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Check-in / Boarding
COMPLAINT: personal wheelchair users should avoid AIR FRANCE / DELTA

 
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 8:50 PM
abbpa abbpa is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Our flight on July 5 as booked by Oceania Cruises, at considerable added expense for business class, was to be on DL8655 (AirFrance1981) with a transfer at CDG to DL197. At check-in the AirFrance agent told us we would not be able to use my wife's personal wheelchair at LHR and CDG but that it would need to shipped as cargo. Delta's inability to accommodate personal wheelchairs at LHR and CDG is extremely disconcerting and contrary to their stated policies. Furthermore there is no sharing of wheelchair transfers between Air France and Delta which caused lenghthy delays in our boarding at LHR and CDG on July 5th. It took well over an hour after the plane arrived at the gate at PHL to retrieve her personal wheelchair from the plane.

This is a direct quote from the AirFrance reply I received August 23:
On July 5, 2013, when you arrived to LHR airport with your personal wheelchair, our Air France agents, who informed you that your chair would have to be sent to the hold, did their utmost to request a last minute wheelchair (WCHR type) for the LHRCDG flight, although this service normally should be requested 48 hours in advance.
We also wish to advise that our agents in London would not be trained to tell a client that the use of a personal wheelchair is not allowed. Clients may definitely use their personal chair to the gate, and if requested, can have assistance with getting to the flight. However, as explained further on, passengers may miss their connecting flights.
We understand that some clients wish to travel with their own personal wheelchair, and as per the information in the reservation, the chair in question is a manual one (WCMP). These chairs will must be sent to the hold of the aircraft, unless they can be folded (and subject to size restrictions).
For a short or a medium direct flight operated by Air France, the personal manual wheelchair, if foldable, can be used to/ from the gate/ jetway of the aircraft, whenever this is possible and if requested.
However, when an itinerary includes a connecting flight, which is the case here, the personal wheelchair, if placed in the hold, can be made accessible to the passenger between flights only if the scheduled connection time is at least three hours. It was regretfully impossible to remit the chair to Ms. B at CDG airport, which explains why the personal wheelchair was checked in at LHR all the way to the final destination.

A final note, with regard to the highlighted response above, is that Mrs B's wheelchair is foldable and meets the size restrictions.
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