Air travel can be a very tricky affair if you're a wheelchair user. Families have shared some of their tips on how they face flying.
Tips from parents:
- Powered wheelchairs can have different types of batteries. If yours is a wet acid battery, find out if it needs to be disconnected and placed in a special container by baggage handlers. This can take time so get to the airport early!
- A lot of modern powered wheelchairs have a safety battery so that they can be safely carried but these too need to be disconnected and capped to reduce risk of shorting. Your child may have to use a special aisle wheelchair when boarding a plane. If you have instructions for your wheelchair take a copy with you.
- Think about removing any detachable parts, cushions and any other equipment. Take them into the cabin with you. A large plastic bag could come in handy to carry all of these.
- Label your chair and all other items clearly.
- Make sure your insurance covers damage to your wheelchair.
- If your chair might need disassembling in any way to fold or get into the small opening for the hold, your wheelchair instructions could be very useful. Remember that the crew at the other end will not have seen how the chair was disassembled or folded at the starting point.
- Have a look at the government's advice on air travel