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Thread: Flying

  1. #1

    Flying

    I'm a pretty capable L-1 para, and have flown a few times since my injury. It's not too much of a hassle, transferring to and from their special aisle chair and whatnot, but the seats are totally uncomfortable and the lack of leg room is definately rough (I've only been on 2 hr flights, I can't imagine going to Europe or something). My question though, is how come the planes don't have one or two special seats right by the door where you can just wheel your chair in? It seems like they would incorporate something similar to roll-in cars, where you just strap your chair down and you're done. This seems like it would be especially useful for quads with power chairs, where transferring might be more of a pain. How do quads fly, and where does the power chair go? Does anyone know of an airline that incorporates this type of seating? I'd love to know.

    So far I've tried each time to convince the flight crew that it would be much simpler for them to just let me sit in first class, right at the front of the plane, but they never buy it!
    I have met the dragon. . .

    www.micksluck.com

  2. #2
    Because if the airlines had their way, they would not accomodate you at all. They only provide what they do now because it is required by law, and in my experience they do this very grudgingly. They are not going to provide anything they are not required to. Your only recourse on this would be to convince Congress to change the law...good luck with the present group in office!

    People with power chairs must stow their power chair in the hold (gate checked usually) then ride the aisle chair to their seat and get lifted into a seat. There are a few planes where you can ride a very narrow manual chair to your seat and transfer (planes without a first class section usually). I doubt you will ever find a way that you can ride in your wheelchair as a wheelchair does not fit the stress requirements for crashes that an airline seat does, esp. in its lack of head support.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    A limited few of the existing types of planes you can wheel in and transfer to a selected few seats if you are independant. The two that immediately come to mind from my recent experience are the Embraer 170 (seats 1A and 1D on United (First Class) and seats 1C, 1D on US Air (Coach)) and the 757-200 (US Air with mid-plane boarding row 7). But, I have only found this pleasant surprise 3 times out of 120,000 miles flown so far this year. Its unfortunate but the airlines are forced to squeeze revenue out of every bit of space they can.

  4. #4
    I am a C4 quad, 6'4", 280 pounds. I have never attempted to fly because the concept of this hideous aisle chair sounds like a complete nightmare to me.
    Does anybody think the following scenario could take place?
    I check my power chair, have a traveling companion wheel me into the first-class bulkhead seat with a humane, folding manual chair. Ideally, the folding manual chair could be stowed onboard in first-class.
    I live in Dallas, so American Airlines, United, etc. are all available at DFW.

  5. #5
    And what about bathrooms? I kno this probably wouldn't be a problem on short flights, but on a longer flight how would you deal with bladder care? I mean if you can't have a foley in.

  6. #6
    My mother weighs close to 250 lb., and has to get lifted on/off the aisle chair and into and out of her seat. She has an 18" chair, but it will not fit even to the first class seats. If you have a 16" it might work.

    If our flight is 1 hour or less, we cath in the airport before leaving and upon arrival. Anything more than that, we put in a foley prior to the flight and take it out at the end. We have flow 15-18 hours like this. It is risky to try a 2-4 hour flight as you can get stuck waiting to take off or land for several hours. Men have it easier, as they can cath under a blanket with a touchless type kit and no one needs be the wiser.

    (KLD)

  7. #7

    Mirror, mirrro, everywhere

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    . Men have it easier, as they can cath under a blanket with a touchless type kit and no one needs be the wiser.

    (KLD)
    Sorry Sci Nurse- but thats presuming one has the sensory nerve function to be able to feel your way around. Some of us need a mirror - not easy to hide "under the blanket" lol.

    David

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Don D. 73
    I am a C4 quad, 6'4", 280 pounds. I have never attempted to fly because the concept of this hideous aisle chair sounds like a complete nightmare to me.
    Does anybody think the following scenario could take place?
    I check my power chair, have a traveling companion wheel me into the first-class bulkhead seat with a humane, folding manual chair. Ideally, the folding manual chair could be stowed onboard in first-class.
    I live in Dallas, so American Airlines, United, etc. are all available at DFW.
    Well only if you paid for a first class seat.

    No you couldn't be wheeled on in your wheelchair, but in many cases you could stow it in the cabin.

    Candy
    Candy Harrington
    Editor, Emerging Horizons
    The Only Accessible Travel Magazine
    www.EmergingHorizons.com
    Read my blog - www.BarrierFreeTravels.com

  9. #9

    traveling sales

    I loften fly as a sales rep. The airlines would be interested to here these things. I will ask for first class when available. Please dont be afraid to fly. It just means that you have placed another restriction on your life. We cant walk, so we might as well fly!

  10. #10
    Travel by train, it's the best way to go. You can stay in your chair the entire trip and, if you have a sleeper, you have your own bathroom. Amtrak has half price tickets for attendents and help in training/de-training.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

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