flying and special assistance

This summer has been one of facing and overcoming many challenges for me, including getting special assistance on a plane on my own. For many people this is a regular occurrence, but for me it was a first. I was going to see one of my best friends in Belgium and spend a few days with her so I thought that this was the ideal opportunity to try special assistance.

Outward
When booking my tickets with KLM, I also booked special assistance for both the outward and return journeys from Leeds Bradford and Amsterdam airports. I’ve only got light perception so if I was going to travel on my own, special assistance was vital.
I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare so that I could get through check-in and get through customs. I was instructed to go to the special assistance desk, my parents dropped me off at the airport so they went with me to the special assistance desk. I was met by a member of staff who helped me check my luggage in and get through customs. Once in the departure lounge they found me a seat at the appropriate gate for my flight. I was really impressed with how things were going so far!

After a while my flight had been called and a member of staff came to help me out onto the runway and onto the plane.
Once I was seated a flight attendant explained where the call button was and and I listened to the usual safety instructions. The flight itself was pretty calm with nothing unusual happening.
Once we landed in Amsterdam I was told to stay in my seat until a member of staff came to help me off the plane once all the other passengers had departed.
A lovely Dutch man came to help me off the plane and onto a minibus, he told me that we were picking up some other passengers before heading to the terminal. Once we arrived at the terminal, I was met by another member of staff who would then help me collect my luggage and to my welcoming party in arrivals. I was really impressed with the service and felt very happy with the way things had gone.

Return
Before I knew it, my 5 days with my friend were over and it was time to head home. To be completely honest, I was rather nervous about the return journey although I’d experienced it on the outward journey but you hear of all sorts of things happening.
Once my friend’s family had drove to Amsterdam airport they accompanied me to the KLM desk. I’d previously done online check-in so this made things quicker. All I needed to do was get my luggage checked in and wait for special assistance. The lady on the KLM desk said that I needed to have a new boarding pass printed so she did that for me, I didn’t know why but I didn’t argue the case. We waited for assistance, finally a lady arrived and my friend told me that she was wheeling a wheelchair. I started to get a bit nervous because I had thoughts that they were going to make me sit in this wheelchair when I was quite happy for them to guide me. Panic over, it turned out that the wheelchair was for another person who the lady was assisting as well.
After an emotional goodbye with my friend, the lady took me through customs. After a while we were met by another member of staff who helped me onto a minibus which would take me and some other passengers to our aircraft. The same member of staff helped me onto the plane and made sure I was seated.
Like the outward journey, a flight attendant explained where the call button was if I needed anything etc.
Once we arrived at Leeds Bradford Airport I waited for everyone else to get off the plane before I was met by a man who helped me and another lady off the plane and through passport control, to collect our luggage and to meet the people that were picking us up from the airport. Like the outward journey, the return journey ran very smoothly with no bad reports.
I was very impressed with special assistance and will definitely be doing it many more times in the future…fingers crossed I have the same experience!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post 🙂

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3 thoughts on “flying and special assistance

  1. Pingback: Two Years of Life of a Blind Girl |

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