Though wheelchairs can offer a wide variety of opportunities for people who struggle with mobility issues, they can also be cumbersome when traveling on airplanes. Today we’re going to take you through some important information about flying with your wheelchair. Let’s take a look.
Airplane Trips and Your Wheelchair
Airlines are required by law to follow the Air Carrier Access Act. The ACAA strictly prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and you can learn more about it here from the Department of Transportation’s website. Whether you’re traveling into or out of the United States, you have a right to a safe and accommodating travel experience. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the ACAA so that you can ensure that you are properly accommodated.
What Help is There for You When You Fly?
Though the airlines are required to accommodate you, there are a few ways that you can make your experience less stressful for everyone involved. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
- Give Yourself Ample Time: One of the best things you can do to prepare for a flight is to give yourself plenty of time to travel, check your luggage, and everything in between. Not only should you get to the airport early, but you should also make sure to schedule ample time for layovers and transfers so that you don’t have to rush and you can get the help you need.
- Communicate With Personnel: Personnel at the airport and on the plane itself can provide assistance, but first they need to know what’s going on. Contact the airline when you buy your ticket to discuss the accommodations you will need and how you can work together to make the process easier for everyone. You should also provide assembly and disassembly instructions in both English and Spanish if you have a powered wheelchair so that personnel who need to take it apart will know how to do so with accuracy.
- Need a Hand?: Sometimes traveling alone can be difficult for people who have disabilities and there are cases in which an airline may require you to travel with an attendant. However, even if they require you to travel with an attendant, they are not required to provide you with one. It may be prudent to contact a travel nurse before flying so that you know you are well-accommodated.
Choosing the Right Wheelchair for Travel
Though any wheelchair can be used to fly, you may want to find a lighter and simpler model for your next adventure. Here at Freedom Mobility, we can help you find the right mobility solution for your needs and we can educate you on the entirety of its operation. If you would like to learn more about your options, contact us today.