traveling in a wheelchair

 traveling in a wheelchair

Amakusa-airline Type Dash 8-100 Passenger plane(Japan). It takes a picture from the view deck in the Amakusa airport. See also Ja:天草エアライン for more information(written in Japanese). 天草エアラインが保有する唯一の旅客機DHC8-100。 天草空港にて、展望デッキより撮影。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In yesterday’s post I explained how this post came to be. I would like to further elaborate and talk about the pre-planning involved when traveling with a disability. For some, this may be common sense or obvious, but planning in advance will make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Traveling by air with an attendant

Do you require an attendant when traveling? And are you planning to travel by air? First before you do anything else I would answer these two questions. If you answer both yes there are some things you need to consider before booking your flight.

  • Decide on the airline you’re traveling with

All the major airlines allow personal-care attendants to fly at a reduced rate or even free. This may sound like a wonderful concept, and it is but it can get a little annoying being that you are required to prove disability. That is pretty normal but the problem is there isn’t a standardized form within the airline industry which means every time you want to travel with the new airline you have to reprove your disability and have your doctor sign yet another form. It has been my personal experience that they won’t accept a doctor’s note stating that I require an attendant in order to fly is insufficient proof. What that means, is that your doctor has to fill out each airline proof of disability form which in my opinion can get rather annoying and tedious, not only for you but I’m sure for your doctor as well!

  • Flying with medical devices

This can be a daunting experience. I would suggest that you follow the airlines direction is laid out on their website and label things accordingly. The more clearly labeled your equipment is the better. It has been suggested to also put folding instructions or battery removal instructions securely fastened to the chair or scooter etc. also, remove any removable parts and ask them if you can take them on his carry-on this will prevent unnecessary damage. In many cases, you can ask to have your device brought you at the gate. This means less time in an airport provided wheelchair.

In tomorrow’s post I will discuss navigating an airport while in wheelchair.

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