Published on : Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Hong Kong Airlines staff disallowed wheelchair user to board the flight because she was alone and unable to walk. Lawmaker asks the carrier to make its instructions clearer. Shen Chengqing, 22, was to board Hong Kong Airlines 3.5 hours’ flight to Tianjin in northeastern China at 8.40 pm on Friday. The airline staff refused to check her in as she was not able to walk and did not have a travel companion. The female employee said that due to this reason Shen was not allowed to board the plane alone.
Shen said, “I felt very anxious and angry at the time. I don’t understand why this could happen in Hong Kong.”
According to the airline’s website, passengers are allowed to check in their wheelchairs and will be provided with substitutes on board.
While flight attendants can assist wheelchair users with moving to and from their seats, the employees would not help them with personal care such as the toilet and taking medication, due to safety concerns. Therefore, it is recommended that wheelchair users travel with a personal care attendant. Shen is disappointed with the argument.
Airlines should send special instructions to passengers who used wheelchairs or had other disabilities when they booked flights.
The website mentions that “It is a requirement that you travel with a safety assistant if you are unable to physically assist in your own evacuation.”