As a visually impaired person i wanted to know how easy it was to travel abroad on my own by plane.
I chose to visit my wife’s family in Dubai so decided to use Emirate
Airline, i contacted them by email and explained i was visually impaired and ask what can they do for me.
Below is the statement i received from them regards to anyone who is visually impaired or blind this information was taken from their website with their approval.
“Blind or visually impaired passengersMaking a booking”
If you are blind or visually impaired and require guidance assistance or directions upon arrival at the airport or any other special assistance during your journey with us, please let us know at the time of booking. If you have booked your flight on emirates.com or with another on-line booking agency, please contact your local Emirates office after booking to advise us of your requirements.
“At the Airport”
A Meet and Assist Service is available to guide you to and from the aircraft gate or if you prefer, you may make use of wheelchair assistance. At your request, we can also provide you with flight connection and transfer assistance.
Individual safety briefings are given to any customer who requests them. Included in the briefing is an explanation of safety procedures, exit locations, and communication regarding the most appropriate way to provide assistance to you in accordance with your needs.
Every Emirates aircraft comes equipped with Safety Briefing Cards printed in Braille for our customers who have vision disabilities.
Our Flight Attendants will read to you the meal menu options, identify food items and placement on your tray and assist with opening packages upon request.
Due to safety regulations you will not be allocated an exit row seat.
November 14th today is the day getting to Gatwick was no problem as i had a friend take me, however once i was dropped off this was another story, i had no one around to meet and greet which was a good start so i proceeded to find the check in desk for Emirate Airlines i tried looking for some kind of sign with out and luck, so i carried on walking going up the escalator and ending up in the Easy Jet checking area which i thought was a good start at least i found a check in desk.
I found as i hoped was some one who could help, it looked like he was some kind of customer service person, i asked him where i could find Emirate Airlines check in desk, with out looking up he said it’s on the second floor, to my reply was how do i get there and with out looking up he just said it’s on the second floor get a lift over there, he did not even point or give any direction, eventually i managed to squeeze the vital information from this un friendly and very uncooperative person.
After 5 minutes or so i found Emirates check in and i though “HERE WE GO” one unfriendly experience is going to be followed by another, how wrong i was with that assumption.
Checking in could not have been more friendly and so helpful, i had a good feeling about my from that point on, i was greeted with a nice smile by a lady behind the desk, she weight my luggage which always is a concern but no problem, first hurdle overcome, once i was checked in the nice lady asked me if i required assistance and then summoned another very polite Emirate lady to escort me to the assisted area, the lady called Sash insisted in taking my hand luggage which was helpful.
It was not long before we were at the assisted passenger area and i was handed over to two gentlemen, where one took my hand luggage and the guided me through security at some painless ease, i was dropped off at a second assisted area Airside this was run by OCS and the service continued to impress me i was again greeted by a friendly lady with a gorgeous smile who gave me a timer to hang around my neck and asked me to return to her desk when the bleeper sounded, i was able to go for a coffee or shopping if i wished and i surely did.
I returned back to the desk before the bleeper sounded perhaps we should give our wives and partners one of these bleepers when they go shopping ‘Just a thought’, I was asked to take a seat and someone would take me to the boarding gate by an electric buggy, another enjoyable experience i was thinking i should remain in Gatwick Airport as the service was like a five star hotel, but i had to get to my destination at some point.
I was greeted at the boarding gate by Sash and she guided me to board the plane, once on board i found my seat at i was no longer settled when a stewardess introduced herself asking if i would like any help such as a menu in braille, which declined she then asked if i would like anything else so i asked for an upgrade, well one needs to ask.
My flight was comfortable and i was in Dubai in under seven hours where the stewardess escorted me to another very good looking Filipino lady who proceeded to take me to immigration and then on to collect my luggage, and onto the meeting area so i could meet my family, overall my experience in traveling to Dubai with Emirate Airlines was one of enjoyment to the fact as a visually impaired person you can be assured you will be well taken care of, and i hope my return journey will be just as pleasant.