Handicapped Special Assistance experience for Budget Airlines

Aircast

My right ankle in an aircast.

13th January 2013, whilst protecting the ball from an onrushing goalkeeper and the ball almost going out of bounds, I trapped the ball with a step-over at full sprint speed. My shoe gripped the floor, but my ankle kept going. I rolled my ankle and heard a pop. I knew this was going to be bad. I lay on the floor to catch my breath before being helped up. I limped off the pitch, grabbed a shower and went home, limped to my car, drove to a wedding dinner. It was becoming unbearable around 10pm and I limped home. Next morning, I went to the hospital, got an X-Ray and was told I tore a ligament and the ligament pulled the lower tip of my tibia. I had an avulsion ( some sort of bone break). I got an aircast and crutches. 4 to 6 weeks grounded.

homer-simpson-wallpaper-brain

Not my x-ray

Here is the report on the flight experience I got from the budget airlines travelling between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Jetstar KL to SIN

At KLIA, I hopped to the counter, bypassing the long queue. I was asked if I could travel on my own. I checked in, was offered wheel chair assistance. Sat down for a while and a wheel chair attendant came. I was asked to sign some papers and was wheeled to the plane. Priority at all points. I was given seats in the front. All this for free. Landing at Changi, the cabin crew told me that I should have asked for wheelchair-on-arrival. A tad too late. Hopped to the information counter, at this time, I was exhausted and the Changi staff took me on wheel chair all the way to the taxi stand.

Rating in KLIA : 5 stars

Rating at Changi : 3 stars as no one asked me if I needed assistance and I did it all on my own. 3 stars for the Changi staff

I had to cancel one of my flights. I sent them my medical reports and medical leave. They gave me vouchers to use for another time. Full value of my missed flight. GREAT JOB!

TigerAirways KL to SIN

I lined up to check in. Check in counter took a while to open. Standing at LCCT on one leg. Was checked in first. Gave a seat infront. No offer of assistance. I hopped myself to the immigration, to the customs, up the stairs of the plane and into my seat. Arrival at Changi, Do-it-yourself. No one asked or helped. I hopped to the arrival immigration, customs and to the taxi.

On my second flight from KL to SIN, they opened the counter 5 mins earlier to help me check in at LCCT. I overheard staff asking a senior : Do I get him a wheelchair? Senior says : No. He did not ask for one.

At least someone was told to shade me using an umbrella as I climbed up the plane as it was raining. And Tiger planes park near the entrance/exit gates of the arrival hall at LCCT.

Rating at LCCT : 1 star. Bare minimum.

Rating at Changi : 0 star. Did not bother about me.

I had to cancel one of my flights. I sent them my medical reports and medical leave. I was told I could not get refund. They spoke to Manager and waive my change fee. I topped up for a future flight. Better than Nothing. More minus points.

circus-wheelchair_1762833i

I may try this.

AirAsia KL to SIN

I headed to the counter at the entrance of LCCT ( near the juice bar and Taste of Asia). Gave them my web check in. My seat remains the same (back of plane). One hour before my flight, I am wheeled pass immigrations and customs. I am wheeled to my plane and am ambulift lifts me up to the plane on the right side of the plane. I hop in and sit down. This will cost you RM12. I think if you have a card stating you are handicapped(permanently disabled), it would be free. I landed in Singapore, attendants asked if I needed a wheelchair, I told them I will be fine ( I have already practiced this so many times). If you require, it will cost you SGD20.

Rating at LCCT : 4 star

Rating at Changi : Not applicable.

Jetstar SIN to KL

I walked to the counter. I got my webcheckin but they changed my seats to the front. I was asked if I needed a wheelchair. I asked where the gate was and it was close by. I declined and hopped myself. Good job. I went in to the  gate and the staff told me to make sure I go first into the plane. I was given priority to hop. I was asked if I needed a wheelchair in KLIA when I entered the plane. Yes. I was greeted by the wheelchair attendant. Pushed me thru KLIA to my train at ERL. Everyone took care of my and the cabin crew was awesome.

Rating at Changi : 5 stars

Rating at KLIA : 5 stars.

I wrote on their facebook wall commending their awesome support.

AirAsia SIN to KL

Web checkin. I went to the service counter as the document counter had around 100 people in line. I was checked in. Seat remained at the back of the plane. Counter girl had a long long face but it was due to the busy volume. I  boarded the plane first as the staff at the gate also told me to go to the front. I went into the plane and the first cabin crew asked if I wanted a wheelchair at LCCT. I said only the wheelchair. As I sat down, another cabin crew came over, smiled and told me to wait till everyone is off the plane and they will ambulift me down as they did not want me to hop down the stairs. Upon arrival, they ambulifted me all the way to the immigration. Bypassed the long CNY mad rush queue and was in my taxi very quickly.

Rating at Changi : 3 stars

Rating at LCCT : 5 stars. I tipped the guy who pushed my wheelchair. He was really efficient.

wheelchair

Special Assistance needed.

Conclusion 

I would say Jetstar takes the win for the best service and care and being very proactive. Gave me seats in the front. Arranged for my wheelchair.  5/5

AirAsia comes in second solely because they charge for the service and did not tell me until I was on the wheelchair. But that is fine for the convenience. Ambulift and wheelchair assistance at LCCT. I did not take the option at Changi. I sat on my web checkin seats preallocated. A minus here.   4/5

Tiger Airways, sadly is the worst of the 3 by a far way and I will not travel with them if I was handicapped. Terrible support. I do not care about a seat in front. I care about getting to and off the plane. The only plus side is the smile from the cabin crew.  I did no fly from SIN to KUL but I can safely bet with you, I would be walking the tarmac of LCCT on my own all the way up to the immigration. Frequent travelers will know how sucky LCCT is by its own. Imagine doing so on crutches. 1/5

***Update ( second opinion and second Xray showed no avulsion and the 4-6 weeks which had already gone by was a waste. My atrophy had already settled in and all my muscles shrunk. 

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