Monday, October 21, 2019

150m walk at the airport for wheelchair

Calcutta: A 62-year-old with reduced mobility had to walk for around 150m, with the help of a walking stick, before she was allotted a wheelchair at the Calcutta airport on Monday afternoon.

Deepanjali Ghosh, a resident of Behala, had a ticket for an AirAsia flight to Bangalore on Monday. Ghosh said she had booked a wheelchair a few days ago, following it up with a call to the airline on Sunday and another on her way to the airport. On both occasion, she had requested that a wheelchair and a pusher be kept ready as she could not walk or stand for too long.

The 62-year-old arrived at the airport in a cab and looked around for a wheelchair while the driver of the cab offloaded her luggage from the vehicle.

“Despite multiple requests, I did not find any wheelchair, nor any airline employee. I had booked a wheelchair and alerted the airline that I would require assistance as I have a problem in my knee that severely restricts my mobility,” Ghosh said.
After waiting near gate 2A for a few minutes, Ghosh called up the airline again. To her surprise, the person who received the call asked her to walk up to gate 3C, at least 150m away.

Helpless, Ghosh requested the cab driver to carry her luggage till gate 3C while she started walking with the support of a stick.

On her way, Ghosh spotted a signage outside gate 2 with a photograph of a wheelchair and numbers of airlines, asking flyers to call them if they needed assistance.

“When I called at the given number, an airline employee told me that they had already sent a wheelchair and a pusher to gate 3. Before I could say that I was waiting in front of gate 2, the line had been disconnected,” Ghosh said.
21/10/19 Snehal Sengupta/Telegraph
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