If you have difficulty walking or moving long distances due to a disability, Assistance is available to help you get around the airport. The size of Assistance varies depending on the size of the airport, but you may want to consider using this service to help you get around.
What is Assistance?
Assistance is a service provided to those who have difficulties in getting around the airport.
(1) Transportation from departure gate to boarding gate
(2) Transportation from boarding gate to arrival lobby
(3) Transportation during transfers
(4) Transportation from the arrival lobby to various modes of transportation
At airports that function to relay cargo and passengers to their destinations, it is especially easy to concentrate, so walking from one end to the other can take about 20 minutes to get from one end to the other. If a person has difficulty walking, he or she may be moved by wheelchair for short distances, or for longer distances, a person with a wheelchair and walking difficulties may be carried in an electric vehicle (illustrated above) driven by ASSISTANCE.
Difference between Asian Assistance and European Assistance
Comparing Europe (Barcelona Airport in Spain and Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands) and Asia (Incheon Airport in South Korea and Japanese airports), where I used Assistance, I noticed something. In Europe, people with disabilities are treated in a very normal and natural way, and are not given special treatment. For example, Assistance has a dedicated counter so that wheelchairs can be rented on the same day, and Schiphol Airport has a lounge for the disabled. If there is an unrelated passenger in the disabled lounge, you will be asked to be careful and move on. On the other hand
On the other hand, in the case of Japanese airports and Incheon Airport, there is no particular window for assistance, perhaps because there are fewer disabled people traveling than in Europe, and things will go more smoothly if you contact them in advance.
Points to note when using Assistance
When using Assistance, the following points are important to keep in mind
(1) If you have any questions, ask them right away.
(2) In some areas, there may not be many English-speaking staff.
(3) Check the boarding gate carefully, as it may change during the flight.
Let’s look at it in detail.
If you don’t understand something, ask questions right away.
First of all, if you have a walker in addition to your suitcase at the time of departure, you need to check carefully whether the walker can be checked in with your suitcase or whether it is carried with you to the boarding gate of the plane, as each airline handles this differently. In one actual case, the manager rented a wheelchair at Barcelona airport and the walker was supposed to be checked in the cargo of the plane, but it was not communicated properly, and he had to repeatedly ask where he should check the walker with a translation app.
In some areas, there may be few English-speaking staff
When the manager asked the staff at the Barcelona airport to ask something he did not understand, 4 out of 6 people told him to ask someone else because they did not understand English. It is safer to use a translation app in the local language.
Also, it would be easier to communicate smoothly if you learn at least “thank you” and “hello. Adding a smile when greeting people is also important, as it creates an atmosphere where you can talk frankly.
Check the boarding gate carefully, as it may be changed during the process.
Even if you arrive safely at the boarding gate with the help of assistance, it is often the case that the boarding gate is changed due to a broadcast. You need to be on your guard and listen carefully to the announcement and check the information board.