The Disability Travel Challenge: Problems boarding at Singapore

The Disability Travel Challenge: Problems boarding at Singapore

Wheelchair-bound holidaymaker John Roberts is putting facilities for disabled travellers to the test on a month-long trip – and you can follow his progress exclusively in Travel Weekly.

John boarded a Qantas flight from Singapore to Sydney on January 2.

At 6.45am we were conveyed to Singapore Airport and at check in, yet again our seats had been reserved correctly and were blocked to us, amazing we thought and were so happy that the system seemed to be working.

The check in agent confirmed our seats as 23 a and b and directed us to the lounge. No assistance was provided despite being arranged in advance. We were given the wrong location so after a long trek back we eventually found the Qantas lounge.

In the lounge I noted our seats on the boarding card had changed. Nobody could see why, so a duty manager was called to investigate. These difficulties should have been avoided.

Investigation by the manager revealed that after being told the correct seats at check in somehow the agent changed them. She could not say how, so it was put down to “human error” and eventually it was changed back again.

I still feel that after all the efforts we made an error happened and nobody seemed to care how or why! We boarded and had another wonderful flight to Sydney. Come on Qantas – let’s get the rest of the trip right please.

Travel 2 response

The operator has issued this response to the problems John experienced on arrival and when trying to access booked tours in Singapore:

John Roberts booked part of his 32 day trip from the UK with Travel 2 via his local travel agent this included a stay in Singapore with transfers, accommodation and excursions, and accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.

At the time of booking the information supplied to Travel 2, and then to the ground handlers, stated that Mr Roberts could walk short distances with assistance. In fact, on arrival in Singapore the ground handlers advised Travel 2 that Mr Roberts required wheelchair access at all times.

Future sectors of Mr Roberts’ trip arranged by Travel 2 have now been informed of this.

Travel 2 apologises for some of the confusion that Mr Roberts experienced in Singapore and is pleased that the revised tours have been successful. Travel 2 has refunded Mr Roberts for the affected excursions.

Travel 2 strongly advises all travellers and their travel agents to make clear the exact nature of the disability at the time of booking, and to advise the tour operator of any health changes that may result in a different level of mobility.


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