Bangkok Airport Wheelchair Access –

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Bangkok Airport Accessibility

Bangkok’s primary international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), first opened in 2006. I have used this airport on four occasions: two arrivals on Delta Air Lines from Tokyo-Narita, a departure on Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur and another on Kenya Airways to Hong Kong. Both of my Delta flights were examples of what could go wrong with disability services at BKK, while my Malaysia Airlines and Kenya Airways flights showed me what could go right.

Personal and powered wheelchairs can be taken to the gate, through security and passport control. On my arrival at Bangkok, Delta Air Lines’ contracted ground staff refused to deliver my wheelchair to the gate – in both 2014 and again in May 2016. In 2014, the Delta staff claimed that the airport did not have aisle chairs, which was not true. The flight crew kindly assisted me off the plane using the onboard aisle chair, but I was then faced with an hour-long wait at baggage claim for my power wheelchair. Delta later admitted a violation of my rights under the Air Carrier Access Act. Had my flights (in 2014 and in 2016) not arrived late at night, I would have insisted [...]

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