In recent years we have decided to holiday many times in Spain, during the summer. Now, I regularly get asked a question after I tell people we are going to Spain again. You’ve already been there, why go again?
Unfortunately, there are very limited locations which have disability access and awareness in the country which is worth visiting. On starting to look for a holiday location, my parents and I start by looking at where to an adapted vehicle.
This an important factor as we depend on it to enable acquire us to get around the chosen location with ease and so we can enjoy the atmosphere and sights a lot more, compared to what we would if we didn’t know any transport links and we would spend the majority of our holiday on the transport links, trying to get from place to place, rather than concentrating solely on just getting around.
Being able to secure an adapted vehicle also showed us that the country has a high-level disability access and awareness.
We absolutely love Spain for the disability access and awareness, particularly at the beautiful villas and the locations around it.
We pay close attention to the aspects that the villa has regarding the access and the adaptions made, both inside and outside the villa.
Flat and level access in every part of the villa is greatly appreciated and the space within the villa as I can move freely around the apartment without too many difficulties.
Before making any official bookings to where we stay while holidaying in Spain, my parents and I make sure to speak to those who own the villa at length to make sure that every part of their advertisement is true particularly about the disability adaptations.
If specific adaptations aren’t put in place that we need, we request them to be made before we arrive.
An example of this is making sure the villa has an outdoor shower. We have to ensure there is access to one as there is not a possibility of using one in the apartment itself as the showers often have lisps or steps that are connected to them, which I cannot manage.
There is also the difficulty of having no shower chair which means that one of my parents would have to hold me as best they could within the shower while the other one helps me wash, which is no good for any of us.
Having access to an outdoor shower means all three of us are able to benefit from it and I can be lifted onto a chair which can then be placed under the outdoor shower, which is much easier than the other alternatives.
What I have noticed and what is great about all the villas that we’ve been too so far is that all of the owners have been more than happy to make any further adaptions that are needed and happy to assist us in any way that can, during our stay at their villa.
As soon as we enter an airport and check in, we have to report our arrival to the airport assisted travel to let them know we have arrived and to confirm that we need assistance to get on our flight out of England.
Sometimes we are escorted straight to the gate once we check in with airport assisted travel and we have to wait quite a long time at the gate before our flight arrives and we are allowed to board.
This can be incredibly boring, especially as there is nothing to do, that close to the boarding gates.
Other times, my parents and I are able to make our own way to the gate and meet the assistance there.
We prefer this as it allows us to walk through the airport, at our own pace, without feeling rushed.
Arriving at the security checkpoint, I always feel on edge. I understand that it is necessary to prevent any act of terrorism or being in possession of anything inappropriate or illegal we plan to take over the borders but it is particularly difficult for me. I won’t say that it is difficult for everyone who is in a wheelchair but for me, who is in a wheelchair and cannot get out of it, independently, I find the process very uncomfortable and invasive, even though they’re not intended to be.
Once we put our bags and any lose belongings in trays to be scanned, I walk through the metal detectors and scanners as do everyone else but unfortunately, a type of metal in the base of my wheelchair sets the detectors off, which is not good.
I reassure the members of security that it’s not what I’m wearing or in possession of, it’s just my wheelchair and it often happens at shops as well.
Slowly, I move through to the other side and get a lady approaching me, wearing gloves. I appreciate that it is the procedure but I feel it daunting and uncomfortable.
The way some of them approach me, wearing rubber gloves, I can tell by their slowness and manner that they think I will contaminate them with my disability.
A degree of ignorance is shown by this and in the way, they talk to me. Some of these ladies that come to ‘pat me down’, often talk to me as if I am five and not in my 20’s and then they complete the search without any regard for my comfort or pain I may be in.
Then there are times when these ladies don’t communicate with me at all and ask my mom and dad questions about me as if I’m not there or cannot understand what has been asked of me.
I do admit that they are times, where a lady working within security approaches me and before patting me down, asks my permission first and whether any pain that I’m in, will be triggered by the doing their checks. Although these are very rare.
The majority are security checks are given by ladies, with a great level of ignorance and are very rough.
Though I am very lucky, and I have learnt to manage the pain, when it comes, these rough security checks do cause me a lot of pain, which can become more obvious and harder for me to keep a lid on.
When arriving at the boarding gate, we are escorted through the gate and onto the back of a van by at least two members of the assisted travel. I have to be lifted roughly to this very small aisle seat, in order to be transported on the plane and into my official seat for the flight.
