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Special Assistance at the airport

Braunton, United...
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499 posts
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Special Assistance at the airport

Has anybody used Special Assistance at the airport? and if so

What was involved on both inbound and outbound?

Thanks Steve and Mary

Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

What kind of special assistance were you looking for?

Braunton, United...
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499 posts
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2. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

Mary will be on crutches so will not be able to use the aircraft stairs, nor will she be able to walk for a long distance, so we were wondering where she can get a wheelchair. Also, is there a special lane for reduced mobility passengers?

Newton Aycliffe...
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for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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3. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

I would suggest you need to get in touch with your travel agent or tour operator to make arrangement for wheelchair assistance.

This can be arranged at Gatwick Airport and at Holguin Airport. At Holguin they will need to make arrangements to carry Mary off the aircraft I would assume as passengers have to alight and board the aircraft via stairs. She would then be wheeled to Immigration where there is a special booth for wheelchair passengers to pass through.

Braunton, United...
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4. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

bellagio...Thanks for the info. We know about Gatwick and booking via the travel agent.

It is the Holguin airport side of things that we do not know as we have never been to Cuba before.

Steve and Mary

Portsmouth, United...
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5. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

If you request assistance through your travel rep at your hotel assistance will be available. I had an accident when I was there and needed a wheelchair to get about. The rep at Brisas sorted everything out for me and took me to the fast track check in desk with my husband but we still had to queue to get through security. Once through we didn't get an assistance until we boarded the aircraft, but there again we didn't need it.

All in all we were very happy with the help we got and I presume you will get the same assistance. Good luck and enjoy your holiday.

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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6. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

Steve:

They usually announce on the aircraft when you land at Holguin, that anyone needing assistance should remain in their seats until all other passengers have left the aircraft and then assistance will be at hand to help you off the aircraft.

United Kingdom
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for Holguin, Guardalavaca
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7. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

If you book Airport assistance at Gatwick it should be in place for you at Holguin too. Once you have boarded at Gatwick remind the crew that you will require airposrt assistance at Holguin and then re-remind them about an hour before landing, they should ask you if Mary can manage the stairs so do make sure you tell them that she cant.

Once landed at Holguin you will have to remain on the plane until everybody has vacated. As Mary cant manage the stairs groundcrew will usually bring a wheelchair up the stairs and will carry Mary down in the wheelchair and then take her and you through customs (you will queue jump..lol), once you have cleared immigration and security your wheelchair "operator" will want to help you look for your luggage and wheel you out from the airport to your bus, he is also hanging around for a tip (lol).

For your return you will need to see your rep and ask him to get you through check-in quickly, you may also want to ask him in advance to ensure a wheelchair is at Holguin for Marys use and advisee that you will need assistance to take her up the aircraft stairs too... everything will be in order for you when you get to the airport so dont worry. A rep will remain at the airport until all passengers have checked in so help will be at hand if you have any problems.

Are you taking your own wheelchair?

United Kingdom
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for Holguin, Guardalavaca
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8. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

I have just re-read your posts and see that you wont be taking your own wheelchair ~ I truly think you need to re-think that idea and see if you can get a wheelchair for Mary from somewhere. I presume you will be travelling from Gatwick as you are from Devon, let me tell you the check-in queues arent the shortest and then you have to queue for a long time to get through security and then she has the Duty Free area to negotiate, I personally think life would be a lot more comfortable for Mary if she had her own wheelchair.... Im sure she would appreciate it in Cuba too..... just trying to be helpful thats all !!

Montreal, Canada
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9. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

I totally agree with what has been posted. You should bring your own wheelchair for Mary's use with you and check it through with your luggage to have at your hotel. Have you requested a room at the resort that is wheelchair accessible as Mary will be more comfortable with a sit in shower rather than climbing in/out of a bathtub.

Have a nice trip.

Edited: 02 August 2012, 02:01
Braunton, United...
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499 posts
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10. Re: Special Assistance at the airport

Thanks Loonylou for the info at Cuba. Gatwick is not a problem. Been there, done that. lol.

We dont need a wheelchair all the time as we can stop anytime. We had a place in Fuerteventura that we called "Prossie Corner" as we always stopped there on the corner.

Whilst we are on holiday, we stop every 10 -15 mins for a rest, but that will not do at an airport, hence special assistance.

It is not a problem for Mary to stand, like in the shower, but the problem is long distance walking.