Checking in at the airport can be a harrowing experience, especially if you are a wheelchair user who may be having to haul additional luggage or travel with a service animal.
Tips for a smooth check in process:
Early, Early, Early – If you’ve followed advice for getting to the airport, you’re probably already ahead of schedule. Arriving early and thus checking in early are always smart ideas.
Check Seating – When you booked your flight, you probably asked for specific seating. You’ll want to double check this information at the check-in counter. If it’s wrong, or if your seat isn’t specified, speak up!
Assistance, Please – Avid traveler Mark Chilutti recommends the following: “Proceed to the lower level ticketing counters where you will see a sign for individuals with special needs to get to the front of the line.” Show your boarding pass and ID, and remind the employee of your need for assistance.
At the Gate – Once you arrive at the gate, you’ll need to check in there too. And another reminder of assistance is a good idea. Mark also recommends staying close to the gate once you’ve checked in there – this is a visual reminder to the employees that you will be the first one on the plane. Also, if you have a service animal, remind the staff that it is there to assist you and is not your pet.
Do you have airport tips that will help a wheelchair user navigate the check-in process? Let us know, and they might be featured on AbleThrive!