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Folding chair and air travel

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    Folding chair and air travel

    Hey everyone,

    I'm about 3 years into my injury now, and switched from a power chair to a manual a little over a year ago at my own cost and unfortunately without a lot of direction from a wheelchair clinic since I wasn't going through a DME that they partner with. Poured lots of money, lots of time, and pulled lots of favors from people trying to piece together an ideal chair that my weak tetra bum manages to push efficiently. I ended up with something that works really well for me, based on a Motion Composites Apex. But it took an unbelievable effort to get there, and frankly I just finally nailed the right backrest a few weeks ago.

    I'm starting look toward air travel again, with weddings, long distance friends, adventure, international exploration, etc all in the mix. Maybe even work sooner or later! But I've heard so many horror stories about chair damage over the last couple of years that I'm terrified. It took everything I had for a year or more to get the chair I need, I can't even imagine losing it.

    Then a friend of mine told me that her secret is to have a folding chair, which gets put in the closet in cabin rather than underneath, and therefore never any damage or loss. That sounds pretty damn appealing to me, and for that added security I think I'd be willing to invest in a folder. Plus, added advantage is that it would give me a backup chair in the event of other damage. And it would be reasonably easy to store in the closet, haha! Although incredibly pricey, the obvious candidate from my perspective would be the Motion Composites Veloce, which is in all practical and functional aspects as close to the Apex as I can get, so all of the dimensions should be easy to replicate. And all my wheels and very many custom add-ons should be easy to transfer over, too, which should help mitigate the cost to some small extent.

    Two questions:

    ​​​​​​1) My friend is much much smaller than I am, and as such her chair is way smaller than mine would be, too. I ride a 16x18 with an extra inch of frame length. Would this size folder reliably fit in the cabin closet, too? I'd hate to invest a ton of money in it and then find that it still gets stuck underneath.

    ​​​​​​2) I know this is potentially a huge expense for a relatively low risk scenario, though I've convinced myself that the simple addition of a backup chair could give me a lot of peace of mind even day to day. Am I absolutely bonkers with this idea?

    Thank you!
    Emmett
    ​​​
    C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

    #2
    IMO everybody needs a spare chair! Better yet, as they say in racing, you need a pair and a spare. Until recently I had the latter but I gave away the spare.
    Now I have two; one resides in my car and is my outside chair, the other is my inside chair that gets left alongside where my car was when I transferred into it.
    And, now you have me thinking about how handy a fully folding chair would be to have!
    My first chair was a Quickie Evolution full folder and when I flew it went in the bulkhead compartments!
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

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      #3
      Has anyone on here brought the wheels in the cabin and gate checked the frame? my girl friend use to bring the cushion, and icon back rest in the cabin. I would tighten the side guards on her chair so they wouldn't come out. i've always just gate checked everything but the cushion. if i haven't trashed my chair i doubt if the airline can. the oddest thing might be when i race chairs. at first i made a box to take the racer in. the box would get beat to crap. one time i just zip tied the wheels to the top of the frame and checked it. not a scratch so after that, i just did that.

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        #4
        Thanks for confirming my thoughts are: a backup chair, pfcs49. And baldfatdad, I appreciate your good experiences with flying, but I'll admit that I'm still very nervous and would be quite relieved if I could bring my chair into the cabin with me. Anyone else have any experience with this?
        C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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