Local August 18, 2022 | 9:08 am

Airlines apply protocol to limit the use of wheelchairs in the AILA

The instructions regulate the proper use of wheelchairs in the Americas. R. Castro.

Santo Domingo, DR
The company Aeropuertos Dominicanos XXI (Aerodom) and the airlines that operate flights in the airport terminal put into effect an instructive with the objective of regulating and orienting passengers who use wheelchairs because of the rebuke of their excessive use.

The instructions establish operational policies and procedures for the service assignment to passengers who need to be transported in wheelchairs to the boarding areas of the airport.

In its content, the instructions indicate that the chairs for departing passengers should not be visible in front of the airline counters to avoid the accumulation of chairs that previously occurred and affected the check-in process.

The document also indicates that the airlines must have folding chairs available. Once it confirms that the passenger has all the documents and has requested the wheelchair, the facility is granted.

And then, the airline responsible for assigning the service calls the company in charge of providing the service to send the exact number of chairs required.

Passengers favored with the wheelchair service will receive them at the service check-in counters, where they will board them prior to their departure.

With this, the authorities sought to avoid and control the excessive and indiscriminate use occurring among travelers, including young people, who were claiming the chairs to board their flight without any physical disability or illness.

According to data provided by Aerodom authorities, an average of 500 people requested wheelchairs daily.

Returning passengers
Likewise, the operational instructions indicate that returning passengers should only be waiting on the boarding bridge for the exact number of chairs with the airline’s reservations.

Another situation that occurred before was that sometimes extra seats would come in. When the passengers saw available seats, they would request the service, which caused more people to use the service and congested the process.

Only the airline will be authorized to request the service from the service provider; that is to say, only the airline can call the company offering the service to request the wheelchairs from the passenger claiming the service.

In this way, the previous practice of the passenger arriving and seeing an empty or idle wheelchair and the operator often offering the service is discontinued.

“The facility provided by airport operators for passengers who have locomotive difficulties to board and disembark with the help of wheelchairs, is being the object of an unacceptable mockery,” warned Listín Diario yesterday in its editorial.

“Used arbitrarily by people who take advantage of it to circumvent procedures and hide contraband.”

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August 18, 2022 9:44 am

Finally! An attempt to curb this runaway practice. All other Caribbean airports should do the same. It’s a disgrace the number of passengers claiming to be disabled so they can be wheeled around the airport.