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heading across the country... could use some tips ;)

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    Originally posted by Steve G:

    They put my chair in the flight attendants closet on the aircraft not under it- ask them at the gate to do this. This way you know where it is and its less likely to be damaged. Most other airlines won't do this.
    I think Scott mentioned he had booked his trip on America West. But anyway, stowing a wheelchair in the on-board closet is mostly dependent on aircraft type and wheelchair. Unless your wheelchair folds, it most likely will NOT fit in this closet. Even though I can pop the wheels off my rigid and fold the back down -- it will NOT fit in the on-board closet of most aircraft types. Airlines are supposed to stow wheelchairs there, if possible. Scott, you most likely will be flying an A320 or 757. Since you mentioned you have a rigid, be prepared to have it gate-checked and stowed below.

    Usually AA reserves the bulk head aisle for people in chairs (that's the first row in the aisle behind first class. I like it because there is more room to transfer if you can by yourself). Again, ask at the gate.
    Great advice. The bulkhead is the way to go. HOWEVER, only people with visual impairments, locked knees and service dogs are assured of getting these seats by law. All airlines are required to have rows with armrests that raise, which almost never are bulkheads. Dumb. So they'll stick you in the seats with such armrests, thinking they're doing you some great favor. Also keep in mind that depending on aircraft type and configuration, the bulkhead and exit row could be one in the same -- so you cannot sit there. This is more likely on the 757. I suggest calling America West ASAP to request the bulkhead, if you haven't already done so.

    Shower chairs - Lots of hotels have shower chairs that you can use. I'm a c8 and can get transfer easily so most shower chairs work for me. Might want to call the hotel where you are staying and ask to talk to someone and see if what they have something that will work for you.
    Be very careful if you do this. "Shower chair" means different things to different people. You might end up with a stool that has no back, or a chair with no hole. Then your shit would be out of luck, so to speak.

    Steve's suggestions were very good.



      Great clarifications. Thanks!



        hey everyone, thanks for the input.

        yes, I did reserve bulkhead seats from the get-go... booked the tickets on Expedia & then called the airline. We're on an airbus 320 on the way out and a 757 on the way back. These are the 2 largest jets America West uses. I went with this airline b/c I wanted a non-stop flight (BWI to Phoenix). Never flown with them before. I'll let you know how it goes!

        The thing I gotta figure out is the shower chair thing -- Phebus, I agree; the nuprodx stuff looks good, but right now I'm not intending to shell out the $$$. I did find a company out in Phoenix that'll rent a 3-in-one shower/commode seat. Anyone know what this is? It only goes for $25/month & doesn't sound too promising. America West will check my current shower chair if I want, although a fee may be incurred b/c I think it's heavier than their limit. Regardless, their "disability team" said it'd be fine to take along... still, I'd rather avoid the hassle.

        re: van rentals, yeah, I rented through wheelchair getaways... Great service from what I can tell, but sheesh, a little on the pricey side. $95/day + 18% more in taxes.. oh well.

        ~ scott [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]



          Do a Google search on that type of commode chair. The results I got weren't too great. It wouldn't work for me; I'm C5/6 and fairly stable. If you don't want to purchase a dedicated shower chair for travel, I think your best bet is to box up your existing chair the best you can. They shouldn't charge you extra for ANY medical equipment -- regardless of weight or size. Be sure to label the box to avoid confusion about its contents. And make sure you confirm bulkhead seating at the gate when you check in.


            Hey Scott,

            The price of renting from WCG is well worth it should you need road side assistance, leeway over a fligt time and the drop off-pick up deal can't be beat. Blame Arizona for the 18%.

            As far as hotels and shower/commode chairs; my experience says one thing---stay somewhere JUST BUILT!! Trying to renovate old hotels/motels never seems to work in my experience. Older (repeat, I said "older") Travel Inns and Ramadas are the worst. I stayed in one Ramada that had been renovated 2 years ago in S. Carolina and the toilet had welded in place bars that no none standing individual could get around. The Travel Inn in Florida had a great shower chair. It was a stool about 12 inches high and backless. Oh, and the handheld shower head had no lower hook and was in the up position when we arrived.

            Hampton Inns are very good as are the much pricer Renaisaance Hotels. Make sure you ask about door widths into the bathrooms and if they actually know and can describe what a roll in shower is to you. To repeat though, age of the building is everything to me. A brand new Hampton Inn beats almost any other modest to moderate price hotel. Now if they would just allow none servie animals..

            Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
            Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

            Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.