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Thread: Booking flights

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Booking flights

    Hi, when booking a flight online, say through Expedia for example, is there anything that must be done to ensure the seat would accommodate someone using a wheelchair?

  2. #2
    No. The best thing to do, immediately after buying your ticket, is to call the airline directly. You need to let them know that you require an accessible seat (ie, one that has a swing up armrest). While bulkhead seats may be desirable, you are only entitled to get those if you cannot bend your knees. You should also notify the airlines at that time if you will be bringing an assistance dog.

    While they can switch your seat at that time, I find that many don't know this information, so you also need to be sure that when you arrive at the gate (at least a hour before your flight, right?) that you let the gate agent know this as well. Again, many will not know which rows these are, so you need to persist until they get this set up. They should also be arranging the aisle chair and if needed, the lifting assistance you need for the transfers.

    Of course this is also the time to ask if there is any way you can get (for free) bumped up to first class. Those seats do not have a swing up armrest, but because there is a little more space between rows, the transfer (with help if needed) is a little easier to do.

    30 minutes before arriving at your destination, also remind the airplane cabin steward that you will 1) need your wheelchair brought up from the hold upon arrival, and 2) how much assistance you will need to lift/transfer you and assist you to exit the airport.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    If you are lucky enough to get bumped to first class, be careful about some of the new fully reclining seats to beds. They are wonderful and roomy once you are in the seat, but the backs and enclosures may make transfer more difficult for the lift teams at the airports. If you are planning to book your flight to San Francisco from Philadelphia, a trans-continent flight, you are more likely to run into the new configurations in first class.

    Hope someone comments on how to prepare your power chair for the flight.

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #4
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I had read somewhere that if you have power-tilt, it is best to tilt the chair back as much as possible. Is this advisable? I had never done that before.

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