You’ve decided it’s time for a vacation. You’ve chosen your destination and the dates you want to travel. Now it’s time to book your flight.
What to keep in mind for wheelchair users booking a flight:
1. Allow Plenty of Time – If getting to your destination requires you to switch airplanes, wheelchair traveler Mark Chilutti recommends allowing at least 90 minutes between your connecting flights. “If you are in a wheelchair,” shares Mark, “you are the first one on the plane and the last one off the plane.”
2. Communicate with the Airline – If you book your flight online, be sure to include that you will need assistance getting on and off the plane. It’s also a good idea to follow up with a phone call to the airline to make sure the have documented your need for assistance.
3. Choose Your Seat Wisely – During your follow up phone call to the airline, discuss seating options. You may want to also follow Mark’s advice: “Often the airline will offer the first row in coach (also known as the “bulkhead row”), but I try to avoid it whenever possible. The armrests in those seats do not lift up, and it would require two people to lift me into my seat. I prefer to sit in the 2nd or 3rd row because the armrests on those chairs will lift up, making it very easy for me to transfer over to the seat.”
Do you have additional travel tips for wheelchair users? Send us your tips, and they might be featured on AbleThrive!