Due to the degree of Cerebral Palsy, I have to have a moulded wheelchair seat to keep me upright and comfortable, despite the curve in my spine which causes me to lean to the left.
The moulded seat also prevents me from developing a severe cramp in my legs. Having to be lifted on a tiny chair, with practically no straps is difficult for me. Without the proper support from the straps and the people around me, I am unable to keep stable on the seat and vertical in the seat, which is needed to stop me banging my legs and arms on the seats as we pass through the plane to our seats.
The aisle seat, I get lifted onto, each time I board an aircraft rarely has any straps to keep me secure and the airport assistance are hesitant to hold me and keep me upright, and my parents can’t help me as they are preoccupied dismantling my wheelchair so it can fit into the hold without too many problems.
This, as a result, causes me to lean to the left, while being wheeled down the aisle, bang my legs and arms and sometimes my head in the process.
Yes, there are members of the airport assisted travel, who do support me and help me keep stable and vertical while being wheeled to my seat but it’s more often than not, that I don’t get the proper assistance when they are getting me to my official seat on the aeroplane.
Once in our actual seat, we usually find someone already in our seats and in the row behind us.
Usually, everyone boards all other passengers before us, which causes us a lot of staring and difficulties once we get to our seat.
The aircrew often has to ask other passengers to move, in order to get me to my seat and positioned correctly.
I appreciate their help but it causes more staring, which is very comfortable. What I do like about this, is the airport assistance often lift me from chair to chair, which doesn’t put any extra pleasure on my parents in such tight spaces.
They are well practised and they are usually quite strong and can easily lift as we watch amazed.
The seats on the aeroplane themselves are very uncomfortable to me. I struggle to be on these seats and out of the moulded seat of my wheelchair as I am unable to move easily within the space and unable to tilt the chair to prevent the severe cramp that I can get.
I am unable to reposition easily, so any cramp I do get, does not disappear, if anything, the cramp gets much worse.
When we have landed safety in Spain, we have to stay and wait, while all of the other passengers to get off, before the airport assistance comes on and helps us off.
This is irritating to me as it causes more reason for the passengers to stare at me as they pass to get off the aircraft and my severe cramp to grow more.
The members of airport assistance in Spain are exceptionally strong and lift me with even more ease than the members in England.
Once again and more often than not, there are no straps to secure me on the seat. Unlike the assistance in England, whose attitudes vary, the members in Spain are kind enough to hold me as straight as they can as they wheel me down the aisle.
This is often what happens but sometimes their hold isn’t secure enough and I do overbalance and lean too much to the left, causing my arms or my head to hit the seats as we pass through.
There are times there are communication barriers between myself and those who have come to assist me as they speak a different language and their English isn’t so fluent. Thankfully the air hostess often helps translate if it is needed.
When outside the aircraft, I see my electric wheelchair in front of us, in some mangled state. There have been times when it has come back in pieces and we have had to put it back together, just outside the aircraft.
This is annoying but we expect this, so we carry certain keys to help repair the wheelchair.
Unfortunately, when passing through the security checkpoints, members of the airport security have tried to take them off us as they can be seen as dangerous, not sure why but either way, we argue each time that we need to keep a hold of the keys in order to fix the wheelchair successfully.
Other times, my wheelchair has come back near enough in one piece, I feel that when sitting on it, I have felt the seat being unstable in the brackets.
I can immediately feel something is not right when I am lifted onto it but we are unable to identify exactly where the problem is and often cannot solve the problem until I get out of the wheelchair at our accommodation.
Every time my wheelchair comes back in pieces, or with pieces missing, I feel enraged as my dad takes apart the wheelchair himself before the flight, including disengaging the motor, to the state requested but still, it comes back in a bad state, with pieces hanging off of it.
Seeing the foot plate, hanging of wheelchair, can only mean that they have used it to help heave the wheelchair into the hold.
This year, we flew from East Midlands airport to Malaga airport. Flying from East Midlands was a different experience to flying from Birmingham airport.
The security process was quite abrupt and intimidating, though they did try their very best to be kind.
My parents and I didn’t have much time to ourselves as the members of the airport assistance were prompt and took us through the airport quickly and towards the gate to board the plane.
