Traveling in a wheelchair can seem daunting. However, while it’s a bit more of an involved process, don’t let this hold you back from taking that dream vacation or visiting relatives far away. Here are some tips on wheelchair transportation to help make sure your travels go smoothly.
How to Travel in a Wheelchair
1. Research First
Check reviews and ratings for the airline you plan to travel with to see what other wheelchair users have experienced. Read up on your rights, so you know what to expect before you go. The U. S. Department of Transportation gives a detailed breakdown of the Air Carrier Access Act, which outlines the prohibition of discrimination in air travel and ensures accessibility for wheelchair transportation. You should also see if there are flip-up armrests on the plane you’ll be taking, as these make for a smoother transfer from your chair to the seat. You can also call the airline and ask if you will be able to pre-board.
2. Plan to Get There Early
Airlines recommend you arrive an hour before the flight, but wheelchair users should double that for domestic flights and arrive even earlier for international flights. Long lines and security checks can be burdensome and lengthy, so plan accordingly. The TSA agents (Transportation Security Administration) may also decide to inspect your chair or medical supply bags. This can take some time, so be sure to account for these delays.
3. Mark Your Chair
Make sure to request a gate check label for your wheelchair and double-check to make sure the information is correct. Bring a label from home and attach that to your chair as well. Be sure it includes your name and phone number and add your destination for good measure. Wheelchair transportation can be stressful if you aren’t used to having your chair out of your sight and in someone else’s care. However, having two labels can give you peace of mind that even if one comes off, your chair will still be identifiable.
If you need a ride to the airport, Kingdom Transportation in Raleigh, NC, can help you get there. For over 15 years, they’ve been providing trusted and reliable non-emergency transportation to the Tri-State Area. They understand the particulars of wheelchair transportation and take care to ensure that you and your chair arrive at the airport safely and on time. Visit them online to learn more about their services or call them today at (919) 231-0707 to schedule a ride.