Some people with disabilities opt not to fly because of all the hassle it entails. While it is true that flying when you need to bring a wheelchair with you means extra preparations it shouldn’t stop you or your loved ones from going on trips you want to go to. To avoid much hassle and awkward moments in the airport all you need to do is prepare things way in advance and to start travelling until you get the hang of it. Below are some things you can do to make sure that your flight is as comfortable and enjoyable as you can make it.
Choosing an Airline
Call the airline you want to use and ask to talk to someone who is in charge of handling special needs. If they don’t have a person in-charge to do that ask for anyone who has the authority to deal with special requests. When you get in touch with the person you need to talk to ask the following questions:
- Do they allow wheelchairs on the plane?
- If yes. Do they have a way of securing your wheelchair?
- If no. Will they allow you to bring your wheelchair as baggage?
- Are they experienced in handling wheelchairs as baggage?
- Will they allow you or a representative to watch them load your wheelchair?
If your travelling companion can’t carry you to your seat you can ask the following questions too.
- Do they have lifts for your easy access to the airplane?
- If they do not. Will they allow someone (who won’t be
going on the plane with you) to accompany you to the plane and assist
you to your seat?
- If the answer is no. Do they have personnel who can help carry you to your seat?
I know that some people do not want strangers to assist them but realize that you might have to compromise with some things.
For those who are uncomfortable about being carried in front of all the other passnegers you can also ask the following questions.
- Will it be ok if they assist you to the plane before other passengers are called to board?
- Will it be ok if they assist you out of the plane after all the passengers have left?
You need not ask all these questions but only those that concern you. Remember that clarifying things with the airline representative will ensure that you only choose to book with an airline that will be able to cater to your needs.