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travelers with disabilities

Must-know airline info: Tips for travelers with disabilities

  • By Bob.K
  • Travel Tips

Generally disabled people are scared of flying, or of traveling in general. More than anything, they fear discrimination even though they should be treated just like any other passenger. Next, you can find some must-know airline info: tips for travelers with disabilities, because you should get well informed before flying, more so than a person without disabilities.

Choosing your flight
Generally, only poorly informed people have a bad experience while flying. You should know that all airlines are doing their best to make disabled people comfortable while on board. Sadly, not all aircrafts are equipped or can handle a person in a wheelchair. This is why at times these passengers are turned away from boarding. This means that the day before your flight, you should call your airline and inform them of your disability. The personnel will be able to assist you better if they know your needs. Additionally, you can be sure you will be able to reach your destination on time. Remember that some disabilities don't require notifications, therefore turning you away would be without a base.

Needing an attendant
Not all disabled people an attendant, but it depends on each case and on the severity of the illness causing disability. It is best to notify the airline if you plan on having someone helping you out on the plane. At times, you might consider you can travel by yourself, but the staff might think otherwise. In this case you might ask another passenger to volunteer to help you out, or if there is any crew member flying but off-duty, they might be able to offer assistance. Just remember that the airline is under no obligation to provide a personal attendant if you don't have one, but you need one.

Medical certification
Many airline personnel will ask for a certification from a doctor saying that it is OK for you to fly. Generally, there are rare cases in which this certificate is needed, yet the staff will ask for one regardless. If you want to be on the safe side better bring one because everyone's safety will come first. If you have a service dog, make sure it has a certification from a mental health care provider, especially if it's for emotional support. Remember that you might be asked some questions by the staff to ensure you're not trying to bring your pet on board, which is not allowed.

Passing through security
This must be a nightmare for any passenger, let alone one with disabilities. People in a wheelchair are more likely to pass through a pat-down if they cannot stand for some 7 seconds for the usual screening. Some disabled people will trigger the alarm of the screening gates while others won't, however the triggered alarm ensures a pat-down just like for any other passenger. Those who do not trigger the alarm do not need additional checking. Some folks might require assistance up until boarding the plane and may have a relative helping out. The assistant should get a permit allowing them to pass through security while aiding you.