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Thread: Plane Travel

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Holstein,IA
    Posts
    25

    Plane Travel

    Hi I have a question for you guys. I am going to California next week. And i was wondering if anyone had any tips for getting the power wheelchair on and off the plane? I would greatly appreciate any comments. Thank You very much.

  2. #2

    Recommendations

    If you have a manual chair too, this is the easiest way:

    Use your manual chair on the day of the flight. Take your power chair to the airport already having removed the controls, cushion, and any other easily removable or expensive parts. Tape everything else down with duct tape. Put a BIG sign on your chair: DO NOT DROP OR THROW! Also put a big sign on the battery case stating GEL BATTERIES: DO NOT DISCONNECT OR REMOVE! Also label every thing with your name and address, and a sign DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REASSEMBLE WITHOUT OWNER PRESENT.

    Take both chairs to the gate with you. If you need assistance, the new security rules allow you to have someone go to the gate with you even if they will not be traveling with you. You may get some guff on this, but this is the safest way. At the gate, tell them you need to gate check BOTH chairs and that the power chair will have to be lifted down the stairs and into the plane and should not be loaded on the plane via the conveyor belt. Be clear if you need your manual chair at a connection that you ONLY want your manual chair at that point, so your power chair gets checked through all the way.

    Transfer to the aisle chair (be sure to know how to direct this and insist on doing it your way...take a couple of extra gait belts for your waist for lifting you if possible) and then into your seat.

    When you are about 45 minutes from your destination (or connecting city), remind the cabin attendant that you will need both the aisle chair and your checked manual wheelchair (and power chair at your final destination) brought up from the cargo bay. If someone is with you, have them get off the plane to snag your chairs and guard them (and assemble if needed) as you will be the last person off the plane. Transfer to the aisle chair again and then to your own chair at the door of the plane.

    Assemble and inspect (and turn on and run all controls on) your power chair prior to leaving the airport. If any damage is found, immediately file a claim with the Complaint Resolution Officer of the airline (prior to leaving the airport).

    This sounds like a lot, but after you have flown a few times you will get it down to a routine. Know your rights, and insist upon them. As always, get to the gate at least 1 hour prior to the flight, and talk to the gate agent as soon as they arrive about your needs.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Holstein,IA
    Posts
    25
    Thank You very much Sci nurse.

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