This happened to me lately. I am at the stage in my PPMS where it’s now or never. My ability to walk very far is growing more limited as time goes on.
As well as trying to make things more accessible to me, I inevitably end up trying to make things easier for others around me too.
We were going to see our beautiful daughter in Barcelona So, with accessibility in mind, I did all the bookings from flights, hotel, carpark and mobility assistance, terrified I would get it wrong, as usually my son or daughter would do it. But, I didn’t get it wrong!
The most worrying part of my trip was using Dublin airport. Over the last few weeks, the reports of delays were horrendous, with stories of endless queues and people missing flights, all over the news.
I was really concerned about how I was going to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. I thought I would have to park at Terminal 2 as there were no Blue Badge spaces in Terminal 1. I knew the journey between the terminals was too far for me and that I would be in pain halfway there. I didn’t want to start my journey in pain.
I asked some of my MS friends for advice and with their help I tried again to switch my parking to Terminal 1. I spoke to a lovely woman in Dublin Airport Carparks, and she was able to sort it out for me. The relief was something else!
Over the past few years, I had shunned using the mobility services in the airport, but it wasn’t an option this time. I needed them and any fears I had in relation to the aesthetics of using a wheelchair, and my weakness being so visible, were all taken away by my experience with OCS, the reduced mobility assistance service.
From the moment I checked in with them, we were whizzed through security and dropped off at duty free. Next, we got taken on the buggy to the departure area and then they brought me from the gate on to the plane. All three staff members were very nice and chatty, they kept me distracted. When we landed at the other side assistance was waiting for me. It was the same on my return home, I was collected from the plane, and they brought us to the car park.
I can not rate the service highly enough. So, when you’re booking your flight, book the OCS at the same time. If you hold a Blue Badge, go on to Dublin airport carparks where your parking will be at a reduced rate.
Do not be afraid to use them, like I was. It made my short break, and it will definitely reopen travel to me.