Touring along with your commode or shower chair entailing flying and having to take care of airline personnel and airport safety - Be ready! You're, most assuredly, going to be confronted with a number of potential obstacles. Initially, know your rights! There are quite a few sources obtainable on-line from which you will simply glean the specifics utilizing a key phrase seek for "airline and wheelchair". For our objective right here, nonetheless, suffice it to say that your moveable commode / shower chair is a "fragile medical machine" which must be "gate-checked" and isn't chargeable as passenger baggage. Having your wheelchairs "Gate-checked" signifies that you'll take your moveable commode / shower chair by way of Safety, to the gate, and into and down the jet-way. From there, it could both be saved on-board within the closet separating the first-class cabin from coach, or taken down beneath and saved along with your wheelchair within the cargo compartment. The latter methodology is much extra probably, today, as most airways, of their efforts to maximise income, have eradicated the aforementioned closure and changed them with extra seating. Ample on-board storage, nonetheless, could also be obtainable on a number of the bigger plane utilized in worldwide flights. Let's stroll by way of the method of efficiently gate-checking your moveable commode / shower chair at no cost:
Earlier than leaving dwelling, take the freedom of stuffing your moveable commode / shower chair carrying case first, with all your medical provides and second, with no matter clothes, or anything, you may squeeze in aside from vessels containing liquids or gels. As you'll not be charged for this explicit merchandise of bags, you might as effectively save your self a couple of extra bucks by filling it up.
Upon arrival on the airline's service desk, check-in with a consultant. Don't check-in electronically at a pc kiosk. Examine and, if required, pay in your common baggage. You'll be able to assessment a chart of all of the airways and their charges at backside of this text. Notice that Southwest Airways must be your most popular air provider as, of this writing, Southwest stays the one airline that doesn't cost in your first checked bag.
Fastidiously label and tag all your baggage and instruct the agent on the counter to give you gate-check (pink) tags for each your wheelchair and in your moveable commode / shower chair. If you find yourself instructed, (and extra probably than not, you'll be instructed), that it's a must to test your moveable commode / shower chair as common baggage, pay for it or are given a tough time for every other cause, it's time to get assertive. First, inform the Agent that you've at all times had your shower chair gate-checked. Second, inform the Agent that the case incorporates "delicate medical gear" which, if dropped, or if one thing is dropped on it, will end in harm requiring the airline to exchange a $ 2,000 wheelchair. I assure that you simply'll be handed a pink gate-check tag in a short time. Do you have to expertise any additional drawback (which I've not), demand to talk with a supervisor and take names.
Proceed to the TSA safety checkpoint. Inform TSA safety personnel that your case incorporates your commode / shower wheelchair and that it'll match, (albeit snugly), by way of the x-ray tunnel. Up to now, following many such safety checks, I've but to have my carrying case opened for inspection.
With the exhausting half behind you, proceed to your gate, check-in with the agent on the counter, make no matter seating modifications you need / they'll make and organize for an aisle chair to be obtainable, ought to one be required. When the Agent asks what's within the case, repeat but once more, "it's a fragile shower chair". You'll be raised forward of the opposite passengers. Airline personnel, for probably the most half, well-trained in dealing with disabled passengers, will help you down the jet-way alongside along with your moveable commode / shower chair, switch board and laptop computer pc. After they switch you to the aisle chair and on to the plane, they may stow each of your chairs. Just remember to take your wheelchair seat cushion on board as storing it within the non-pressurized cargo compartment might end in harm to the cushion. The froth cushions in your moveable commode / shower chair will retailer in cargo with none issues. Lastly, when making connections, ensure that each wheelchair and moveable commode / shower chairs are introduced up into the jet-way and that, a method or one other, that they accompany you to your connecting flight the place you'll have to repeat the boarding course of but once more.
Air journey for folks with disabilities is a problem and could be embarrassing and downright uncomfortable. Following the steps within the aforementioned course of won't change this reality, sadly, although it should make it rather less depressing.