Tra­vails at LAX

Los Angeles Times - - TRAVEL -

The last line in Jean Rosenfeld’s March 29 let­ter head­lined “Wheel­chair dif­fi­cul­ties” says it all: “Dis­abled travel is in­her­ently still un­equal.”

My wife and I ex­pe­ri­enced this at LAX re­cently ar­riv­ing home from a trip to Peru.

The peo­ple help­ing the eight dis­abled pas­sen­gers and their com­pan­ions were ded­i­cated and ef­fi­cient as they greeted us at the plane door with wheel­chairs. The com­pan­ions had to tote the carry-on bags to a point where the way was blocked by two elec­tric carts. The em­ploy­ees op­er­at­ing those carts were abrupt. The carts were loaded with the dis­abled pas­sen­gers, and off we went again, along pas­sages, on el­e­va­tors, to­ward an area where, in the dis­tance, one could see signs point­ing to­ward the next steps in the re-en­try process.

The carts were too big to pro­ceed, so the dis­abled peo­ple were or­dered to dis­em­bark and wait for more wheel­chairs. Fi­nally, one chair was wheeled out and a per­son who had com­pleted the cus­toms and im­mi­gra­tion forms was taken first. Ten min­utes later, an­other chair showed up, and we were lucky enough to get it.

One hour and 20 min­utes later, we got to the lug­gage carousel, where the only bags left were those of the dis­abled pas­sen­gers.

Who­ever is re­spon­si­ble for this process should be made aware of the un­wel­com­ing at­ti­tude and frus­tra­tion in­flicted upon trav­el­ers. P G

ETER IB­SON

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