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Old 10-26-2006, 10:23 AM #1
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Talking Tales of Happiness, Home from Chicago Trip

Hi Everyone,

We flew from Richmond VA direct to Chicago on Friday and stayed until Tues when we again flew direct back home.

The purpose of this post is to tell you of my experience as being a disabled person, and possibly with or without MS we don't know yet, and how I was treated.

The travel industry is awesome! They had a wheelchair and attendant waiting for me at the check-in desk in Richmond. This guy stayed with us through the entire process of checking in, checking luggage, going through security and to the gate. The security people were most accommadating and pleasant but I was surprised when they checked the airport wheelchair and my CPAP machine for explosive residue. At the time of the flight departure, up comes another attendant to wheel me to the elevator and to the plane. They were all very helpful in helping me up the stairs and into my seat. We flew United Express so it is one of the small jets with two rows on one side and one on the other. The same process occurred when we got to Chicago. Wheelchair with attendant waiting on the tarmack for me to deplain. It was funny because I found it easier to deplane by going out backwards and down the six steps to the ground. He already had retrieved my Canadian crutches from the hold.

This attendant in Chicago was awesome! He helped us retrieve out luggage, took it and me up a big ramp to the pickup level, then we seemed to wheel about half a mile from the terminal to my pickup door for the hotel shuttle. Needless to say this was not something my wife could have done pushing me and bringing the luggage. He waited with us and helped me onto the shuttle. Needless to say he got a "big" tip and a hearty "thank you" from us both.

All of the above was repeated like clockwork on the return trip. I give five stars to the travel and airline industry for taking care of us so well.

On Sat we went to the Shedd Aquarium and the samething happened there. I just traded my crutches for a very nice wheelchair and my son pushed me everywhere we went. This is no small facility either. It was huge and right on the lakefront of Lake Erie. We even got special WC seating at the Dolphin show.

To sum this all up, I was very impressed with Chicago, very clean city and everyone we met was very pleasant and nice. As for transportation, you couldn't have asked for better service with everyone involved. All treated me with respect and talked to ME and not just my wife as if I wasn't there. I was an individual with special needs and they went out of their way to accommadate me. I can't wait to travel again and especially go back to Chicago and visit my son. He really showed us the city and the cultural diversity. It was like eating dinner in a different country every night. And yes, we did go to the world famous deep dish Pizza resturaunt called Georgiano's(sp) that was featured on some of the news programs and Food Network for best Pizza in Chicago. Awesome!

So for those of you thinking of traveling but just aren't sure about being taken care of and getting around. Do NOT fear as you will be treated like royalty. It's amazing how far a smile and a big "thank you" will go when meeting people at all levels including those that hold the doors for you.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:09 PM #2
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I just took my first trip to the mid-west in Sept/06. I spent a fair bit of time in Chicago too, as this is where my sister has recently relocated.

I thought it was an AMAZINGLY beautiful and clean city, and I found the people to be very helpful, courteous, and friendly too. I had a fantastic time there!

I am so glad to hear you had a great time, and that everyone was very accommodating, Craig.

Cherie
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Old 10-26-2006, 02:50 PM #3
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I'm glad you and DW and Family had a good time, Craig and now I must have a Pizza. I haven't had a pizza, since my DH brought one home to me, in 2003. It was something he did, without being asked, whenever he thought I was down in the dumps. Worked every time.

Am I to understande that, at least, part of your great service and experience, was due to preplanning with a Travel Agency, to make sure everything was at your disposal?

I just don't want people to think that all they have to do is buy an airline ticket and that all this all happens automatically, although some of it does.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:07 PM #4
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Hi Sally,

Actually my DW made all the reservations and arrangements by herself on the Internet. Evidently there is a section when you make reservations where they ask you if you have and specific needs. I think she did a great job and no we didn't use a Travel Agent as they wanted to charge us $25 for doing the plane tickets and a $35 fee for consultation and hotel reservation.

The Internet is the way to go.
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