Going on a trip? Air travel isn’t impossible if you use a wheelchair or scooter. It simply requires extra planning to ensure a smooth flight.
Before You Leave…
- Make your reservations as early as possible. Inform the airline that you are a wheelchair or scooter user, and request assistance at the gate if you need it.
- Request an aisle chair in advance. These wheelchairs can navigate narrow airplane aisles.
- Plan for any layovers. If they’re unavoidable, have your mobility equipment specially tagged and returned to you when your plan lands.
- Know what kind of plane you’ll be on. Larger jets may have an accessible restroom, but smaller planes do not. Give some thought to how you will handle this issue.
- Choose your seat carefully. Bulkhead seats have more legroom, but aisle seats typically have arms that raise and lower, making it easier to enter and exit the seat.
- Label everything clearly with your name and contact information.
- Confirm all your travel plans and special requests 48 hours before departure.
During Your Flight…
- Arrive early. Check with airline personnel to make sure your requests have been received.
- Check your wheelchair or scooter at the gate. Provide the attendant with written instructions on how to operate, disassemble and reassemble the device. Another copy of the instructions should be attached to the device itself, just in case.
- Tell people how they can help. Most flight attendants are trained to work with disabled passengers, but they won’t know your unique needs unless you tell them. Speak up.
- If you run into problems that aren’t being addressed, ask to speak with the airline’s complaint resolution officer. He or she will work with you to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
At Power and Mobility, we understand the unique needs of wheelchair and scooter users. Our team of experts can provide you with advice and support to make your next trip a breeze. Contact us today for mobility equipment sales, service and rentals throughout the state of Arizona.
Airplane image via Shutterstock.