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United States: inconvenience for wheelchairs at airports

Passengers with reduced mobility complain of longer waits beyond 30 minutes

Long wait times for wheelchairs at airports are a concern for many travelers in a summer already saturated with air travel disruptions with canceled flights, delays and long waits. Passengers who have been using this service for years say that recently waits have lengthened: even more than 30 minutes to receive assistance at certain airports.

Passengers with Reduced Mobility (Pmr) complain of a wide variety of problems, but at the top of them all is the lack of coordination between airlines, and wheelchair attendants work mainly for third-party companies that have been contracted to provide services to airlines. In short, passengers who have such needs must request this service from the airline, which sends an operator to push the wheelchair along the terminal.

It is an area of work that also suffers from staff shortages, delays, and tight schedules. The Council for Airport Opportunity, an association that connects wheelchair attendants with New York's three airports, has more job openings than it can fill. Salaries for these professionals vary widely by contracting company and region, but in general, increases are expected for all airport service workers who have become critical. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency