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  • A Step in the Right Direction Irritates Me

    Posted by deann-r on September 7, 2021 at 8:00 am

    A recent social media post got under my skin. In it, there’s a link to a story regarding the Miami International Airport installing wheelchair charging stations. Initially, I thought this is a step in the right direction. Now I’m thinking it’s a way to gloss over the real issue of not being able to stay in our chairs for a flight. In the article there’s a quote from the airport’s director, “We understand that we have a responsibility to make sure that we make the magic and the beauty of flight travel as convenient as possible for everyone.” Needing to transfer out of your chair to board a plane is convenient? Risking injury is convenient? Risking damage to your wheelchair is convenient? Not to mention the hassles of positioning so I don’t topple over. Yup, that’s convenient.

    I don’t want to undermine the effort of anyone involved in this achievement. Charging stations may be great for some individuals. However, my suspicion is that they’ll be underutilized until the industry reevaluates their efforts to truly make air travel convenient. To me, this feels like a halfhearted effort to appease the disabled community and ignore the actual issue of restrictive air travel.

    How do you feel about this story? How do you feel about air travel in general? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

    lupa-f replied 2 years, 8 months ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • tracy-odell

    Member
    September 7, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I long for the day when I can stay in my electric wheelchair in the aircraft cabin. I have not attempted to fly for many years because of all the reasons cited in DeAnn’s post. None of the accessibility initiatives undertaken in Canada have addressed this. Only in the US is a committee even taking a look at this possibility with airlines lobbying hard to delay implementation for as long as possible.

  • ari-anderson

    Member
    September 7, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    I fullhearted agree with you DeAnn that this is a halfhearted attempt to appease people. Maybe even quarterhearted. What good is a charging station if you want to take apart my chair if I try to board a plane. If you take it apart, the technology that controls my chair is so custom made just for me, that you’ll never get it back together right again.

  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    September 8, 2021 at 8:30 am

    I couldn’t agree more, DeAnn. This just feels like a cover-up to the real issue and an airport trying too hard to come out as a hero. I’m sure these charging stations will come in handy at some point, but this isn’t newsworthy.

  • lupa-f

    Member
    September 8, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    One thing to remember: airports and airlines aren’t the same thing. Airports are usually owned and run by the local governments, airlines are private companies trying to squeeze every bit of profit out of everything and that’s where the problems we have lie.

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