Last week Alice had her fist flight on the way to the annual PSDP convention!
We got to the airport and still could not find the service animal relief area that is marked on the maps. Luckily there was a patch of dirt somewhere in the vicinity, and the girls used that.
I was unaware that at least at Charlotte, you can request wheelchair service from the curb to go through check in! So I stood in line at check in which was hard on me. Everything went well for check in, and Brad and I got the seats we had reserved online.
We went to the area to wait for a wheelchair ride for me, and that’s where I learned I could have had a wheelchair ride the whole time! Oh well.
I was SO SO happy to have the wheelchair service. It was really easy getting through the airport. Security wasn’t bad, especially with someone there to help me with my things and Brad’s things. Of course it took forever for them to pat Brad down, but that is normal.
We got to the gate about 35 minutes before boarding, which was nice. While we were sitting there, I noticed out the window that there was someone leaning out of the front window of our plane and another person on a ladder. They were pointing at spots on the fuselage and talking about them. That didn’t bode well! Before I knew it, they had changed us to another plane at another gate. Luckily it was just next door.
While I was waiting at the gate, a lady came over and stood right in front of me and started pointing at me and gesturing for her grandson to come over. She was pointing, calling, and gesturing for probably 2-3 minutes straight before the grandson came over. When he came over, I smiled and said “please don’t distract them, they’re working.” So the lady got really upset and me and said “Well I guess you don’t care about people with allergies!”. Sheesh! Luckily I wasn’t sitting anywhere near her!
When we boarded, I found I was surrounded by very nice people. Brad had the three seats behind me, right across from the bathroom so he could use it during flight. I was in the aisle and the couple sharing the row with me and the person opposite me were all very kind and curious. We had a lot of fun talking!
Alice was a bit stressed when we got on the plane, and then calmed down. She didn’t mind take off and landing at all! But she did get stressed a few times during the flight randomly. I just pet her and she eventually calmed down each time.
The flight attendants were all very happy we brought them candy, and gave us great service!
Oh and no one was upset about Brad having three seats! Some people wondered around us at first, but when I explained his condition, no one got upset and tried to take one of his seats. So that was really good.
When we got to LAX, the wheelchair attendant was not very nice. She took me to the service animal relief area but then wanted to just leave me there and not take me to baggage claim or to the shuttle for LAX-it like she was supposed to! Unluckily for her, she had taken Brad’s bags onto my wheelchair and there was no way I could carry everything. So she had to take me to baggage claim. But there she left me.
That meant I had to walk 5-10 min to get to the LAX-it shuttle, and then stand there another 10 minutes waiting for the shuttle! It was awful! Luckily when I got on the shuttle I talked with the driver and he arranged to get me wheelchair service at LAX-it. For those who don’t know, taxis and Ubers aren’t allowed to pick up at the airport in the regular spots. They have to go to a special area called LAX-it.
Luckily that wheelchair person was great and got us to the front of the taxi stand line. A wheelchair accessible taxi arrived about 10 minutes later. It was really pretty seamless! And the traffic wasn’t bad so we were at our hotel in about 40 minutes.
We were happy to collapse into bed, ready to start our adventures in Long Beach the next day.
I asked a fellow passenger to snap a photo of me with the girls on the plane. In it I am wearing my purple headband-earphones (they pack down really small and I can lie on my side while wearing them). The girls are on my lap.