Well if you know me, you will know that nothing is ever easy and this was certainly the case yesterday when I travelled from my cousins to Chicago!
We spent a relaxing morning at my cousins (being fed far too much food…I won’t mention the burnt nachos) which I can’t thank enough for letting us stay with them, before a short taxi from theirs to London airport where I finally managed to pay for something! The staff all seemed really helpful so such a small airport and quickly came up with a solution as to how to get my electric wheelchair onto the aircraft unlike the drama we had at JFK. The flight was delayed around an hour due to bad weather conditions and busy airspace in Chicago so meant that I could spend more time with my cousins before saying goodbye.
Once we boarded the plane and started taxiing, we found out that we couldn’t take off for around another 25 mins still waiting for the all clear from Toronto air management. we landed in Chicago O’hare around an hour after and, as before, this is where the drama began!
The ground staff were useless! We had asked for my electric wheelchair to be brought to the aircraft for me to disembark into, however they bought an aisle seat which I do not use as I walk off the aircraft, my PAs explained this and so the ground staff then went and found a manual wheelchair, again my PAs tried correcting them asking again for my electric wheelchair and then my manual wheelchair showed up. Forth time lucky I was finally able to get off the plane to sit in Superbunny. Once again, it wouldn’t turn on, but this time we had assumed again they had disconnected the battery after my PAs had specifically told them not to as we have a Bunny Tranquiliser (battery imoboliser) so my PAs got on the floor whilst about 5 guys were standing round looking as they tried to reconnect the battery whilst still on the airfield. After a short while the ground staff saw my PAs struggling and offers to help. When we reconnected the battery we thought everything was fine until I realised that the joystick had lost it’s resistance meaning that it was undrivable! By this time, my PAs had had enough as this is the second time it has happened in a week so went on a mission to complain and file a damage report and attempt to receive some compensation for the inconvenience and cab fares that we have missed at both airports for having to spend time filling out damage report forms which took 2 hours.
After the claim was filed and they had figured out how to use their own computer system, we were escorted out to the taxi rank. As usual, communication was poor between the airport staff and transportation staff as they decided to shout at us about I don’t know what because I had switched off by his point.
Finally a taxi showed up around 9:45pm which was 10:45 in Canadian time zone so we were all knackered and for now we were on the homestretch, obviously not! We got to the hotel and went to check in and, as we found in Europe, they didn’t read the notes on the booking confirmation regarding wheelchair accessibility and adjoining rooms for which they had neither. The only way around it was for them to transfer 2 of us to another hotel which we were reluctant to do. Out of the blue, a random woman from Canada (who was slightly drunk!) overheard our conversation and realised that her friends in an accessible room and kindly volunteered them to move rooms for which we accepted and all was resolved. We finally had dinner at around ten to midnight (we were now very grateful for my cousins over feeding us).
We have had a lazy morning this morning apart from one PA who has spent the whole morning on the phone with the engineer who is going to try and fix Superbunny and the very unhelpful United Airlines! All morning she has been passed from person to person in which nobody is able to offer the right help or information!
We about to go down for something for breakfast which will be classed as lunch and then go up the John Hancock tower as it’s not too far from the hotel.
See you in the morning