Traveling can become a bit of a chore, especially for physically challenged people. However, experience is an effective teacher to help these people learn how to handle flights, follow custom procedures, and any other aspects before flying into another country. Here are some important travel tips for people with disabilities down below.
Book Ahead of Time
- It’s always a good idea to book flights in advance. Calling the airline directly is advisable too to ensure that disabled-related requirements will be met. Don’t forget to ask the name of the airline personnel each time you talk to one and record everything he/she says.
Secure Airport Transportation
- It’s better to book a taxi or van that can take you to and from an airport. In the US, some taxi companies offer this free of charge for PWDs. Don’t forget to book one of these in advance to avoid frustration and hindrances when the day comes.
Early Bird Gets the Worm
- Itinerary usually puts the estimated time when your flight will arrive and depart. But the best thing you can do is to go to the airport as early as one hour than normally advised. This gives you time to make accommodation matters and to avoid security delays once there.
Consider Varying Your Flight Lengths
- This will depend on what kind of disability you have. Choose flights that are shorter than the other. Some people can feel uncomfortable to long flights especially on planes with inaccessible toilets. Opting for a shorter flight is your best bet.
Explore the Airport
- Once you arrive at the airport, make sure to familiarize every nook and corner of it so you won’t get lost along the way. It’s also ideal to bring a bedpan or carry-on urinal with you especially if you are a wheelchair user to cut down times looking for a bathroom.
Ask for Assistance
- Ask airport personnel for assistance if you need help how to be lifted if needed in enplaning and deplaning. However, bringing a personal assistant with you is the best choice to avoid airport hassle.
Bring the Essentials
- Don’t forget to bring any of your essential supplements or meds to take with you. If you want to eat at the airport, don’t forget to set up special dietary requirements that you can show to airline personnel so he/she can check what’s in your food before consuming it.
Special Seats is a Must
- Request for a special seat ahead of time such as the bulkhead seat especially if you are wheelchair-bound. Keep in mind that not all seats have movable armrests.
- Before anything else, it’s better to research ahead of time about border patrol and customs screening at the airport if ever you have difficulty communicating in person. Jotting down your questions on a piece of paper that you can show to airline personnel will help.