There?s been a lot of discussion about the whole “Las Vegas Tarmac” incident in the past few days.
As one astute reader pointed out, “If her plane was 38 minutes late and she missed her connection, wasn?t she cutting it a bit close? Shouldn?t wheelchair-users allow more time between flights?”
Good point. Yes they should. So perhaps this incident can act as a gentle reminder to wheelers everywhere, that sometimes the minimum connecting times allowed by the airlines aren?t adequate when you have to wait for that aisle chair. After all, wheelchair-users are the last folks off the plane and sometimes it?s takes time to get an airport wheelchair or even your own gate checked wheelchair. And all the time, the clock is ticking.
And then there?s the restroom issue. In the ideal world it would be great if you actually had enough time to use the airport restroom, especially if you can?t access the on-board lavatory. All of these things take time. And throw even a slight delay into it, and well, you are apt to miss your connecting flight.
Sure the airline will book you on the next flight out, but that may mean sitting around the airport for hours, or even having to overnight in your connecting city. And it will mean standing in a line and dealing with a customer service agent to get rebooked, and even stressing out about it all. And if someone is meeting you at your destination, you?ll have to call and tell them of your change in plans.
So, best advice is to go outside of the minimum connecting time (usually a mere 50 minutes) and instead opt for the next flight out when making your travel arrangements. Give yourself plenty of time in a connecting airport. After all, your goal is to get to your destination with a minimum of muss and fuss, and the best way to do that is to plan ahead.
Have a safe and barrier-free 2008!