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Thread: heading across the country... could use some tips ;)

  1. #11
    hmm, well, i'm working on the shower chair issue. i called the airline & it turns out they can check it, so that's cool.... BUT it'll be a hassle & if i can avoid it, great.

    this may be unheard of, but are there places that rent shower/commode chairs?

    if i did have to take mine, what do i do? find a big box? i don't want this thing tossed around with everyone else's stuff without being covered in some way. i can collapse it to a point, but it doesn't fold like an everyday chair.

    thanks again!

  2. #12
    Member Fritsch's Avatar
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    You can buy a raised toilet seat from lumex for $100 - through sport aid.- its small enough to fit in your luggage or another small box of med equipt. Then you can use your everyday w/o the seat - chair in a roll in shower or most likly the hotel will have a bench for you to use. i have also used a poolside chair/ or even a lounge chair if neccessary. ive heard of people putting the table from the hotel room into the shower in jumped onto that. None of this is the easiest but I like to travel alone and theirfore dont take a shower chair with me.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    I've rented shower chairs before, but you can never be sure of the quality of the product. Also, commode chairs are often difficult to rent because of health issues.

    If you plan on traveling often, I would highly recommend a portable shower chair made by Quantum. It's very expensive but very worth the $$$. It is easy to assemble (no tools) and is carried in a big bag. Very sturdy. Among the best investments I've ever made.

    A link:

    http://www.sportaid.com/page62.htm

  4. #14
    Scott, enjoy your trip.

    Fyi and consideration. The portable (assembly required) shower / commode chair that I use is from www.nuprodx.com It was designed by a quad and comes in it's own case (20"x20"). Stores like luggage and is very durable.

    $$$ but imo well worth it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  5. #15
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    Scott

    I just saw this. I fly quite a bit for work and prefer American Airlines. I actually have over 1 million miles and like American for a number of reasons:

    1) They put my chair in the flight attendants closet on the aircraft not under it- ask them at the gate to do this. This way you know where it is and its less likely to be damaged. Most other airlines won't do this.

    2) Usually AA reserves the bulk head aisle for people in chairs (that's the first row in the aisle behind first class. I like it because there is more room to transfer if you can by yourself). Again, ask at the gate.

    3) Seems like the people are trained well and know what to do at American

    When you get to the counter ask for aisle chair assistance and ask again when you get to the gate (just go up to the gate agent and remind her - I don't get in line again unless its small)

    Prior to landing ask the flight attendent to remind the gate agent that you need wheelchair assistance (sometimes they forget and you sit around waiting)

    Think about how you want to get from baggage claim to the rental car agency and around the airport - if you need assistance the airport has people to push you or carry your bags, etc.

    Shower chairs - Lots of hotels have shower chairs that you can use. I'm a c8 and can get transfer easily so most shower chairs work for me. Might want to call the hotel where you are staying and ask to talk to someone and see if what they have something that will work for you.

    I never rent a van but rent cars with hand controls all the time. AVis and Hetrz seem to be the best. Three things: 1) Call the morning of your flight just to remind them that you will need hand controls - not necessary most times but I've been burnt and had to wait 45 min for them to put them on, 2) Get a number to the local car rental counter just in case the buses at the airport are not accessible if the counter is remote from the terminal - most airports have accessible buses with lifts, 3) when you return back to the airport the rental agency will typically drive you back to the terminal in the car you rented if you ask - I drive back most times but some car rentals want to drive because you have settled your bill and are no longer covered.

    I hope this helped. I didn't want to concern you too much but these are a few things I've learned over the years and its really not that much more to do. Have a great trip,

    Steve

  6. #16
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Steve G:

    They put my chair in the flight attendants closet on the aircraft not under it- ask them at the gate to do this. This way you know where it is and its less likely to be damaged. Most other airlines won't do this.
    I think Scott mentioned he had booked his trip on America West. But anyway, stowing a wheelchair in the on-board closet is mostly dependent on aircraft type and wheelchair. Unless your wheelchair folds, it most likely will NOT fit in this closet. Even though I can pop the wheels off my rigid and fold the back down -- it will NOT fit in the on-board closet of most aircraft types. Airlines are supposed to stow wheelchairs there, if possible. Scott, you most likely will be flying an A320 or 757. Since you mentioned you have a rigid, be prepared to have it gate-checked and stowed below.

