Little Miss Turtle | Airport Trouble

Airport Trouble

Some weeks ago I took a flight leaving from Nice Airport to visit my friend Nina in Cologne/Germany. The flight was leaving at 12:45 pm. My friend Francy picked me up about two hours before my departure. Usually, there’s plenty of time left when we arrive at the airport. But not this day…!

 

We wanted to park at a parking close to the departure area on one of the handicap parking lots. Next to these reserved parking lots is a telephone booth from which you can call the service assistance for passengers with reduced mobility. But actually this day there was a massive stand of Mercedes AMG installed on the parking lots for disabled, and barriers blocked the whole area. Luxurious, powerful, prestigious cars everywhere! Francy decided not to obey and opened the barriers. We passed through and saw that the telephone booth was entirely out of service. An Airport employee came straight to us and rudely asked us to leave immediately. He didn’t even take time to listen to our explanation and obviously didn’t care at all. The man turned and walked away while I was asking where else we could park.

 

The thing is that my friend can’t lift me due to some back injuries. I felt sad and angry about this guy’s arrogant behavior and the fact that luxury cars are apparently way more important than offering accessible parking spaces. I asked my friend to drive elsewhere.

 

We decided to go to the security guys, whose job is to open and close a gate directly in front of the terminal’s departure area. It is possible for people with reduced mobility to park there for 30 minutes as I know from my own experience. I showed my disabled parking permit, but this time the guards wouldn’t let us in. For whatever reason. As I started to speak to one of the guards he did neither look at me nor was he listening to what I said. My friend was furious. Suddenly I felt so tired of those people’s ignorance and their “I don’t care”-attitude… The feeling of not being respected grew in my heart. (Update: Since 2017 it is no longer possible for disabled travelers to park directly in front of Terminal 1 and 2.)

 

Anyway… The clock was ticking, so my only concern was to get my flight. Too much time had already been wasted with our attempt to park. We stopped at another car park. Luckily a friendly and very well dressed man agreed to lift me out of the car into my wheelchair! His gesture of kindness made me immediately feel better. Thank you, dear stranger! Francy took me to the counter, I got my flight ticket, and a service assistant accompanied me through the security check.

 

Little Miss Turtle | Finally flying to Cologne

Little Miss Turtle | Finally flying to Cologne

I boarded only 5 minutes before the flight was leaving. The Eurowings Crew was very welcoming, and they even upgraded me! Once when all doors were in flight, I finally took a deep breath and made myself comfortable. The plane took off and all the stress of the past one and a half hour was gone. I couldn’t wait to meet my German friend who I only knew through Facebook and Skype! A new adventure was up to come!

Little Miss Turtle | Up in the air

Little Miss Turtle | Up in the air

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