I posted this on the Traveling with Disabilities forum and someone suggested I post it here as well:
Hi, I'm working for an organization that is trying to organize long haul flights from France to Cambodia for people with disabilities. We booked the flight through Etihad Airways CDG -> AUH -> BKK -> REP. There are two passengers, both wheelchair-bound, but able to assist themselves in an emergency and flying with a person without a disability. The problem we've come across is our BKK -> REP flight, which is operated by Bangkok Airways. We have spoken with Etihad and they said everything is fine for the flights up to BKK, but we must confirm with Bangkok Airways for the last flight. After contacting Bangkok Airways several times and getting the run-around, jumping through hoops like providing dimensions and photos of the wheelchairs, they are telling us that because the flight is on a turbo props aircraft, they have a 2-wheelchair limit on their flights (fine) and that they cannot accept the wheelchairs because they are beyond the acceptable dimensions of 50cm x 100cm x 50cm. Both wheelchairs are manual, but one folds and the other does not.
Is this normal? It seems ridiculous to me that an airline would refuse a personal wheelchair and seems like discrimination. Of course the passengers need a comfortable personal wheelchair when they arrive in Cambodia; if they do not have their own wheelchair they will be subject to sores and further injury. Are only skinny people with disabilities are able to fly?
For information: The non-foldable wheelchair is 63cm wide, 80cm high, and 88cm long, weighing 12kg. The foldable wheelchair is 38cm wide (I don't have the other dimension information with me while writing this post) and weighs 15kg.
Would appreciate any advice and information on this! It has been a nightmare dealing with the airline and they're supposed to fly in just four days!