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Thread: stranded at the airport

  1. #1

    stranded at the airport

    this weekend, me and wife went to vegas, couple shows, couple good dinners, etc.. our flight going left at 7 am from ft lauderdale..so the day before i called to have a cab with a wheelchair ramp here at 520am...no problem, showed up right on time......needed a cab cause my new van is still being converted....we returned sun night...scheduled to land at midnight..landed at 1220am...got our luggage quikly, and went outside to the taxi stand dispatcher to get a wheelchair cab, cabs were lined up, so either there would be one there, or as many times before, he'd call for one.
    he radioed for one, and also called dispatch to send one over...after 20 minutes he called again, then again 15 min after that..we were now the last people there, as ours and one other were last flights of the night, next flight in was 515 am and out was 6am....it was now 115am...and he was calling cells of drivers, calling dispatch, and speaking to other drivers to get us a van....and all we got was "we r trying to find one"....at about 2am or so, the guy says "theres none available".....WHAT!??... he says the dispatch says all the wheelchair van guys are home sleeping and none are on till the morning!
    im being cool, cause being in the chair has taught me patient, and it is what it is.....my wife is pissed ....so she goes to call the cab co, yellow cab co. is the main one here and handle all wheelchair vans....they tell her same,..that we have to wait till morning......the airport is now a ghost town..me and wife, the taxi stand guy(who really felt bad and tried,), and a few cleaning people inside....its 2 am, dispatch says, they start maybe close to 5 am, ......no other options, we would of even taken a county bus at this point, but not running either......
    now, im strong, have no problem sitting longterm, etc..i was up at 9am (west coast time)....got on a plane at 430...had a 5 hr flight , now have to sit in airport for 4 hrs waiting for a cab......one showed up at 430am....he said he was home since 830 pm and told us that they dont rotate shifts with wheelchair vans, guys take em home so they arent always on the rode letting a 2nd shift drive em.... ..........THIS IS InSANE TO ME!.....what if i was a high level quad who had to get home and off my butt.....could of been serious............so beware, in Broward County fl, there are no accessible vans from maybe midnight, or ealier, till 4-5 am
    - Rolling Thru Life -

  2. #2
    r u n a power chair roc? u can't transfer into the seat of a car?

    i'd luv to get some info on flying n a power chair from u if u fly a lot.

  3. #3
    yes i was in my power chair, yea i can transfer into a car with no problem...i transfer to/from aisle chair to /from plane seat by myself..dont need to be lifted.......but what was i gonna do with my chair?...not even like the airport coulda done me a favor and stored it cause NOBODY WAS THERE..
    pm with ur questions, ive flown about 6-7 times .since hurt...from ft lauderdale to----san fran(with layover plane switch)...to myrtle beach ...to detroit...to vegas...
    - Rolling Thru Life -

  4. #4
    Unfortunately, when us SCIs fly we need every step of the process to work out reasonably well or we get stuck (or stranded) at one of those steps.

    I flew two weeks ago and got to my destination and they didn't have my hand control equipped rental car ready. I ended up staying an extra two hours at the airport waiting for them to get me a car. To make up for their oversight they gave me one day free and a free tank of gas.

    I arrived at my appointment 3 minutes late due to this delay. Thankfully, I didn't miss the appointment or it could have ruined the trip.

    That's why many on here think it's a toss up when trying to decide whether to fly or drive up to 12-15 hours and have total control.

  5. #5
    roc - that sux. Kudos to you and your wife being patient. Glad you made it home safe. Maybe a dumb question but could you have traveled in a manual chair? Could you have called Access-A-Ride or a bus company with an airport route / drop-off? It's an alternative some of our patients use.

    patton - Exactly! That's why you'll see me whippin around the U.S. in my MINI Cooper coast to coast. I cringe leaving my fate in the hands of airport personnel, taxis, etc. although using a manual chair I've hopped into everything from limos to rickshaws over the years..LOL..


    Onward & Upward,

    Chris

  6. #6
    Thank you for the warning! I'm hoping to visit my brother in Florida this year and will keep your advice in mind.

  7. #7
    That is why I always travel with my portables, just in case there is any problem with the rental. Plus, most of the hand controls are installed in four door cars, and I prefer either two or five door cars. Portables are not that difficult to carry around and a para can install them in less than 5 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patton57 View Post
    Unfortunately, when us SCIs fly we need every step of the process to work out reasonably well or we get stuck (or stranded) at one of those steps.

    I flew two weeks ago and got to my destination and they didn't have my hand control equipped rental car ready. I ended up staying an extra two hours at the airport waiting for them to get me a car. To make up for their oversight they gave me one day free and a free tank of gas.

    I arrived at my appointment 3 minutes late due to this delay. Thankfully, I didn't miss the appointment or it could have ruined the trip.

    That's why many on here think it's a toss up when trying to decide whether to fly or drive up to 12-15 hours and have total control.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  8. #8
    Yeah, I have a set of portables as well. However, when I travel for business or short trips (1-3 days), I travel with just carry-ons and can't fit the portables into my gear. When I travel more for pleasure I have room for them but I am usually not in as much of a rush.

    The portables are great though and I would recommend them to those that can manage them for many different reasons.

  9. #9
    I usually put a plastic bag over the handles and carry them inside my travel bath chair case, or in my carryon with the handles sticking out. I don't like to travel without them.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  10. #10
    Now that you mentioned it, I'm going to try and work the portables into my set up.

    Thanks again for the tip paramoto.

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