Some weeks ago I took a flight leaving from Nice/France to visit my friend Nina in Cologne/Germany. The flight was leaving at 12:45 pm. As always when I take the plane, I was picked up by Francy, a close friend, two hours before departure. Usually there’s plenty of time left when we arrive at the airport. But not this day…!
We wanted to park at a special parking in the parking lots for handicapped. Next to these lots there’s a telephone booth from which you can call the service assistance for passengers with reduced mobility. But actually this day there was a stand of Mercedes AMG installed on the parking lots for disabled and the whole area was blocked by barriers. Luxurious, powerful, prestigious cars everywhere! Francy decided to not obey by opening the barriers. We passed through and saw that the telephone booth was completely out of service. An Airport employee came straight to us and we were rudely asked to immediately leave. He didn’t even take time to listen to our explanations 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 about the fact, that luxury cars are obviously more important than offering accessible parking spaces. I asked my friend to drive elsewhere.
We decided to go to the security guys, whose job it 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 what ever 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 very angry. Suddenly I felt so tired by these people’s ignorance and their “I don’t care”-attitude… The feeling of not being respected grew in my heart. Personally I am not used to be treated that way. Most of the time I am treated attentively with kindness.
Anyway… Time was ticking, so my only concern was to get my flight. Too much time had already been waisted with our attempt to park. We stopped at another car park. Luckily a friendly passerby was willing 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 was called to help me through the security check.
I was 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 airplane took off and all the stress of the past one and a half hour was left behind. I was so looking forward to meeting my German friend who I only knew through Facebook and Skype!
A new adventure was up to come!