On the times we have travelled from Birmingham airport, I have been loaded last and had all of the passengers’ stare at me as we move to our seats, it also causes us having to disturb our fellow passengers, who sit beside us to be able to lift me into my seat as easily and as comfortable as possible.
This time East Midlands airport loaded us onto the plane first and I was both happy and relieved by this as we avoided curious and gormless stares.
The members of the airport assistance that came to help us board the plane were very hesitant in lifting me from seat to seat and the aisle seat that I had to sit on, did not have any straps to hold me in place.
Once mom and dad lifted me out of my wheelchair and onto the aisle seat, they were preoccupied with dismantling the wheelchair, they couldn’t help me keep steady.
The airport assistance didn’t try very hard on holding me upright as they wheeled me to my seat. The airport assistance also didn’t lift me into my seat on the aircraft and left it to my parents, which I found this very strange.
Landing safety in Spain, we were greeted by two cheerful members of the airport assistance at Malaga airport. I was very pleased by this as I was suppressing a great amount of pain caused by the severe cramp in my legs and their attitude would have an effect on my mood. But as they were cheerful, it made me smile a little.
Unlike the assistance at East Midlands airport, these members were more than happy to lift me out of my seat into the aisle seat and did so with ease, then moving straps across me, they wheeled me out of the aircraft.
This was so much better, compared to what I was used too, especially the fact their aisle seats had straps, which helped me keep up straight and then I was grateful for these members of airport assistance to help keep me steady as they wheeled me out of the aircraft. We stopped at the edge of the aircraft to see my electric wheelchair waiting.
From first glance, we saw the wheelchair was near enough in one piece but oddly misshapen. Not quite sure exactly where the problem was, I was lifted into my wheelchair.
Immediately after I was placed in my wheelchair, I felt my seat was very unstable and rickety in its brackets.
My position was skewed to one side, I put this down to my body is tired and aching from being in so many different chairs, holding me in difficult positions and as I regain my energy, I would hopefully regain my posture and comfort in my wheelchair.
After a few minutes, the aching and pain in my body started to decrease. Though I was still in a great deal of pain, I noticed that my wheelchair seat was at a weird angle and my seatbelt wasn’t sliding through the correct holes and wouldn’t do up properly.
I was relieved, I thought I had gained a lot of weight all of a sudden. When we reached the baggage hall at Malaga airport to retrieve our suitcases, we decided to use the disabled toilet at the airport before we got our bags.
There was a restricted amount of space within the toilet which wasn’t good for the three of us and my wheelchair.
We kept bumping into each other and items around the room and we couldn’t manoeuvre around the toilet very easily.
The room itself was very stuffy, which wasn’t helped by the three of us were forced together into such a tight space.
As I have already said, one of the reasons we regularly holiday in Spain is the fact we can secure an adapted vehicle.
Having spoken to the same man at the same company as last year, we managed to secure the same adapted vehicle as we have had previously.
We were grateful as this as we were used to the controls etc without too many difficulties.
It was also a similar car to the one we have at home, which made it all the easier. We also loved this car as it’s quite a smooth-running vehicle, which helped us navigate through the mountains towards our apartment.
The villas in Spain are all beautiful. The ones we choose, though up some rocky, windy paths, are fabulous. The villas are very petite and magazine looking, that’s the only way I can describe it.
They are perfect, great lounges and kitchen areas, with bedrooms that are very small and cosy. They are the perfect places to go and lie down and have five minutes to yourself.
The villas are often alone and have their own land that comes with it, including a swimming pool that is just for us. The perfect amount of peacefulness and privacy. We like the peace and the ability to do things on holiday at our own leisure.
This year, as we do every year, we made sure our choice of the villa had the appropriate disability access throughout the villa and the grounds around it. Then to double and triple check the arrangements, we phone the owners of the villas to confirm all of the details.
Having checked the arrangements several times, we flew to Spain and embarked our journey up those rocky and windy paths, that we have come to hate up to our apartment.
Excited to see the villa that we had pre-booked, we parked up and quickly got out the car to find a step up to the entrance of the villa.
I was angered and upset by this as we made it clear that we needed the wheelchair accessible.
Unfortunately, when we confronted the owners of the villa, they gave us a look of incomprehension. Due to them only speaking fluent Spanish and hardly any English, there was a communication.
It took us a while but we got the impression that they thought my wheelchair was a manual wheelchair and they thought we could lift the wheelchair up and into the villa.
