Life of a wheelchair user is filled with challenges, and when you have to travel with this supportive unit, things can become more complex. Definitely, traveling with the wheelchair needs work up front, but the adventures and fun waiting is worth all these efforts.
Whether you are a new wheelchair user or a pro, you can expect a comfortable trip with your wheelchair. While you are all set to take off, here glance at some of the amazing tips that will make your trip hassle-free and simply awesome!
- Prepare Everything in Advance
Make bookings early and ahead of time rather than waiting for the last minute. On your traveling date, reach the airport early.
As per the rules of most of the airlines, you have to reach the airport an hour before the departure. Since, you will be carrying a wheelchair, so it is best to reach the airport even before the desired time, probably two hours before. This will factor in security check-up and check-in time.
Once you have made your bookings and reached the airport, you can take necessary help from agents or supportive staff available at the premises. In addition to this, you can contact the airline in advance and update them about your special requirements.
Also, at the time of checking in, inform the agent about your mobility situation. Letting the airlines know in advance will help them make appropriate arrangements.
- Check Your Wheelchair Before the Trip
Before your travel starts, do get your wheelchair checked from a wheelchair expert for all its parts, connections, batteries, and functionality. Your wheelchair must be in the best of its condition with all parts functioning properly so that you don’t experience any trouble during the travel.
Hence, schedule a wheelchair check-up with your technician or wheelchair provider.
- Check for Wheelchair Batteries
When your wheelchair is being inspected, ask the technician about the condition of its batteries and other parts. Most of the airlines have distinct safety policies for storage and handling of wheelchair batteries based on their type (lithium, dry, or wet).
If your wheelchair batteries have to be removed or packaged into a special material before on-boarding the flight, then you must visit the airport earlier. You can check with your airline to know when to reach.
Airlines have their own guidelines and preferences for policies related to carrying a wheelchair. You must study these policies well in advance to know the correct way to bring your wheelchair with you.
Check, whether the airlines have a particular preference or not.
- Know How to Disassemble and Fold Your Wheelchair
You must be well-versed in handling your wheelchair. This is necessary, especially if your wheelchair will travel in the cargo.
Know everything about the various parts of your wheelchair like a seat cushion, wheels, and other components. If your travel experts permit then you can carry such parts with yourself into the cabin.
Your wheelchair is one of your most important properties. Therefore, put your name and contact information and label it on the wheelchair as well as on each removable part.
Some airlines will also ask you details to fold or disassemble your wheelchair. Properly labeling it will make it easier for the airlines as well as you to identify your property.
- Instruct Workers if Necessary
You can offer workers with additional information about how to fold, lift, disassemble, and assemble your wheelchair. This will help the airline workers to hold and lift the wheelchair easily.
Some of the major airlines recommend laminating the instructions and attaching the same to your chair. This will reduce the likelihood of your wheelchair being getting damaged or lost.
- Know About Important Rules and Regulations
There are some rules and regulations that airlines, as well as passengers, have to follow. For example, some airlines have a minimum of 100 passenger seats and allow storing at least one foldable wheelchair. Similarly, each airline has its own regulations for wheelchair users.
Therefore, check your rights well before traveling.
- Book Easy to Transfer Seats
When you are booking your tickets, you can show a preference for a seat that has flipping armrests. This will make the transfer easier.
Similarly, check for a seat with a bulkhead that usually provides a little more space as compared to other rows.
No matter which airline you are traveling. If you have troubles with accessibility at an airport or during on-boarding the flight, ask for help.
Every airport has a Complaints Resolution Official or CRO available for duty and offers support to people in need. Hence, speak up whenever in trouble.
In addition to the above-mentioned tips, every country has its own set of civil rights for people with disabilities. To make sure you are not offered an unfair treatment, check for all such rights before planning your trip.
Explore the World!
The world is filled with not only bad people but also with kind and helpful individuals. So have faith and keep your fears at bay. Just stay strong and be ready to explore this beautiful world!