The Wheelchair Flight Guide

Airports are a minefield for anybody. The increased security, while entirely necessary, makes getting through on to a plane no mean feat. Airports and wheelchairs? Just adds to the complication.

I’ve been through a few airports, got on a few planes and even done a solo trip or two. So I’ve picked a few helpful hints and tricks over the years. Being the nice guy that I am – I like to share the knowledge that I have.

Preparation

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The first thing in the wheelchair flight survival guide is always to make sure the airline know you are coming. Whatever the airline, whatever type of flight, always make sure that they know you are coming and have a seat booked for you.

Then you need to think about to prepare your chair. If it is going to go in the hold, you need to think about removing anything that could get lost or damaged. I’ve lost cushions and all sorts over the years. Its important to think about what you might need to keep hold of. This might be meds or pieces of assistive tech. Depending on how long your flight is, these things could be really important to you.

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On the meds side of things, this is where I think products like Sabi – are so good. They allow you the flexibility to say – “This is what I need right now and this is what I’ll need later.” I really like them because the whole range is useful but stylish to.

Before you travel with your expensive wheelchair, scooter and power chair – give yourself peace of mind – get insurance. 

So before you fly with your wheelchair – sit and consider all this stuff. The answers will tell you what know of bag(s) that you need.

I recently did a review of the Cabin Max Mertz and I have to say that I really like it. It means that I can still push my wheelchair myself through the airport. When I reflected on it though – my thought was that I could really do with something else to stash a few essentials into. Then I had a lightbulb moment!

Trabasack Curve Connect Red lap tray bag

Trabasack is the thing that I need to stash my money, and my essentials and keep them in easy reach.

Top Tips For Check In

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There isn’t much to say here really. Mostly staff are really well trained these days. I do have a couple of tips though:

  1. Lots of airlines now have apps where you can store securely your boarding passes. This means less paper and less stuff to handle because lets face it, us wheelchair users never have a free hand.
  2. They will need to tag your chair to put it in the hold – do not let them put it on anywhere but the back bar of your chair. Anywhere else and it just gets in the way. 

The Flight

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My circulation isn’t generally a problem. But having said that even I feel it a little after a flight of 4 hours plus. Flight socks aren’t sexy. But hey, nobody needs to know your wearing them. Same goes for getting to the toilet. When the queue is a mile deep and the isle is tiny, you may think better of it and wear a discreet catheter.

Here are some useful links

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/special-assistance/mobility-impaired/powered-wheelchairs-batteries.html

https://www.gov.uk/transport-disabled/planes

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