Flying with a wheelchair can be stressful, but with some preparation and some tips, it can be a relaxing experience. Here are five tips your extended care services should help you make flying with a wheelchair more relaxing for you and your loved one.

Understand Your Rights

It would be best to be familiar with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prior to flying with a wheelchair. This law prohibits airlines from discriminating against passengers with disabilities and is enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for all flights to, from, and within the United States. The ACAA mandates that airlines assist passengers with disabilities in various areas, such as boarding, deplaning, making connections, and navigating between gates. 

Additionally, the law sets a time limit for helping wheelchair users disembark the plane and allows them extra time for boarding if required. By reading the ACAA, you can equip yourself with knowledge of your rights as a passenger and ensure that the treatment you receive complies with the law.

Communicate with the Airline

Communication is key when it comes to flying with a wheelchair. Before the flight, contact the airline to discuss any special needs or accommodations your loved one may require. This includes requesting a wheelchair, arranging for assistance navigating the airport, and discussing any necessary medical equipment traveling with your loved one.

It is also important to inquire about the airline’s policies on mobility devices. Some airlines require that the wheelchair be checked at the gate, while others allow the wheelchair to be stored in the cabin. Make sure to clarify these policies with the airline to ensure everything runs smoothly and smoothly on the day of the flight.

Pack Wisely

When traveling with a wheelchair, it is important to pack wisely. This means packing all necessary medical equipment and medications in a carry-on bag. It is also important to pack any personal items, such as a change of clothes or toiletries, in a carry-on bag, as checked baggage can sometimes be delayed or lost. If your loved one is under extended care services, ensure the staff has prepared everything they need.

If your loved one uses a power wheelchair, bring a backup battery and charger. It is also important to pack any necessary tools or equipment that may be required to repair the wheelchair in case of an emergency.

Arrive Early

Arriving ahead of time is crucial when flying with a wheelchair. This allows plenty of time for your loved one to navigate the airport and board the plane without feeling rushed or stressed. It also provides time for necessary accommodations, such as arranging wheelchair assistance or checking in the wheelchair at the gate.

That said, arrive two hours before your scheduled departure time to allow plenty of time to navigate security and other airport procedures. If your loved one requires additional time or assistance, consider arriving earlier to ensure a stress-free experience.

In Closing

Flying with a wheelchair can be a stressful experience, but with some preparation and helpful tips, it can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Plan, communicate with the airline, pack wisely, arrive early, and stay positive. With these tips, you and your loved one can enjoy a stress-free and memorable travel experience.

Let Our Resource Help You with Self-Sufficiency

As a residential agency, Extended Care is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals who receive home and community-based waiver services. Our primary objective is to deliver services that improve their well-being, foster independence, and create a secure living environment. Our program is structured to provide Residential Care, Pre-Vocational Services, Supported Community Connections, and Non-Medical Transportation. 

Each service facilitates personal growth, imparts life skills, and promotes community engagement. Learn more about our extended care services by clicking “Free Care Consultation” on our website today!