Here in Pittsburgh we always seem to be flying on small planes, which use those awful stairs to get you off and on. I know there are jetways that fit those planes, but they are seldom used. Getting on the plane at Dulles I had to walk down the steps from the gate, walk across the tarmac, then walk up the steps to the plane. Arriving in Pittsburgh I had to do the same thing. Those of you who followed my trip in China and Japan know that I am phobic about steps: not all steps, but certain ones with narrow treads and steep angles. Granted these things have railings–otherwise I might just stand there and scream–I don't like them. I want to know what they do with you when you are in a wheelchair. Or what happens if you get sick while the plane is enroute?
I asked the flight attendant and the Traveler's Aid people in Pittsburgh, but never got an answer. The next time I have to fly from Pittsburgh this will be an issue for me. It wasn't too terrifying this time because I had no carry-on luggage with me, only my purse, which hangs across my chest. I was able to use both hands on the railings. No one has ever offered to help me when I've been carrying a bag. Would they help if I was in a wheelchair?
Pittsburgh has a large elder population. Will the airlines figure out they ought to accomodate us, or do we stop flying?
I’ll tell you what happened to my daughter’s inlaws when he got sick enroute to Germany after a visit with her family. They had barely left SLC airport when he, a diabetic, had a sudden drop in sugar. Airline staff apparently took it to be a heart attack since he spoke little English and was in no condition to talk. His wife speaks less English, so they made an emergency landing in Denver, where they both spent a harrowing night in the hospital unable to get in touch with their son or my daughter until late in the evening. When they called on Christmas they noted they had received a Christmas card from the hospital in Denver. It was a bill for $6,000! It’s not clear yet who will pay as Germany has a single-payer system. If he had been hospitalized there, it would cost of course zero. Don’t know yet how this will play out, but since you asked . . .
that is a really good point…
It will take a while to get things back to routine but I am glad you were home to see Eli too…
I’m so very sorry about this.