It’s common knowledge among wheelchair users that there’s more to successful completion of a safe, comfortable flight than taking off smoothly and reaching a destination without an incident.
It is important to master the balance between hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
When you are purchasing your ticket, it’s important to let the airline know that you are flying as a wheelchair user. It is important to note that each airline has its own policy concerning services for passengers with disabilities. Before booking a flight, study the airline’s policies to make sure your accessibility needs will be met.
Arriving at the Airport
First of all, be sure to arrive early to allow yourself extra time for check-in. Wheelchair users experience a lengthy check-in process. Find Wheelchair Assistance first as they should help with the following:
Carrying your luggage
Navigating you through the airport to help you find your boarding gate
Transferring you to an aisle seat if needed
Transporting your wheelchair to the appropriate loading gate
Avoid Wheelchair Damage
You can help prevent wheelchair damage by attaching written instructions explaining how to operate your chair, as well as how it folds and tilts. Before turning a wheelchair over to airport personnel, take off any removable parts such as the seat cushion, and footrests. These items may be carried on the plane and do not count as baggage.
Transportation at the Destination
To reduce stress as much as possible after arrival at the destination, passengers can arrange transportation ahead of time. To save the most money, one may want to take advantage of public transportation if it is available. If taxis are an option, passengers can arrange ahead of time to have a convenient cab company pick them up so they don’t have to rush at their destination to find a taxi equipped for customers in wheelchairs. Finally, many companies offer specialized transport for disability wheelchair users.