Sighing in exasperation, we accepted that it was just ignorance and lack of awareness of the world of disability and the lack of awareness of the different wheelchairs out there.
Thinking about quick solutions, the villa owners found two bricks which they put up against the step to give my wheelchair and together, my parents and the villa owners managed to give my wheelchair a heave, which helped me get into the apartment.
Once I finally got inside, I saw the lounge was quite big with a lovely sofa and a big TV. The kitchen was adjacent to the lounge area and though I could access the cupboards, it was a wide space which I was able to use to make a drink and reach the odd ice cream.
Looking down the hallway from where I sat in the lounge, I saw the hallway was thin and there was no way I could drive down the hallway to get to the bedrooms and bathroom.
Not being able to drive down to the bedrooms and bathroom, caused my parents having to lift me down the hallway every time I needed the bathroom and when it was time to go to bed or anytime I needed a lie-down.
The absence of hosts, both manual and ceiling hoists didn’t help our backs and the strain it put on us.
But we persevered as if we didn’t, it would stop us going anywhere and enjoy our time together.
To try and relive some of the strain off my parents and with their support, I began to walk down the hallways towards the bathroom and bedrooms.
Though it was only short distances, although my legs were killing me by the end of the holiday, I enjoyed the chance to be able to walk and stretch my legs.
Despite these difficulties at the apartment, we overcame them and was able to enjoy the perks of the villa, including our own swimming pool.
Then beside the swimming pool was a great outdoor shower which we could use to cool down, particularly after all day in the swimming pool. It was a way to cool down and refresh but keep warm from the rays of the sun.
The only problem that remained was getting in and out of the villa with ease. It was slightly better when I reversed out of the villa but the problem still remained.
We had made do with the bricks propped up against the step to give my wheelchair a boost but it was still a problem. Then we found a solution.
While we were driving to the beach, we came across a heavy loaded skip full of rubbish. As we got closer to it, we saw a wooden table which we could possibly make into a ramp to get me in and out of the villa.
But on our return from the beach, we found the table had been taken. On the upside, we found a wardrobe and cupboards discarded by the same skip.
We seized them, and dad made them into an old-fashioned ramp that was successful, and we used for the rest of the holiday in the beautiful villa.
While in Spain on our holiday, I enjoyed every second, going to the beach, visiting places and soaking up the atmosphere.
Having visited Spain on a number of occasions, we picked up on the good places to be because of wheelchair access and awareness but the places we enjoy going too for the day. We have fallen in love with Spain.
We find going to the same places allow us to be able to enjoy them somewhat more as we already know where to go for the good food and drink etc and it saves all the faffing about and allowed us to enjoy the perks of the location more, allowing us to get the most amount of our holiday.
One of the key things that we have noticed about the beaches in Spain, compared to the ones in Birmingham.
On the few times, I went to a beach in Birmingham, the disability access and awareness was atrocious. I can’t go far onto the beach as my wheelchair gets stuck in the sand and skid every time I try and move.
The beach is mostly made of rocks which don’t help and it ruins my visit to the beaches in Birmingham. In comparison, the beaches in Spain are much better.
It has got wheelchair access right up to the m0iddle of the beach and very warm, soft sand and a nice peaceful sea with no smell of seaweed.
As regards to the wheelchair access onto the beach, there is a wooden path that I can move along when on the beach, and then sit on it comfortably and without being bothered by people while I enjoy writing in my notebook and listening to my iPod.
While out and about in Spain, I found the disability access vary as regards to the bars and restaurants. I found that the bars and restaurants either have flat access into them or steps at the entrance.
Luckily, the restaurants and bars that do have steps leading up to them, have got ramps. The steps are also small in size, so though it is difficult, there were easy solutions.
Then in a few restaurants, we have found that there has been a few tables and chairs but immediately after the entrance but the majority of tables and chairs are up a bigger step, which is irritating for us, especially if the bar/restaurant is busy and all the tables and chairs are all taken on the lower level. In some of the bars and restaurants, I was very annoyed that there were very large steps leading up to the disabled toilets.
This was a strange design in my opinion. Not many disabled people are able to walk or walk very far, let alone climb a big step to get to it.
This limit the number of disabled toilets we could use while on holiday. The ones that we did manage to use, were actually a decent size, which helped us when transferring. The toilets we found were also quite clean compared to some of those in the UK.
Having days on the beach are great for us as it is not something we usually get enjoy in Birmingham and I love relaxing on the beach.
