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    I know there are a million threads on here about flying with the chair, but I was just told something that seems to contradict what I've read on here. I was told that no part of the wheelchair (it's a manual) would be allowed in the cabin: no cushion, no wheels, nothing. Everything has to go into the hold. Has anyone else experienced this? They recommended that my husband use an airport wheelchair while in the airport, and pack the wheelchair into some sort of bag (do they make these?). Thoughts?

  • #2
    Originally posted by acleyba View Post
    I know there are a million threads on here about flying with the chair, but I was just told something that seems to contradict what I've read on here. I was told that no part of the wheelchair (it's a manual) would be allowed in the cabin: no cushion, no wheels, nothing. Everything has to go into the hold. Has anyone else experienced this? They recommended that my husband use an airport wheelchair while in the airport, and pack the wheelchair into some sort of bag (do they make these?). Thoughts?
    In my experiences they have stored my chair in the closet at the front of the plane. I would talk to someone else and see if you get the same answer. Maybe policy has changed since my last flight.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

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    • #3
      Who told you this? Def not true.

      He should not use an airport wheelchair, could easily get a pressure sore.
      Can and should use his cushion on the plane.

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      • #4
        With my manual chair I have always kept my seat cushion and side plates in the overhead. The chair, with wheels on, goes in the forward luggage compartment below the cabin. I have never been told that I cannot have the seat or side plates in the overhead. Which airline are you having trouble with?

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        • #5
          We're flying Virgin Atlantic. I spoke to someone in their accessibility department, so I'm assuming she knows what she's talking about.

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          • #6
            Are you flying into/out of a USA airport? If so, they must comply with the Access to the Air regulations, so that is not true. You need to speak to their Compliance Officer. If you are flying between non-USA airports, then you are pretty much at their mercy.

            (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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            • #7
              Originally posted by acleyba View Post
              We're flying Virgin Atlantic. I spoke to someone in their accessibility department, so I'm assuming she knows what she's talking about.
              Yeah, Virgin Atlantic pretty much sucks, accessibility-wise. Here's what they say on their website, which agrees with what you were told:

              Manual wheelchairs

              Collapsible manual wheelchairs may be carried within the cabin on any aircraft that has dedicated storage space.

              If there isn’t storage space and your manual wheelchair needs to go in the hold, you can check it in either at the check in desks or the departure gate. Detachable items such as seat cushions and footrests will be checked in and loaded with the wheelchair.

              We know how crucial these items are and take great care of them, so any extra information you give our staff to ensure proper handling and loading will be much appreciated.
              http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en...eelchairs.html

              My first advice would be to fly with a mainline carrier rather than a low cost carrier. I'll find you some links to European regulations this evening when I'm at home.

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              • #8
                European regulations re: mobility impaired passengers: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...001:01:EN:HTML

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                • #9
                  Thanks, Katja for the information. We're flying premium economy (out of San Francisco, KLD, so I'll be sure to have a copy of the Access to the Air Regulations on me), so I don't think it'll be such a terrible experience once we get onboard and seated. I'm going to fight for the cushion to be allowed onboard, but will plan to not have the wheels (which is what I"m most worried about being damaged, quite honestly.)

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                  • #10
                    If you're flying out of SFO, it's a whole different ball game. As KLD says, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), with its stronger protections, applies to all carriers, domestic and foreign, that land and take off in the US. Per the ACAA: "Disabled passengers’ items stored in the cabin must conform to FAA rules on the stowage of carry-on baggage. Assistive devices do not count against any limit on the number of pieces of carry-on baggage."

                    The cushion and anything else you take off the chair should count as assistive devices. Wheels will be a hard sell, as they are kind of big. What kind of aircraft is it (this info is available on VA's website)?

                    Despite the fact that VA might prefer it, your husband should remain in his own chair to the door of the plane. What kind of wheelchair does he use? How much stuff are you going to have to take off it?

                    Search here for threads about packaging your wheelchair for travel - most people don't, but some people do: http:///forum/showthread.php?p=86919...els#post869192

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                    • #11
                      Keep any removable pieces with you! i.e. armrests, footrests and especially your cushion! If you don't the airline will most likely lose them when they throw your chair under the plane and you'll be SOL. I learned this the hard way. And make sure to look for and document all damage done to your chair after flying, report it and make sure the airline pays for the repairs!
                      Maggie
                      C5/6 incomplete since '99

                      "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

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                      • #12
                        We're flying on an Airbus A340-300 on the way out, and a Boeing 747-400 on the way home. He has a TiLite ZRA2, and we plan on taking off the wheels (fingers crossed), cushion, sideguards, and the footplate (I guess...I hadn't thought about taking this off, but it's probably a good idea).

                        We're trying to avoid the aisle chair, as we haven't read too many positive things about them. We're on "high priority" to get a first row seat, which would mean he could transfer into the seat directly from his own chair.

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                        • #13
                          I don't take off anything that requires a screwdriver or a hex wrench. I take my cushion on the plane, and that's it. Wheels, seat upholstery, footplate, sideguards all take their chances in the hold.

                          You can try asking to store the wheels in the first class closet.

                          Good luck with the direct transfer, but the aisle chair isn't the end of the world, either.

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