If you have read my previous posts on Flying with a Wheelchair (Airline and Booking Issues) the you are probably more confident about going on a trip now despite having to take your your (family member’s) wheelchair along. Before I end this series of posts here are some more reminders to help make sure your wheelchair survives the flight and that you enjoy th flight as much as possible.
1. Packing – Make sure the wheelchair is packed well. Though you might be able to oversee the loading, if your wheelchair isn’t packed properly and there are rattling parts inside then you might end up with a damaged wheelchair. This is the one thing you don’t want to happen of course. So check and double check the packing and make sure handling instructions are followed. Use as much foam as needed!
2. Batteries – For those with power wheelchairs make sure they allow the kind of batteries you use on the plane (I should have included this on the first post but I forgot!). If they don’t make sure to arrange for batteries you can use once you get to your destination. When packing power wheelchairs it is safer to remove the batteries and pack them separately. Follow packing instructions.
3. Nature – Pee and attend to other bodily functions before going on the plane so as to lessen the chance of having to use the plane bathroom.
4. Bring pillows – Airplane seats are not the most comfortable seats in the
world especially for those used to their own wheelchairs. Bring a couple of pillows with you to make a long (even short) flight more bearable.
5. Life Vests – Make sure the life vest is placed well within your reach. Though this is standard procedure for those with infants and disabilities the person in charge might overlook it somehow. Remind the personnel assigned to you of your safety needs if you must.
And last of all if despite much preparations you still end up a little frazzled after your first long trip
just keep going at it. Keep a positive attitude and enjoy you will find that booking flights and lugging around a wheelchair through various airport terminals will become more and more easier with experience.