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Thread: Flying with a wheelchair

  1. #1
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    Flying with a wheelchair

    Considering a holiday next year and love to hear feedback from folks who have flown, taking a powered wheelchair. Good and bad and recommendations for various airlines wd be helpful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I haven't but a friend of mine who flew to Tenerife via Easyjet had a horrific time - she arrived but her wheelchair didn't.

    Here's her story https://lorrainegradwell.wordpress.c...-come-easy-go/

  3. #3
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    I've flown plenty of times using a manual and powerchair. One two occasions the manual chair ended up damaged. Interestingly on both occasions it's was the same airline, flying into the same airport. On the first the chair was repaired locally but on the second it was returned home.

    I've had no issues using the powerchair but I tend take a hired one just in case, leaving my own at home.

    You'll find that the larger aircraft types tend to make it easier. There access to the hold is larger so they don't have any issues putting the chair in. Smaller aircraft have more limitations. In my experience they put the chair in its own storage case so the risk of damage is lower.

    Obviously there are limitations on the type of battery they will carry and the chair must have some power cut off, so you can isolate the battery. I purchased an isolation switch which you can plug into the power charging socket, cost was about £15 but it's not a requirement.

    With regards to airlines, well I find Virgin are very good.

    Key thing is to check out the information posted on each individual airlines website and call them as soon as possible. Make sure you have all relevant information regarding the chair, some have a database of makes etc whilst some require information on weight, size and battery type. Keep this information handy when you get to the airport as you may be asked by the checkin staff. Also make sure any required assistance is booked, for example carry on assistance.

    Whenever I fly I always register for any bonus points system. I had free flights in the US with United and I currently have enough for a transatlantic flight with Virgin.

    Good luck with your search
    Last edited by vantage; 11-11-2017 at 06:41 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Alcudia wheelchair hire Mallorca. Would highly recommend them if you go there. Excellent service,met me getting there and before I left on time both times and reasonable prices. English guys too so easy to deal with.

    Oh forgot! The holiday company met me at the airport both ways with a manual chair and straight through both times too.
    Last edited by terry01; 11-12-2017 at 09:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Of course there's flying with a wheelchair, and then there's.....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by nukecad; 11-12-2017 at 10:08 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I think the best way is to pre-book the hire of a scooter or electric wheelchair at the resort. I did when I visited Paphos in Cyprus. They delivered and took back the hire wheelchair from our holiday let.

    If you plan on holidaying in Tenerife I'd recommend using Accessible Travel especially the Mar Y Sol, Los Cristianos in Tenerife. It's a fully accessible hotel/apartments that uses small buses with tail lifts for excursions and airport runs. Great area too.

  7. #7
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    Only issue with hiring a powered chair at the resort, which may not be a concern for some but would be for me, is the loss of independence at the airport.

    Would I want to sit in the accessible waiting area for hours waiting for someone to wheel me down to the gate? In my case no, I tend to make use of the lounges and make my own way to the gate.

    Without the powerchair at the airport I would certainly be losing out.
    Last edited by vantage; 11-15-2017 at 01:22 PM.
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  8. #8
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    Sometimes you have to make small sacrifices. I had my partner with me at the airport so she pushed me and I self propelled some too. Would I rather have had a power hair at the airport? No! I'd rather have been walking but "hey ho"

    I have the benefit of not being totally confined to my chair,I can move a little. We're all different but I just adapt where I need to and make the most of it. It could be worse....you could be stuck at home

  9. #9
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    You are right terry but for me there is no sacrifice to make. Having the powerchair at the airport isn't a hassle. You just need to plan and ensure the airline have all the required information. My partner has in the past also pushed me, but I'd rather not need her to do that, especially at some airports where the distances can be huge.
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I prefer to use wheelchair assistance that I arrange in advance. You're the first on the plane and the last one off. However, if assisted they take you through a rabbit warren of corridors as a short cut - through passport control for just you. At the conveyor belt they'l collect your luggage and take you outside to the taxi-rank and you'l get the next taxi available. When I visited New York I was the last off our plane and the first one to leave the airport in a Yellow Cab. There are some advantages to being disabled!

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