Way for disabled people to get bulk head seats?

#1

From a member of our community:

Is there any way to get bulk head for disabled people so I do not have to struggle through the crammed aisles? I have to walk with crutches to my seat and it is not an easy task on airlines to walk in those very narrow aisles with crutches. I will not drink anything on the day of my flights because I do NOT want to leave my seat to use the restroom. It is always a horrible experience to fly and I feel like a “second rate” person struggling through the narrow aisles, bumping people as I struggle between the elbows and legs. Airlines want our money, but stuff us into seats and make it difficult to get to and from seats. Airlines ALWAYS ask people that are seated in the Exit Row roomy seats if they are capable of assisting people. Why don’t they give disabled persons the option of Bulk head seating up front, or to be able to move up to First Class “if” those seats are not sold and EMPTY.

#2

You are right! As a person with a disability for over 40 years. Flying is truly one of the worst experiences/

#3

Flying is filled with obstacles from the moment you get to the airport. I am wheelchair user/unable to walk. Since this is 10 years for me I have only flown Southwest(limiting but has worked). When I purchase ticket(online) I fill in the disabled section which ask what you need in way of assistance. Your ticket is then marked pre board. I also purchase 2 seats so that I dont have people climbing over me. Southwest has a policy or returning the fare within 10 days after you fly for the empty seat. They prefer an accurate seat count so not to sell seat needed. When purchasing on line you fill out 2nd ticket with your name BUT in middle name slot XS(for extra seat). I also check with gate personnel to remind them of need to priority board in wheelchair. I also request bulkhead seat as I dont walk nor want to negotiate the aisle in any way. I too worry about bathroom so often fly about 3 hours stop and another flight the rest of way. This limits me to US and Caribbean or 3 hours out from Baltimore(nearest airport). I have found Southwest to be accomadating and understanding especially when I show up with my own wheelchair(needs to be tagged prior to flight).That also tells crew not looking for front seat because "I have long legs,or elderly who need ride to gate but can walk or 1000 other excuses people create to board first.I have been fearful of other airlines due to boarding in first class area needing to go back 8 rows,increased cost in baggage as I bring medical supplies with me,no provisions for refund of 2nd seat which is appreciated. I also need to know there are other flights later that day should I miss my connection in stopover city. So far SWA has been able to provide flights,answer questions fully, and provide me the “extra help” needed. Ask any further questions if needed.

2 Likes
#4

I use a w/c and fly frequently. When you book your ticket open the section for assistance, it asks what type of assistance and what type of mobility aides you use, you can also have a airport w/c take you from check in to airplane door (I do this also for my mother who is older and moving slow). As soon as the ticket is purchased and you have a reservation code call the airlines, get through to a live person, tell them you need a row near the front or bulkhead row and why and they can move you. (but not to 1st class unless you want to pay for it)
hope this helps

#5

I don’t fly very much, but the last time I was on USAir, they asked
me if I wanted the bulkhead seat! A year later, Frontier refused the
bulkhead even when I asked, and then sat my wife and I in separate
rows (for which they later paid a fine to the FAA). Frontier also
banged up my wheelchair and took several months to pay for it.

#6

The last few years of flying, we have been treated so well by the airlines. When they see my wife in her wheelchair, they have had us wait until the rest of the plane is loaded and then take us down and we have either sat in bulkhead seats or business class. We are the last off but that works for us. So, it can happen. We fly Southwest, great customer service.

#7

Yes you can request bulkhead seating thru the assistance line of the airline. They have disability services to help us.

#8

Many airlines (Like AA) have a policy of making the aisle bulk-head seat available to disabled passengers – just ask for it after you book the flight (call special assistance).

#9

We always request it when we buy the ticket. Most of the time they obliged. Because we are missionaries sometimes our fights are 18-24 hours, and I am tall. And I will not pay first class prices. I think only once I didn’t get a seat at a bulkhead.

#10

Did you tell the ticket agent you needed handicapped seating? They should be able to assist with seating. I can not promise they always will.