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Thread: How do you handle long flights?

  1. #1

    How do you handle long flights?

    Hi all,
    I'm planning a trip to Australia, which is a good 12 hour flight at least, from where I am.

    I have a couple of questions for the seasoned travellers. (I'm a C6 quad who uses a manual chair so I dont need to worry about travelling with a powerchair)

    1. What do you sit on? Do you put your wheelchair cushion on the plane seat? Any other clever tricks you know of?

    2. Moving around in the plane during the trip and pressure relief? Do use those on board aisle chairs just for a change in position and a little plane tour Are they comfy enough to sit in for more than a few minutes at a time?

    3. For those of you who intermittent cath, do you put in a 'permanent leg bag' for the trip?

    4. What is the official word on wearing ted hose on long flights?

    I'm sure any suggestions will help

    ps I have done a search for all the posts on Flying and already learnt a whole lot.

    [This message was edited by AO on 08-09-03 at 06:30 AM.]

  2. #2
    I am ac6 as well. The following is what I've learned on a long plane trip.

    If you are not flying first-class get bulk head seating. You will not be able to move about the plane once you are seated. The aisle chair is only to get you on and off the plane.
    It is your choice whether or not you want to sit on a cushion. I usually just sit in the seat.

    Wear a Foley catheter. Try not to drink too much.

    Move your legs as best you can while seated.

    Most importantly, have a wonderful time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TimN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    TN / USA
    I'm so glad you asked this as I hadn't thought of asking for a trip I have planned soon. I was simply going to "wing-it" Should I tell them when I get my tickets also? Guess I was going to rely on their being prepared for handicapped passengers. I'm a bit nervous, but look forward to it. Anything anyone may think of that I might be surprised by or should prepare for let me know. Thanks, Tim

  4. #4
    I would tell them ahead of time. They are prepaired for disabled passengers, as in they have a isle chair somewhere in the airport but not always at your gate. If they do not know you need it they may need to spend time looking for it and that could be a big annoyance.

  5. #5
    I always sit on my cushion, even if it's a short flight. It's probably better for me, plus it's a safe place to keep it.

    I've been to Europe three times. The first time I flew by myself and I happened to be at the very back of the plane and close to the bathrooms. The flight attendants offered to carry me to the bathroom if need be. I was reluctant to take them up on their offer, because I didn't want to be a pain, and I didn't want to cause a scene. But at one point everyone was sleeping and a flight attendant came by and asked if I needed to use the bathroom. She assured me it wasn't a big deal, so I agreed. One flight attendant took under my arms, and the other under my legs and they carried me.

    The second time I was with a friend and she and an attendant carried me.

    The third time I was with my husband and he carried me.

    Next time, I'm going to wear a bag. In the past, I didn't know a person could wear a temporary bag. It's something that I learned here.

    Even if you can get to the bathroom, it's really hard to use it. Or at least, it was for me. It's so small in there and you have to get your pants down and back up while sitting on the toilet.

    You can find out if the flight isn't very full and if it isn't ask to be in an aisle by yourself. That way you can flip up the armrests and lie down and stuff so that you aren't sitting in the same position the entire flight.

    I have no idea about ted hose?

    Have a great trip!

    33 year old T4/5 complete
    25 years post

  6. #6
    oh yeah one thing i forgot to mention...take the cushion no matter what. I have full sensation so used to not think twice about leaving it on my chair because it really wasnt that big a deal but a gate check handler recomended I take it anyway just in case it would fall off your chair and they would lose it(and I have seen my chair being flipped every which way and stored upside down so pray u have good velcro if you do leave it). You wouldnt want to get all the way to Australia and have no cushion.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Apex, NC
    Hi AO

    I've been to Australia and it was a blast! I also travel quite a bit for work and here's some thoughts on your questions (I'm C8-T1):

    1) I typically don't sit on my cushion but on longer flights I do. Also do a number of pressure reliefs during the flight.

    2) On a flight that long they will have an aisle chair on board the aricraft and you will be able to use it to go to the bathroom (I would double check with the arilines on this though - ask for special services and say you use a wheelchair). The aisle chair is not something that they will let you sit in during the flight and you'll be much more comfy in your seat.

    3) You will be able to go to the bathroom to do an intermitent cath (maybe carry a container you can seal just in case and do it under a blanket if worse comes to worse - I was on a smaller aircraft once and we were stuck out on the runway for 6 hours before we took off and had to do something so I did it under a blanket and no one was the wiser). I would not suggest trying to wait 12 hours before you cath yourself - sounds a bit dangerous.

    4) I have no idea about ted hose.

    Good flight and have a blast down under mate!


  8. #8
    im c6/c7 and i flew 4 times 4mnths post injury. i let the airlines know ahead of time i used a wheelchair so they had the aisle w/c available(it's a hassle to find one last minute and could delay the flight). I was put on the plane first and taken off last, i just used my slideboard. i found the airlines being overly helpful wanting to lift me for transfers even after i repeatedly told them i would do it myself. they were wanting to lift me by my arms!! Make sure if you get help it's properly done. I drank tons of liquids since i have low blood pressure. About the ted hose, my dr said i must wear them because i had a blood clot. i also had to have my neurosurgeon ok me flying with my brace since my injury was so new. hope this helps!!

    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--unknown

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