A downside to our days on the beach is the limited number of disabled toilets. The ones that we find and use are very dark, when the door is shut, which doesn’t help when there’s three of trying to feel around and use the toilet and the facilities.
The darkness also doesn’t help when we are feeling our way around the cramped space within the toilet.
This led us to us having to leave the wheelchair outside the toilet. This helped as it gave us more space but this caused my parents having to lift me a further distance which is not good for any of us.
The disabled toilets that we are able to use on the beaches seem to be multi-sex which worried me as regards to the cleanliness of the toilets but surprisingly the cleanliness is quite well contained and is consistent.
With the toilets being multi sex also worried me as it limits our use of the disabled toilets that we can access even further.
However, that’s how it was, so we just had to get into the route of keeping more of an eye out for them.
Also, while on the beach, what I found irritating and laughable is we would find the disabled toilets on the beach locked.
This doesn’t help when I’m desperate and we can’t find anyone or even a number to get someone with a key to unlock it. It is irritating as there is already limited toilets which I can use.
On another upside, a great number of the people in Spain are somewhat more courteous and have more patience than people in the UK.
They wait outside the disabled and multi-sex toilets until we emerge after we have done. They do not try the lock several times before deciding to wait.
The attitudes and ignorance in Spain are difficult to pinpoint and to identify. There were a few stares and weird looks but this I was used to and expected.
I get this wherever I go, abroad or not. Some people were courteous and polite, patient and helped us when they saw us struggling.
Throughout the holiday, I continued to receive weird looks as well as receiving a number of strange remarks and comments.
There was a great level of ignorance, particularly on the behalf of restaurant staff. When we sat down to eat and we went to make our order, the waiters and waitresses directed their questions about our order to my parents instead of addressing me to ask me and asking me what I would like to order.
I was angry and made sure to speak and answer the questions, comments every time they directed them to my parents.
Hopefully, I made a lasting expression to nudge the right direction when they come across disabled people in the future.
The flight home from Spain wasn’t easy. It started off well, the very kind man who rented us the adapted vehicle met us at the airport and we spoke about our holiday.
When it was time to return the adapted car, there was no hassle and we exchanged our goodbyes with the man, hoping to see him again very soon.
Enjoying the last of the sun, we walked into the airport. The airport was massive and it was hard to navigate through, we struggled to find the right check-in point to check us into the right flight home.
Once we did so, we had to join the queue for the disabled checkpoint, to ensure that we would have assistance in getting onto our flight. After we had checked-in, we found a very spacious disabled toilet, which was very clean.
It was such a good disabled toilet to use and I was so relieved to have found it quite early on, it would have been a big problem if we found a smaller, dirtier toilet later on, which we wouldn’t be able to use.
We also didn’t risk not finding another disabled toilet from check-in to our flight gate as that would have been a disaster.
Next, we had to pass through airport security, this was one of the parts I was dreading. While passing through security, I try to tune it all out, try to ignore the way I’m patted down. I just want to get myself and my wheelchair through it as quickly and easily as possible.
I try very hard to remain numb through the entire process but it became very hard when the lady roughly pushed me forward and to each side to check me over.
She was quite abrupt with me as she communicated in fluent in Spanish and I couldn’t understand a word of what she was saying and neither could she understand a word I said in return. There was this, topped by her great level of ignorance.
After she checked me over, the lady got down to my height and was on eye level with me, when she adopted a low, placating tone and asked me whether I was okay, while stroking my cheek. I just stared at her in anger and disbelief that he thought she could do it.
I didn’t answer, I jerked away from her and didn’t answer. I thought this was the best way to make a point that I wasn’t going to be babied.
Once we got through security, we had some time before we had to meet the airport assistance at the gate.
This was a relief to me as when my parents and I have flown from this airport in the past, we have been frogged marched to the gate, where we had to wait for a long time for our flight, without any free time, instead we were rushed.
While we had some time before we boarded the plane, we walked through the airport, mom and dad decided to browse some shops, while I enjoyed two generous scoops of ice-cream.
Regretfully, we checked the time, said goodbye to the last of the gate, ready to board. Meeting up with the airport assistance, they led the way through the gate and to the edge of the aircraft.
They could see that I was incredibly anxious by the whole routine of taking my wheelchair apart and loading me into a different seat and above all flying, they were really friendly and supportive, they generally wanted to help us and did everything they could to help us, it wasn’t just a job to them and that was clear.
