Travelling is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, so it makes sense you’ll want to try it yourself – and there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t if you’re disabled. With so much to do and see, you’re likely itching to get out there. But, for some, there’s one obstacle preventing you from doing so – the plane journey.
With that being said, here’s how to enjoy a flight when travelling whilst disabled.
Make sure to let the staff know beforehand
It’s important the airline is aware of your disability and any requirements you may have before you. This is especially vital if you’re in a wheelchair, as staff will have to prepare to accommodate you and keep you safe whilst on board. You’ll need to let them know at least 48 hours before you board, otherwise your considerations may not be accounted for.
If you are wheelchair-bound, your own chair will have to be stored in the hold – but the staff will be able to provide an alternative. And, if you need assistance with certain tasks such as going to the toilet or eating, you will need to travel with a companion.
Bring some essential equipment on board
Make sure you’re clear on whether you can bring the things you require on board with you. You may run into some issues with customs, as due to security measures there are strict guidelines on what can be kept with you during the flight – make sure medication is clearly labelled, for example, with a doctor’s note to permit you to fly with it.
It’s worth getting in touch with the airline beforehand to let them know of any items you’ll need to bring on board with you, so that it avoids major complications on the day. The worst thing you want is to be refused to fly, so make sure you’re prepared and people know of your needs.
Perhaps take shorter connecting flights
If you feel like a long-haul flight isn’t exactly suitable for you, it may be worth considering the option of splitting the journey up into shorter, more bearable flights. Look to see if it’s feasible to stop off along the way, and which route follows the long-haul flight most closely.
This is a good idea if the flight doesn’t offer much in the way of accessibility, for example toilets that cannot accommodate you, or not enough room to comfortably have you on board for several hours. See if the airline can work out a way to split the journey for you, or even use comparison sites to work out the cheapest option for multiple flights. As an added bonus, layovers often work out much cheaper than one single, direct flight – so you could be getting the best of both worlds.
Liaise with your doctor before you go
Be sure to have a necessary conversation with your doctor beforehand to see just what you can do to have an enjoyable flight. There may be certain things you can bring to make it more comfortable or bearable – your doctor will be best for advice and tips on how to prepare.
There may even be some specialised equipment made for travel, so be sure to enquire. You’ll never know unless you ask.