Have you been limiting your air travel due to a mobility impairment? These days there are laws that protect you as a disabled person to ensure you get appropriate service for your mobility needs while traveling, so people with mobility impairments are traveling like never before.
Airlines are setup to provide you with support service for your mobility needs providing you give them adequate notice — starting right when you buy your airline ticket. If you need any special equipment this can be arranged at that time.
Traveling by air may mean that even if you are normally independent you may need help. This is especially true if you cannot walk the long distances between airline gates if transferring to another plane. The airport has wheelchairs and staff to assist you, but again if you want swift hassle-free transfer between planes make sure to book the equipment in advance.
Airlines must carry your mobility equipment free of charge. Give the airline details of your mobility equipment when you book your flight so that they can arrange appropriate services.
There is no room inside the aircraft seating area to carry your mobility scooter, so your scooter will be stored in the storage hold of the plane. There are special procedures for preparing your mobility scooter or power wheelchair for flight.
Most of the time you should be able to stay in your mobility scooter or wheelchair until you reach the side of the plane. You will then need to transfer to a boarding wheelchair provided by the airline to get on the plane.
You’ll need to plan in advance which equipment you’ll need at different points of your flight. Especially if you are transferring between planes and can’t walk the long distances between planes. Talk to your travel agent about your whole trip and equipment you’ll need along the way.
Different airlines have different mobility policies. Your travel agent or airlines will tell you when you book your flight what information you need to provide.
Airlines do not provide full compensation for loss or damage to mobility equipment. So it would be wise to double-check that your home or travel insurance covers the cost of a damaged mobility scooter or power wheelchair.
For complete tips on mobility scooter travel by bus or plane check out my new book “The Secrets to Stress-Free Mobility Scooter Travel by Bus or Air“