MeThis morning, I got a call soon after I woke up. It appeared to be a very hotline asking for help from Jeab, and her team.
They were going to Phit-sa-nu-lok for trip by AirAsia airline. One of her team member was an powered wheelchair user.
The airline didn’t allow bringing his battery, necessary forpowered wheelchair, on board.
So I suggested her to call any other hotlines for help, as possible as they could find, at the very intense moment.
- The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand hotline
They informed that actually there was no exact law on this issue.
It purely depended on the airline’s consideration, then they asked her to talk to AOT (http://airportthai.co.th/)
- Ministry of Transport hotline
She made a call and it ended up in their voice box. And we could not leave any voice messages because its mailbox was totally full!!!
As a PWD was lessened his right and, worse, being in air travel without his needful battery in his wheelchair.
According to his physical condition, his hands are too weak that make him unable to push his wheelchair forward by himself.
He needs an powered wheelchair, in which a battery is requisite, so that he can control his movement by pushing a button.
Without the battery, it’s like he was being separated his last organ used to facilitate his movement.
They made his disability getting even worse.
What do you think how he will work or use a life after the plane landed?
I would like to clarify you that a battery on electronic wheelchair is unlike a battery in your smart phone.
Those airline staffs, including other airlines, probably lacked of well training on how they should cope with this unexpected situation, or didn’t have clear understanding of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, which stated clearly about manual on access to air transport by persons with disabilities as attached (Link).
We have been tracking this problem for over 3 years. We used to get to countless people to provide useful information and knowledge related to the concern including airlines as well as the Committee on Social, Children, Youth, Women, the Elderly, the Disabled and the Underprivileged Affairs (Link).
However, this problem still unbelievably exists and never be coped with properly. Even a disabled leader also faces this difficult problem. An ignorance of someone in charge could ruin someone in need.
I always stay in touch with this serious issue and we are arranging an appointment to meet up this group when they return to Bangkok.
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