Flying With Your Wheelchair

The airport can be an intimidating place for anyone. The hustle and bustle of security officers, the continuous beeping of metal detectors, the never-ending line of inpatient patrons; add on that you are sitting a metal frame trying to maneuver in a busy and crowded place, and the airport can become a nightmare.

It would be easy to conclude that a wheelchair in the airport seems like more trouble than it is worth, but even though it seems that way, it doesn’t have to be such a daunting situation. There are many policies put in place and tips that you can use to decrease the stress of using a wheelchair in the airport which can be found on the website.  Here are few of the tips the TSA has listed:

  • Call ahead to make sure accommodations can be made.
  • Request to have an airport attendant assist you through the airport. TSA workers will still perform all security checks but you will be assisted by an attendant so that you do not have to navigate the airport pushing your wheelchair yourself.
  • Get to the airport early and allow the extra time it will take to make it through security and get to your gate without difficulty or delay.

Assistance with your wheelchair at the airport

Now that you know how to handle using a wheelchair in the airport, what happens once you board the airplane? Below are some general tips to keep in mind when flying with your wheelchair:

  • To find out specific airline policies it is best to call or check the airline website, however most airlines happily accommodate wheelchair users.
  • Storage for your manual wheelchair can be provided on the airplane. Should you have a power mobility device then it is recommended that you bring the assembly manual. The device will most likely be disassembled and transported with checked baggage. Depending on the airline these items are usually not an additional charge.
  • If you are unable to transfer from your wheelchair to the seat in the plane you must obtain a safely assistant. This person will help you transfer to and from your seat when boarding and leaving the plane.

Requiring assistance utilizing a wheelchair in an airport can be difficult, but preparing ahead is the key to reducing stress. Also making sure that you are aware of all wheelchair specific procedures for both the airport and airline can help to better manage your time and prevent delays.



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