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?