My parents and I stood for a long time at the edge of the aircraft, waiting and we were starting to get nervous as time ticked by and the longer the queue got behind us.
We really wanted to board first, to prevent passengers staring at me as much as possible, I didn’t want to feel like I was on the show. I already feel uncomfortable with the whole process, I didn’t want anything else to contribute to it. In the end, we were able to be boarded first, only resulted in a few stares, which I dealt with much easier.
The airport assistance that came to help us lifted me onto the aisle seat and supported my posture while wheeling me to my seat.
I felt very reassured by this as we could concentrate on getting to my seat, while my parents concentrated on deconstructing my seat and the disengaging of my motor.
The airport assistance lifted me from the aisle seat into my seat for the flight, which saved my parents the strain and for that I’m grateful.
I also appreciated the aircrew delaying our fellow passengers from boarding to allow us to get settled in our seats, without being caught in the chaos.
I have always been a nervous flyer, I can’t get describe why my brain won’t allow me to think about the reasons behind my fear. The abruptness of the take-off and landing is very difficult for me as I struggle to stay centred and I don’t feel in control. During the flight, I am incredibly anxious and do everything I can to distract myself.
In this instance, I threw myself into writing my blog, it allowed me to escape which was great.
Being able to listen to my iPod and go on my tablet helps distract me from the severe cramp in my legs, if only marginally.
On the flight to Spain I was able to rest my head in my mom’s lap while my dad had my legs on his lap comma trying to release the cramp but on the return journey, my dad and I were sitting together, while mom was behind us.
So, when I developed a cramp in my legs, it was harder to get rid of it as we had a stranger sitting beside us and she wasn’t going to help us.
My dad was trying everything to relieve the cramps, it wasn’t a very enjoyable flight for him either.
I really hope that things change soon, and the plane seats are either made comfier or in an ideal world, plane seats will be removed and my wheelchair can be put in its place, it would be better all around.
I was so relieved when we landed safely in England but I was shattered and couldn’t wait to get home and tucked up in bed.
While our fellow passengers left the aircraft, my parents and I had to remain sitting, waiting for two members of the airport assistance to help us off the plane.
Not getting off at the same time as everyone else caused a few raised eyebrows, pointing in our direction as everyone got off.
But I guess we couldn’t have avoided this. As soon as the airport assistance arrived, I saw they were both quite down and detached from what they were doing, they were just going through the motions, I’m guessing it was the lateness of the hour which made them act this way. We were all tired but it’s just about manners.
It was quite obvious how detached they were when they just stood in the aisle of the plane without attempting to lift me onto the aisle seat to get me off the plane. They waited for us to make the first move.
We stared at each other and I was the first one to speak up and tell them I am not capable of moving myself on my seat and transfer to get me onto the aisle seat. Slowly, one member of the airport assistance started to help my parents but the other continued to stand there.
Then he reluctantly joined in and did the bare minimum to help us. On leaving the aircraft, I was loaded onto the back of a truck followed by my parents and driven back to one of the main gates to East Midlands airport.
My wheelchair had already been loaded onto the back of the truck and my dad got busy putting it together and stable ready for me to be transferred into it.
While I was on the aisle seat, I could hear mom and dad mumble about the state of my electric wheelchair.
From what I could grasp, the motor wasn’t engaged properly and my moulded seat wasn’t very stable and secure in its brackets.
I was really annoyed at this as my parents disengaged the motor and secured the seat properly in the brackets so it would fit in the hold but still, it gets messed with and comes back in a complete state, which is completely unnecessary.
People don’t understand that returning it in the state can have lasting impacts on how the wheelchair operates, and it can take a long time to fix which can have an effect on my independence for the worse.
It took my parents a long time and a great deal of effort but they finally were able to fix the wheelchair and engage the motor but then we realised the golf ball part of my gear stick was missing.
We were both amazed and annoyed by this as we had not yet figured out how to remove the golf ball part of my gear stick ourselves and they have managed too but we were also annoyed as it had been removed and they had no idea where it was.
It is very difficult to drive the wheelchair without the golf ball and to not be able to find it is really irresponsible.
After frantically searching and with a stroke of luck, another airport assistant was able to retrieve the golf ball which had rolled away across the runway.
Fixing it, we made our way through East Midlands airport and got in the car and drove home.