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"Packing up" rigid W/C for airplane "hold"

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  • "Packing up" rigid W/C for airplane "hold"

    Anybody know of a thingy to pack a W/C in when boarding an airplane? We used foam and pipe covering stuff last time. Surely somebody has invented something easier. Thanks!

  • #2
    There used to be several companies that made cases (expensive and bulky, and not something you can add at the gate), but I can't find any that are still in business, including this one: http:///forum/showthread.php?232344-...e-Travel-Cases

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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    • #3
      Yes, KLD, that's what I was thinking of. Can't believe no one makes something like that anymore. We're flying across the country and worry about my chair.

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      • #4
        But if you pack it up how do you get to the airport?

        I always just ride my ZR up to the gate, pull of the cushion and let them take it to the hold as is. It would take an awful lot to damage a rigid chair and my paintjob is already a mess.

        Only issue I ever had was a sideguard falling off one time, didn't lose it they brought it up with the chair, I started taking off the sideguards until I decided that just tightening the heck out of them was an easier option.

        But I'm not being helpful.

        They make bicycle wheel bags, so you could pop the wheels off and put them in one of those, probably want to go with ones made for mountain bike wheels so that they still fit with the extra width of the handrims. Maybe a big ole duffle bag for the frame, but that wouldn't add much padding.

        IDK, I'm not all that well traveled, in my 10 years post injury I've only flown a couple dozen times, maybe I've just been lucky and there are horror stories out there I haven't heard yet. The thing that makes me the most nervous is that the chair won't show up at the other end, but that's not gonna change whether it's packed or not, and that's just an irrational fear because the hold of an airplane is the only time my chair has been out of eyesight from me and that makes me nervous.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lynne View Post
          Yes, KLD, that's what I was thinking of. Can't believe no one makes something like that anymore. We're flying across the country and worry about my chair.
          Dont buy a case its a waste of money...what are your concerns?

          travel with a power chair and dont have issues...

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          • #6
            Thanks all! I guess I worry about the chair getting bent, scratched, etc. I keep my chair looking good, clean, etc. Don't have a back-up either. We followed some of SCI_OTR's instructions from several years ago about his routine for protecting his chair on flights, but I've lost some of it. We got me in an airport chair, packed mine up, wheeled to the cabin, transferred to aisle chair. Reversed the process at the other end. It involved lots of bungee cords, foam and foam pipe insulation for down tubes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lynne View Post
              Thanks all! I guess I worry about the chair getting bent, scratched, etc. I keep my chair looking good, clean, etc. Don't have a back-up either. We followed some of SCI_OTR's instructions from several years ago about his routine for protecting his chair on flights, but I've lost some of it. We got me in an airport chair, packed mine up, wheeled to the cabin, transferred to aisle chair. Reversed the process at the other end. It involved lots of bungee cords, foam and foam pipe insulation for down tubes.

              I was gonna suggest SCI_OTR's traveling with his chair posts. They're still around, but not sure if the pictures survived.
              "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

              "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

              "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lynne View Post
                Thanks all! I guess I worry about the chair getting bent, scratched, etc. I keep my chair looking good, clean, etc. Don't have a back-up either. We followed some of SCI_OTR's instructions from several years ago about his routine for protecting his chair on flights, but I've lost some of it. We got me in an airport chair, packed mine up, wheeled to the cabin, transferred to aisle chair. Reversed the process at the other end. It involved lots of bungee cords, foam and foam pipe insulation for down tubes.
                I think that is total over kill...lot of wasted energy and effort.

                Next time just roll up to the gate and ask for a ramp supervisor this is the person who will be overseeing the loading and unloading of your chair.

                Explain to them how you want to board and how your chair is to be loaded. A wheelchair is more simple then a power chair.

                For me we only fly Southwest so we pre board and get the 1st row, I roll my chair all the way in and then my wife helps me transfer then she backs the chair out to the ramp supervisor and reminds him or her of what I told them.

                They take it down the elevator to the tarmac and then load it.

                Its like luggage so it can get scuffed but I haven't had damage in a very long time and we fly a lot.

                On a wheelchair I would go to a local hardware store and get plummers foam tubing it comes in different diameters and you could put it on your tubbing if you wanted.

                Make sure that the ground crew flys your chair up right and they radio to your arriving airport any special instructions and have them bring your chair to the plane vs baggage claim.

                Signs, taking apart your chair etc is a waste of time.



                Message me if you need more help...

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                • #9
                  put helicopter tape on the frame, keeps it new for a long time. I bang mine up a lot, replace the tape every year or so and still looks like new.

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                  • #10
                    I mostly fly southwest and have never had any damage to my chair. Years ago with the other airlines I did have some damage but that was back in the 80's I think they have got a lot better about being more careful with peoples wheelchairs than they use to.
                    "Life is about how you
                    respond to not only the
                    challenges you're dealt but
                    the challenges you seek...If
                    you have no goals, no
                    mountains to climb, your
                    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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                    • #11
                      For those of you who "only fly southwest". How do you pull that off?

                      I mean if I wanted to go with a specific company on specific dates with any layovers long enough to travel between flights after being last off first on, I'd expect to pay at least three times what the cheapest provider would pay. And what do you do if Southwest doesn't fly to a location?

                      Or are you making the same run to see family over and over and Southwest has a direct connection or something?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by funklab View Post
                        For those of you who "only fly southwest". How do you pull that off?

                        I mean if I wanted to go with a specific company on specific dates with any layovers long enough to travel between flights after being last off first on, I'd expect to pay at least three times what the cheapest provider would pay. And what do you do if Southwest doesn't fly to a location?

                        Or are you making the same run to see family over and over and Southwest has a direct connection or something?
                        We dont have an issue based in Phx SW air flies all the places we need. We also use SW credit card so most of our flights are very inexpensive or even free paying only taxes.

                        https://www.southwest.com/html/rapid...rds/index.html

                        Not saying one has to fly specific airlines we just got great service from SW and minimal to no damage.

                        https://www.southwest.com/flight/rou...V-AIR-ROUTEMAP

                        Working with a friend who just flew United for his 1st trip vs SW and they damaged his chair so now he is dealing with repairs.

                        Southwest is competitive on rates and weekly has sales, knowing how to book can also save you money.

                        My advice is if you fly another airline still follow the process if meeting with a ramp supervisor on how to board your chair and yourself and be specific on how your chair breaks down and to fly it upright.

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                        • #13
                          Very helpful info RollPositive. Thanks all. Think SW is the way to go. Would like to go non-stop because of the chair, but no-one offers that from GA to Oregon!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lynne View Post
                            Very helpful info RollPositive. Thanks all. Think SW is the way to go. Would like to go non-stop because of the chair, but no-one offers that from GA to Oregon!
                            Dont over think it relax and enjoy if you can handle a direct flight do it if not give your body the break. For some to sit in a plane for 3 plus hours is taxing for others its not a big deal.

                            If you do a lay over make sure you give yourself an 2 hours between flights to get your chair use the restroom, eat etc and not be rushed.

                            Also if you fly southwest and sit in the front seats you dont have a tray table so if you need one sit in the 2nd row.

                            Message me if you need help!

                            Have fun and post pictures!!

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                            • #15
                              It doesn't take much to get me nervous, but we haven't flown in a long while and currently have tickets to Chicago on United next month.

                              What does one do if they're strapped to that horrible transfer chair and find that either the wheelchair is damaged, still in the home airport or was loaded onto a plane going somewhere else?

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