Flying can be daunting enough without having to think about what to do when you have a disability. Thankfully, most airlines are very accommodating to disabled travelers and will help in any way they can. There are a few things to consider to ensure the flight and transition is as easy as possible. Follow this air travel advice if you are disabled or travelling with a person with a disability.
Booking Your Flights
It is the law that any disabled passenger is entitled to help on and off the plane and into a seat when they cannot do so themselves. With this in mind you should not have a problem with any airline, although each airline has their own policy and rules regarding what you can bring with you. You are responsible for booking your own help when booking a flight, and this needs to be at least 48 hours before your flight time to allow the airport or airline to get someone ready to help. Airlines also need as much information as possible if you are bringing a wheelchair on the plane, such as its dimensions, types of battery and the weight of the chair. This is so they can keep you safe whilst flying.
Things to Remember
One thing many do not consider is that toilets on airplanes are small and for someone with a disability this could pose a real challenge. If you are travelling far it may be better to split your flights up instead of going long haul. You may also need to obtain medical clearance to fly, and this can be given by your doctor, especially if you require oxygen. Airlines may ask for this before your flight so ensure it is done in plenty of time or you may not be able to board. Most airlines allow certified assistance dogs on their flights, so it’s best to check before booking what the airline’s policy is.
Travelling to and from the airport is something to consider well in advance when you are disabled as you will need a disabled taxi or minibus that can fit in any equipment you may need as well as travelers going with you. You may also need a nurse if you are travelling from bedside to bedside for your safety when in flight. You may consider hiring non-emergency medical transport services such as Flying Angels who will handle everything from beginning to end so all you have to do is relax during your flight. Your doctor will let you know if he thinks you may need a travelling nurse to fly safely, or you may want one for your own comfort and safety.
Flying with a disability does not need to be hard as airlines and airports are extremely accommodating. Many airport minibus services are large enough for disabled passengers and there are plenty of options to guarantee your safety whilst you are in flight. You may not need a nurse to fly with you but you may want a travelling companion to assist you during flight.