taking personal responsibility enough! You've been told YES, made decision based on that, and were decieve. I agree you should complain to both DME and the airport. Maybe they can routinely provide a few wheelchair in that area or something...
     
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