    Usually AA reserves the bulk head aisle for people in chairs (that's the first row in the aisle behind first class. I like it because there is more room to transfer if you can by yourself). Again, ask at the gate.
    Great advice. The bulkhead is the way to go. HOWEVER, only people with visual impairments, locked knees and service dogs are assured of getting these seats by law. All airlines are required to have rows with armrests that raise, which almost never are bulkheads. Dumb. So they'll stick you in the seats with such armrests, thinking they're doing you some great favor. Also keep in mind that depending on aircraft type and configuration, the bulkhead and exit row could be one in the same -- so you cannot sit there. This is more likely on the 757. I suggest calling America West ASAP to request the bulkhead, if you haven't already done so.

    Shower chairs - Lots of hotels have shower chairs that you can use. I'm a c8 and can get transfer easily so most shower chairs work for me. Might want to call the hotel where you are staying and ask to talk to someone and see if what they have something that will work for you.
    Be very careful if you do this. "Shower chair" means different things to different people. You might end up with a stool that has no back, or a chair with no hole. Then your shit would be out of luck, so to speak.

    Steve's suggestions were very good.

  7. #17
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    Great clarifications. Thanks!

    Steve

  8. #18
    hey everyone, thanks for the input.

    yes, I did reserve bulkhead seats from the get-go... booked the tickets on Expedia & then called the airline. We're on an airbus 320 on the way out and a 757 on the way back. These are the 2 largest jets America West uses. I went with this airline b/c I wanted a non-stop flight (BWI to Phoenix). Never flown with them before. I'll let you know how it goes!

    The thing I gotta figure out is the shower chair thing -- Phebus, I agree; the nuprodx stuff looks good, but right now I'm not intending to shell out the $$$. I did find a company out in Phoenix that'll rent a 3-in-one shower/commode seat. Anyone know what this is? It only goes for $25/month & doesn't sound too promising. America West will check my current shower chair if I want, although a fee may be incurred b/c I think it's heavier than their limit. Regardless, their "disability team" said it'd be fine to take along... still, I'd rather avoid the hassle.

    re: van rentals, yeah, I rented through wheelchair getaways... Great service from what I can tell, but sheesh, a little on the pricey side. $95/day + 18% more in taxes.. oh well.

    ~ scott

  9. #19
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    Scott,

    Do a Google search on that type of commode chair. The results I got weren't too great. It wouldn't work for me; I'm C5/6 and fairly stable. If you don't want to purchase a dedicated shower chair for travel, I think your best bet is to box up your existing chair the best you can. They shouldn't charge you extra for ANY medical equipment -- regardless of weight or size. Be sure to label the box to avoid confusion about its contents. And make sure you confirm bulkhead seating at the gate when you check in.

  10. #20
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Hey Scott,

    The price of renting from WCG is well worth it should you need road side assistance, leeway over a fligt time and the drop off-pick up deal can't be beat. Blame Arizona for the 18%.

    As far as hotels and shower/commode chairs; my experience says one thing---stay somewhere JUST BUILT!! Trying to renovate old hotels/motels never seems to work in my experience. Older (repeat, I said "older") Travel Inns and Ramadas are the worst. I stayed in one Ramada that had been renovated 2 years ago in S. Carolina and the toilet had welded in place bars that no none standing individual could get around. The Travel Inn in Florida had a great shower chair. It was a stool about 12 inches high and backless. Oh, and the handheld shower head had no lower hook and was in the up position when we arrived.

    Hampton Inns are very good as are the much pricer Renaisaance Hotels. Make sure you ask about door widths into the bathrooms and if they actually know and can describe what a roll in shower is to you. To repeat though, age of the building is everything to me. A brand new Hampton Inn beats almost any other modest to moderate price hotel. Now if they would just allow none servie animals..

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

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