Why aren't airplanes more "disabled friendly?"

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My husband has fairly advanced Alzheimers and I care for him myself. We fly from Australia to South Africa a few times a year because we have to visit our elderly mothers in South Africa. The trip is disruptive for my husband but I have to do it for our mothers' sakes.
My question is: Why aren't aeroplanes more "disabled friendly"? The two of us battle to fit into the minute toilets. Surely in this day and age, they should have at least ONE toilet that's slightly larger? I'm not asking for much.

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
I agree. My pet peeve - the row of seating immediately behind the bulkhead used to be for the disabled. My husband has mobility issues requiring a wheelchair. Sometimes we were able to get a seat in this row, but most of the time we were several rows back. With the total lack of space between the seat back and seat in the next rows, it is impossible for him to get in those rows. If someone is sitting on window and needs to get out, there is no way.
The bulkhead seats are now filled with the "elite" passengers, frequent flyers, etc. You are not able to reserve these seats until close to flight time. They should be for the disabled. I really appreciated the few helpful ticket agents who got us seating in the bulkhead row despite the "rules" of the airlines.
Top Answer
How airlines can get away with not following The Americans with Disabilities Act is beyond me. Airports are in compliance, yet when you board an airlines airplane all handcap accessibilty ceases to exist especially for those who are confined to wheelchairs.
I need to take my mom on a 2 hour flight. Are the airlines ok if she gets upset or will they throw us off the plane? She has spells sometimes.
My husband can also be slightly disruptive on planes but I always give the aeroplane staff a short note as I enter the plane explaining that my husband has Alzheimers, that he doesn't like flying, but that I can handle him.......and also that I will be going into the toilets with him. They tell me they appreciate that and are always very helpful and sympathetic. Your flight is only 2 hours so it should be OK. If you are dreading it, can you give your mom Ativan to calm her down? Also, remain calm and reassuring and chat about topics she enjoys. Ply her with chocolates...anything that works. Good luck.
I'm glad the airlines have treated you right. I'm afraid mom might have an outburst. Not often , but when she does she might drop the f bomb. She did this the other day. I hushed her (it was loud) so she just spelled it out loud.
Oh dear - That's exactly what my husband does. He says, "f*$# a luck a f*$# a luck" and "shitty shitty shitty" . Pardon the swearing everyone, but it's what you have to deal with sometimes. If he does it when I'm in a lift, I joke about it and make a remark about "tourettes syndrome". People have always just taken it well because they can see he's got a problem. I find if I apologise sweetly to people around me they really respond well. If there are children within ear-shot I'm sure their parents will explain to them that this isn't a normal situation. I think people are a lot more tolerant than you give them credit for, and my dear, if they can't understand then you really mustn't worry about stupid people like that.
Coleen, So when you book a flight do you give them a heads up? I was afraid if she is going through a spell she may not get past security? These are rare, but happen more when she is out of her comfort zone. do yo know the most tolerant airlines?
No I don't say anything when I book. I only give them the note as I am getting into my seat on the plane. I fly British Airways and Qantas because I go between South Africa and Australia. But I love Air Canada and I hear Singapore Airlines are brilliant. Sorry, but I don't know any American airlines.

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