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Hearing Loss Conversations

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My Recent Experience with Airport Pre-Boarding as a Hard of Hearing Person

My family and I just returned from a wonderful holiday cruise, but my interaction with the customer representative at the airport left me surprised and upset. When I shared my status as a Hard of Hearing person, the rep asked me a few questions, including whether I needed assistance boarding the plane and changing my boarding pass to extra time. However, I was confused about what this meant since I always pre-board when I share my status. Upon further inquiry, I learned that I didn't qualify for pre-boarding and was upset. I researched the matter, but the answers I found on the airline's website were the same as the customer rep's. Frustrated, I reached out to my community of people with hearing loss, who shared some tips and the ADA rights for those with hearing loss, confirming that I was indeed eligible for pre-boarding. After bringing the matter to the supervisor's attention, I was finally allowed to pre-board with my husband. However, after further researching, I learned that when flights have open seating, pre-boarding is not offered, as seats are not assigned. This experience taught me a valuable lesson.

Acquire Knowledge of Your Rights, Laws, Rules, and Protocols!

Gil Kaminski

Airports are so challenging. So many things that can be done better.



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