Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A frightening experience: Changing gates at the airport

In February 2016 I had a very interesting but frightening experience awaiting a flight from Toronto to Ottawa.  You see, the weather was very bad as a winter storm approached and four times within a half hour time span, the airline in question was forced to change gates.

All well and good, but guess what?  The airline neglected to tell me. As God was with me that day, an angel of mercy in the form of a really terrific fellow passenger came to my rescue.

She told me that she had noticed me when the airline's agent had escorted me to a seat and decided to ask me if I was on her flight after the first gate change was announced.  I was in luck!

This wonderful passenger stayed all the way with me as we shuffled from gate to gate.  I heard the first announcement and when I stood up she was right beside me.  Just picture this:  You are seated, waiting for your flight to be called.  You hear people around you and you are almost sure that when your flight is called the airline's agent will come to assist you to the plane because this has been the custom for all of your traveling life.

Then the announcement is made that there is a gate change and, alas!  You wait for five minutes and no one comes.  So you stand up and in a low, desperate voice you say, "Where do I go!"

You are not sure where to go: left, right, forward?  You hear people around you but you are not sure who to approach.  You can hear some folks speaking English.  Some are speaking French and others are chatting in some other language.

The sweat begins to run down your back and you start praying, and then! There is someone beside you asking if they can help!

This was my predicament on that fateful day and when you are blind it makes things even more pronounced.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, your friendly accessibility advocate, wishing you a terrific day.

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