Air Travel Tips for Wheelchair Users


It’s the holiday season, which means people will be travelling all over the country (and in some cases, the world) to visit their family and friends. It’s a time to be happy, eat amazing food and for those who live far away from their loved ones, dealing with the rush at the airport.

It’s rare to find people who legitimately like air travel during the holidays, but it doesn’t have to put a damper on your trip. For those of you who will be flying this year rather than travelling by your accessible vans, follow these tips to make your holiday trip as stress free as possible.

Understand the Law

Everyone is protected by the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, which protects people with physical and mental disabilities. It makes it illegal for airlines to discriminate against anyone with a disability.

There are many rules and regulations that airlines must follow when it comes to wheelchair users. There are also certain accommodations that must also be provided to you by law. Take a look at the full text of the law to familiarize yourself with the rights you have when you travel.

Leave Yourself Plenty of Time

The holidays are a hectic time at the airport. While the transportation security administration and most airlines recommend that travelers get to the airport more than two hours in advance, wheelchair users may want to add even more time to this recommendation. Getting through security can be a hassle, and it’s always better to wait at the airport for your flight than to miss it entirely.

Contact Airlines Ahead of Time

It never hurts to give the airline a call ahead of time so that you can inform them of what you or your family member will need to make their trip more comfortable and less stressful. Call at least 48 hours in advance so that the airline has plenty of time to make any extra accommodations well in advance.

Do a Wheelchair Maintenance Check

When was the last time you checked your casters? How about your tires? You want to make sure that your wheelchair is travel ready before you make the trip. Make sure to bring any spare parts and tools that you may need in case something goes wrong with your wheelchair while on the way to your destination.

Do you have any air travel tips that you have learned in the past? Share them with the community by commenting below!

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