Grateful for airport assistance

I live on an island, so occasional flight travel is essential. In the last 3 years or so, air travel for me would be impossible without airport assistance at both ends of my journey. I travel quite a bit, for both pleasure and work and airport assistance makes travelling as easy as possible. I have encountered numerous assistants (I’m not sure if that’s the right term) who have been pleasant, courteous and chatty without being intrusive. I’ve also had one surly, grumpy bugger in the last 3 years, almost to prove there’s an Exception to every rule. I’ve never once been asked " what have you done to yourself". My thanks are normally met with a smile and a comment along the lines of “we’re here to make sure that your travel is as easy as it can be”.

My only gripe is that many airports don’t use self-propelled wheelchairs, so if I’m traveling on my own and have been given a push-only chair, this means I’m completely reliant on someone else pushing me to the shop, toilet, coffee house etc. I’ve now taken to traveling with my own self-propelled wheelchair, so that I can move myself from A to B.

Oops, I lied earlier when I said I only had one gripe, my other gripe is why do the doors to disabled loos have to be so awkward and heavy. I’ve encountered a few doors that Geoff Capes would struggle with. Why can’t the doors have sensors which opens, closes and locks the door without the need for contortionism and muscle?

Anyway, to all who provide assistance at airport, thank you for all that you do and the way you do it.



Derek, that’s a super valid point about disabled loo doors! A sensor might mean it opening at inopportune moments, eek! But some kind of push button entry, at wheelchair user height…something like that would make things easier for the people these facilities are supposedly designed for!

Also, I hope this island you live on is your own private one! King Derek of the Isle of Derek.

This is a major gripe of mine. So often I use a disabled loo that I then can’t get out of. My other gripe is bins in disabled loos having foot pedal openers. Surely they could have the kind where you wave you hand over it and the lid opens. In airports if not the cash strapped (as we’re so often told) NHS hospitals.


It just shows that they’re putting these loos in simply because they HAVE to, doesn’t it. No actual thought goes into functionality.

The bins in the local hospital here are foot operated, and with a metal bar that needs quite a push, I have to support myself on the wall to be able to open it.

The taps are motion operated at least, but the water shoots out, hits the sink and then splashes up over the edge all over your legs…

I complained about the disabled loo in the Neurology wing of the hospital I go to recently. I had a very nice phone call from someone who is going to try to get them changed. The foot pedal bins in particular she was horrified by. Given the whole superbug, infection control issues.


I hope whoever you spoke to actually managed to get something done then. :slight_smile:

She did say it will take some time!!!

(Sorry Derek we’ve highjacked your thread!)

My thought was that the sensor would open the door if the door was unlocked, but wouldn’t open the door if the door was locked. I’ve seen doors like these on trains. Sounds simple.


Back in 1986 I was asked by the BAA (being a wheelchair user) to check all the disabled facilities in Terminal 4 just before it opened.

Just like Derek and Jellysundae are talking about the loo doors were the worst I’ve ever encountered. They split 1/3rd one side 2/3rd the other; if you went to the 1/3rd side in your chair thus opening the 2/3rd side the 1/3rd side would stop the door opening. Confused I am and I’m writing this.

Anyway the BAA immediately took action and changed one door out of I think 49 toilets. Thirty years later that is the only door to be changed.

These planners have no idea; the other thing I reported was the car parking. All disabled bays were on the top floor adjacent to the departure concourse. Great; more convenient you would have thought but a wheelchair user would have got soaked getting their chair out of the car. Answer put the disabled bays on the ground floor (arrivals) yeh! They did it.


That makes 100% sense. Unfortunately for me, one of the ways my cognitive issues manifest is the total inability to carry a thought through to its logical conclusion. So realising that a sensor operated door would work like that would never occur to me now.