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1st Timer

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    1st Timer

    Hello all! well im posting because I wil need to travel next month on a airplane and will be my very 1st time doing so. i will like to get any information or tips to make my comute eazy and less of an hassle due to disability. i wll be traveling by myself. if info would be greatly appreciated.

    What type of plane? Is an isle chair required? When you check in at the airport always remind them you may need an isle chair to board you.

    You renting a car? If so call the rental agency and confirm that you will have hand controls installed. They tend to botch it up from time to time.

    Hit the head before your required to board.

    If you have spiffy items on your chair such as an air pump or things that
    may come off, remove them prior to them taking your chair away and put them in a bag or something. Stowing the chair below can cause damage, easier not to have to deal with it after the fact.

    everything else should be no big deal. It's still typical day to day stuff.

    Hotel.. confirm again that you need an accessable room.
    Rick Brauer or just call me - Mr B


      How long is the flight?

      Make sure you stay in your own chair up until you get to the boarding gate. Then they'll transfer you to an aisle chair to take you to your seat and your w/chair will be put in the hold last (and taken off first, waiting for you when you are lifted out on the aisle chair). If it's a long flight use your own cushion on the seat. Regarding the bathroom, some people manage to use the aisle chair to use it. I can't do that so I always have a foley catheter+leg bag for any trip to deal with that problem.


        Deep Breath!

        Cool! Where ya goin? Hopefully you're flying for a vacation! Everybody with SCI needs more of those!

        I'm ... eek ... 11 years post and about your same injury level. I've flown TONS, both for work and for fun. 99% of the time, it's a piece of cake. Don't stress it.

        There have been a couple of good posts in the past that cover "tips and tricks" to make the trip as smooth as possible. Check out:


        My suggestions:

        * Call the airlines now and tell them you use a wheelchair. Get an assigned seat in the first or second row. If they can't ... no biggie, 99% of the time, the people at the airport can get this done. More important, though: you REALLY want a seat where the armrests lift up and this varies by airplane.

        * Get to the airport early. Ask for a 1st class upgrade. Check in at the airline desk and ask for an escort through security and to the gate. Check in at the gate. Ask again for a good seat, an aisle chair, and an upgrade.

        * Cath before getting on the plane. Count on flight delays and stuff. It's no big deal to do it on the plane (cover up with a blanket) but easier to get it out of the way on the ground.

        * A lot of planes these days have aisles wide enough that I don't even need an aisle chair to get to the first class seats or the first row of cattle class. It's no big deal to do the aisle chair, but it's not my favorite part of flying ;-)

        * Insist that the wheelchair is stowed in the cabin close. If they must put it in the cargo hold, take off anything that might get lost and ask the flight attendant to WATCH it go into the belly of the plane.

        * Don't be afraid to drink (water, juice, maybe soda) to stay hydrated.

        * If you have an air cushion (mine's a Roho Quattro) keep in mind that it will get firmer while the plane is flying. Not a big deal, but if you can adjust the air pressure (and know how to get it right), go ahead. Otherwise, just be extra-diligent about pressure releases.

        * When you land, ask the flight attendant to make sure no one runs off with the wheelchair (sounds silly, but it happens)



          tips on traveling with cushions

          Bring your CUSHION- very important! Depending on what kind of cushion you have- make sure you let some air out of it because of air pressure. No matter what I always bring my cushoin on board the aircraft because it could fall off your wheelchair. Depending on how your skin is to sitting for a few hours on a plane seat I don't always bring my own personal wheelchair cushion because it doesn't fit the airplane seat great, I have another cushion that I use that still has good skin protection but it is not as large as my regular cushion. Also that was it fits the airplane seat, and I always have a back up cushion in case something should happen to my regualr wheelchair cushion. One time I didn't let air out of a roho cushion that I had an it over inflated. Now I have am air and foam cushion through VARILITE


            Thankyou All!!! for taking the time to post your very infomative tips. i greatly appreciate it. No vacation but i will be traveling to Ohio to attend Sci-Step for the Free Week Trial. I was a little nervous because of the Airline Situation. But now with allthe info i have obtain from you guys im at ease. Once again, Thanks.


              Let us know how it goes!