Travelling By Air
If you are travelling by air, again planning is vital. Always let your airline, travel agent or tour operator know if you need any extra help at the airport or on the plane. Also, do this at least 48 hours before you fly so that there is time to organize the help you need.
If you use a wheelchair, due to air safety regulations, you will not be able to use it in the passenger cabin of a plane. The point when you change chairs varies between airports depending upon whether there is a tunnel to the plane when you will be able to use your own wheelchair to the door of the plan or whether the plane is parked further away when you may have to make the transfer into a boarding chair or on-board wheelchair at the departure gate. In any event the airline stewards are there to help and guide you but, if you are travelling alone, you must be capable of moving yourself from your seat to an on-board wheelchair as, for safety reasons, cabin crew are not allowed to lift passengers in and out of seats.
If you are not capable of moving yourself or need help with personal care, for safety reasons, you will be required to travel with a companion. If the airline requires you to have a companion, they may be able to offer a reduction for the second ticket. You may be asked to provide medical proof of your need to travel with a companion and you should ask the airline or your travel agent what information they need in order for you to receive the reduced fare. It could be a letter from your doctor or a copy of your Blue Badge permit.
- assistance to reach check-in
- facilities to summon assistance at designated arrival points, such as at terminal entrances, at transport interchanges and in car parks
- help with registration at check-in
- assistance with moving through the airport, including to the toilets if required
- help with getting on and off the plane
- free carriage of medical equipment and up to two items of mobility equipment
- a briefing for you and any escort or companion on emergency procedures and the layout of the cabin.
- help with stowing and retrieving baggage on the plane
- assistance with moving to the toilet on the plane (some planes will have an on-board wheelchair)
- someone to meet you off the plane and help you reach connecting flights or get to the next part of your journey
Visit the websites of the airports you will be using so that you can find out the layout of the places and where the things you will need are situated. If you have any concerns contact the airport directly to iron out the problems and arrange any extra help ready for when you arrive.