As I was sitting in Dulles at gate 72B yesterday morning, I watched the arrival of five wheelchair passengers. In each case the skycap asked the passenger if he or she would like to remain in the wheelchair or transfer to a seat. Three of the passengers opted to stay in their wheelchairs, while two decided to transfer to a seat in the terminal.
I wanted to butt in and tell them that it might be a mistake to give up the wheelchair, as the walk down the jetbridge can be a long one; but instead I kept my mouth shut. Nobody likes a busybody, and I have to admit if somebody popped up out of nowhere telling me what I should or shouldn’t do, I might be taken aback by it all.
Anyway, when it came time to board, the folks in the wheelchairs were wheeled down the jetbridge to the aircraft. The folks that gave up the wheelchairs had a very difficult time. They were indeed slow walkers, and the jetbridge was very long. I expect they were very tired, and quite likely also in pain by the time they made it to their seats.
So remember, if you request an airport wheelchair, it’s best to stay in it all the way up to the door of the aircraft. After all, you never know how long that jetbridge will be!