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Review: The whole process

Travel Service - Tour Operator/Travel Provider

The tavel industry and the disabled traveller

  • By SilverTraveller whatdoiknow

    1 review

  • March 2016

45 people found this review helpful

H i My Name is Steve and this is the very first time i have put a review on this site.
My Circumstances are this i am 62yr old married 30 yrs this Sept to my darling wife Lesley 62 who is registered Disabled (spinal Canal Stenosis) i also have a Brother who is 60 he has had Epilepsy from birth and has severe learning difficulties.

For the last 20 years we have taken holidays on the beautiful islands of Majorca & Lanzerote and for those holidays we have nearly always booked via First Choice /Thompson mainly because of the protection that comes with it (ATOL/ABTA) and i would say by now we are seasoned travels. Over the years i have found it more &more difficult to find different places to stay within our budget , when i book a holiday for Lesley and i there needs to be things that i have GOT to make sure of before i commit to the booking.

I firstly need to have in place the the assistance at the airport (Ambilift,seats,& the Mobility Scooter) the first two are quite straight forward although having said that i do personally check with the airline my self to make sure that the T/O has passed on the details, however booking the scooter onto the flight can sometimes be a mayor problem because most Airlines will only accept a MAX 3 electric items in the hold (Chairs &Scooters) Most say its to comply with Regs but having been involved in air Logistics for maney years i can say that its more down to the fact that the Airline MUST offer this service for free. So this one thing means that i am forced to book well in advance for instance I have Apl 2018 &Sep 2018 already booked so i could be first come first served as far as the Scooter is concerned.

Now for the Accommodation which can be any of the 3 A/I,H/B or S/C we don’t mind but because of Lesley’s spine trouble we need 1 bedroom apartments because she needs to be able to move a lot in the night (we have separate beds at home) so i sleep in the Living room usually on a sofa bed . This then becomes a problem as most 1 bed apt are for 4 and are priced as such so because of this we are stuck with just 2 hotels that have the accommodation that is right for us one is in Playa de Muro (Alcudia) and the other is in Cala Bona, On Lanzarote we can find only one. Now i am NOT saying that there are not others out on these Islands But this is were one of my points in writing comes in. Disabled Travelers a lot of the time when making a booking the person who is on the other side of the desk or on the end of the phone has no idea hoe important such things as is the Room wheelchair friendly can someone with mobility problems use the bathroom are their disabled facility at the accommodation i fully understand that the agent can check these things however a hotels interpretation of a disabled bathroom might be “yes we have railings in the bathroom” which does not mean that the bathroom is fit for purpose There are so maney small things that probably sound silly to the person taking the booking however they are mayor things to those who need to know prior to them making the commitment had handing over the cash for the holiday. Another thing that The travel industry is very poor at and that is Guaranteeing those arrangements they always say we will ask but we can not guarantee the request its not a request its a must have to enable the customer to have the correct holiday for them. Travel Company’s are always stating that they check out the accommodation they sell to make sure its up to standard.

I think it is a good idea for the whole travel industry to have a customer lead conference to see what the customer thinks instead of relying on computer surveys and non face to face discussions. I strongly beleave that those customers that have mainly Mobility issues are not taken seriously enough . And can i Finnish with this although the outcome of this problem was solved by a move to the correct hotel. 2013 booked a 2 week cruise and stay First time ever 1 week on the boat 1 week in the hotel having first made all the inquires at the T/As and being assured all would be fine Got to hotel no Ramp wide enough for Wheelchair(scooter not allowed on boat) Wife struggled uo slight incline consisting of about 20 steps, Booked in ON 3rd floor (ASKED FOR GROUND BUT WILL NOT GUARANTEE) Lift would not take wheelchair in had to close it wife had to stand and no room for any cases and when we got to the room the chair with my wife in it could not be pushed in through the door( not wide enough) Asked for another room preferably Disabled on hotel did NOT have any nor was the mention of my requirements.

The travel industry has still a long way to go to put the needs of those who need a little bit more Customer Care.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    about 3 years ago
    Thanks for sharing this whatdoiknow & you're right, this "its a request & cannot be guaranteed stuff" is very annoying, not limited to disabled facilities. Last year we took our daughter & grandchildren away and our request for a cot was met with a "there should be one available but it cannot be guaranteed". It was there but I fully intended to take the babe to the hotel manager and put her in his arms every night until a cot was found, I bet one would appear pretty quickly the she started screaming her head off (I wouldn't have subjected her to that really but it makes you feel that way).
    Have you ever tried a specialist provider like Enable? Perhaps they'd be better geared to your needs/