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Thread: gate check electric chair?

  1. #1

    gate check electric chair?

    I am flying out of Newark on Continental to Vegas. When talkin to them on the phone, they said I have to check the chair in at the ticket counter. I asked about gate checking the chair and they said it is too heavy to carry?

    Then I asked about also using my manual chair (because I don't wan't to spend a lot of time in a chair that doesn't fit, then sitting on a plane for hours), they claimed it would count as a checked bag and may be subject to extra charges, even though it is obviously personal medical equipment.

    This is my first time flying with an electric chair, what have peoples experiances been like?

  2. #2
    I've been able to take my manual to the gate (after checking my power at the counter. fyi: make sure they put big, bright yellow "handle with care" stickers on the power chair), and they never charged me a cent to store it in the cabin. on one occasion they had to put the manual in the belly of the plane after i boarded. and on another occasion they folded it down and stored it in the first class closet. the latter choice is iffy because if there's a lot of first class passengers wearing jackets, there will be no room in that closet to store your manual (unless you have a chair like the quickie revolution that can be stored in the overhead compartment). so they shouldn't be charging you ANYTHING no matter what ends up happening.

  3. #3
    Continental sucks. We never fly them anymore.

    You can take a power chair to the gate. You get on the aisle chair and then they take your power chair down the freight elevator nearby and two people lift it into the plane. It does not have to be carried down the steps. Don't let them put you into an airport wheelchair EVER.

    Medical equipment (commodes, shower chairs, lifts, raised toilet seats, extra skin or bowel/bladder supplies, etc. etc.) can be checked as MEDICAL equipment and do not get an excess baggage charge. They are wrong about this. Don't mix this stuff with regular luggage, and mark it on the outside "Medical Equipment or Supplies".

    Get the information about the correct regulations:

    Here is a summary of the legal requirements for air flight access. I would suggest printing these out and carrying them with you whenever you fly:

    Air Carrier Access Act summary

    Call them back and if you don't get resolution with the person you talk to, ask for a supervisor. Keep going up the chain of command until you get someone who knows what they are doing. Quote the regulations, and also tell them you will be filing a DOT complaint. If you cannot get resolution, then change airlines. If you do this, still write to the Continental CEO and Customer Relationship department and tell them why they lost you as a customer, and still proceed with the DOT complaint.

    DOT Consumer Complaint Page


  4. #4
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Isn't Continental the one that gives the CRPF free travel when Chris Reeve is working on Foundation time? Seems to me that maybe Christopher needs to change carriers...

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

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Apex, NC

    This doesn't sound right to me. Are you talking with the special assistance people at Continental or just some reservation person? Call the 800 number and ask for special services or the department that handles this. With American Airlines I have always been able to take my manual everyday chair and my racer directly to the gate when I was training. Didn't have to pay extra for either and didn't have to check either at the ticket counter.


  6. #6
    Thanks for the advice. I called Continental and asked for disabled services, they gave me 888-723-3324 which wasn't the disability office but the guy who answered was helpful. He told me the other people were wrong (he is some manager & ex-flight attendant), he gave me his name and direct # to call. I guess all I can do now is cross my fingers and hope I don't have trouble tomorow.

  7. #7
    My trip went smooth. Checked my bags at the curb, chair at the gate. Every one at Continental was polite and helpful (except for the ticket person on the phone). No damage to my power chair.
    In Las Vegas I rented a van from wheelerz to see the Grand Canyon and Hoover dam. The Chevy Venture rampvan was great, lots of headroom compared to other minivans (I am tall in my chair).
    The city and hotels were all extremely accessible.
    While in Vegas I had to grab a taxi a few times, they showed up in 15 minutes or less.
    I think this was the most trouble free vacation I have ever taken (pre & post SCI).

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