By Simon Sansome
Being wheelchair user, I am often frustrated with the lack of accessible booking systems that comes with being disabled.
I am fortunate to have a little place in Spain, on the La Manga strip. It is really nice to get out here to do some work in the sun.
As a frequent flyer, I fly from East Midlands or Birmingham Airport to Alicante or Murcia depending on the time of year, the flight takes on around 2 hours 20 minutes.
When we got here, I was aware that I had to book special assistance to return home, we did not know when we would be returning to the UK.
Contacting Jet2 is normally quite okay, but today has just taken the biscuit, I just so tired that I actually hung up. I was waiting for over 2 ½ hours for someone to pick up the phone so that I can book my electric wheelchair for a return trip.
In the end, I lost the will, I gave in, and I put the phone down, 2 ½ hours wasted just because I am in a wheelchair and tomorrow, I have to do it all over again.
I have a dream that one day I will be able to turn up to the airport and get on an airplane without booking special assistance but I don’t see that happening in my lifetime.
To give you an indication of how long I was waiting I decided it would be a good idea to write down all the songs on the Jet2 playlist just for entertainment value.
Jess Glynn, ‘I want to hold your hand’
Kylie Minogue, ‘Dancing’
Peter Andre, ‘Mysterious Girl’
Rick Astley, ‘Never going to give you up’
Keala Settle, ‘This is me’
Santana, ‘Maria Maria’
Wigfield, ‘Saturday Night’
Kool and the Gang, ‘Celebration’
Tiffany ‘I think we’re alone now’
Paloma Faith, ‘Make your own kind of music paloma faith’
Rudimental – These Days
While I did enjoy listening to the songs, listening to the same songs over and over the space of 2 ½ hours is a bit too much. If it was a private DJ, I would have asked for my money back.
I have requested a comment from the press office as nobody with a disability or without a disability should have to wait 2 ½ hours to get through to a special assistance line to book a wheelchair onto a plane, which takes longer than the actual flight.
This again shows the incompetence of large organisations simply incapable of incorporating disability awareness and disability services into their business.
It has been over 100 years since the first passenger flight and airlines keep getting it wrong. How many more generations will it take for them to get it right.
There should be an easy way for people to take legal action against companies that do not provide effective services for the minority of their customers.