Disability Travel - foldable walking cane on US domestic flights
Apr 17, 11, 5:46 pm
On my last trip to the US, I carried a normal walking cane but this time, I am thinking of taking a foldable one because it offers me more flexibiltiy. I am alright without it for short walks on a flat surface (inside buildings) but need it for longer walks like at airports, or to navigate slopes, stairs, rugged, uneven surface, or to get onto any raised surfarce like walking platforms etc.
Are folding canes ok to take on board either in my hand or inside my hand luggage?
Thanks so much for your help.
Apr 18, 11, 5:37 am
There should be no problems with a folding cane. Remember to ask an FA to help you with stowing it in the overhead or a closet *after* other passengers have finished putting their luggage in. And remind them you will need assistance getting it back after take off, then will need to stow it again before landing.
Apr 18, 11, 8:31 am
I only use a folding cane. It is much easier to manage on a plane than a regular cane. Often I fold mine and slip it into the carry-on under the seat so it is available to me if I wish to leave my seat on the plane. I also like to fold it when I am dining in a restaurant or any other place where a cane on the floor could cause someone to trip.
You will have absolutely no problem with a folding cane on an airplace.
Apr 19, 11, 1:06 am
That's great! Thanks Barberio and Fryingfran.
On the topic of stowing, when I used a non-folding one, I have had it dropped on my head a few times on the plane by other passengers opening the overhead locker and accessing their luggage and belongings. I think if I ask FA for help, she will know how to stow it better so that it won't happen. The idea of putting it in my carry on under the seat is great. That way I won't have to wait for someone to help me.
Fryingfran- I have had that problem many times too. Mainly at restaurants and cafes but I am a student and I have trouble with it falling down in classes and in libraries and potentially blocking someone's way or worse, tripping someone. Which is why I am so happy about my new folding stick. It fits into my handbag even. :)
Apr 20, 11, 7:02 am
I'm a folding cane only person too, and I generally fold mine and put it in the seat-back pocket in case I need to get up during the flight ... I've never had any trouble with it onboard.
Just as an aside on this subject ... does anyone else find it amusing how many times you get asked "do you need the cane to walk with" when going through security ? I'm guessing the answer "do you reckon I'd have it if I didn't actually need it" won't go down so well !!
A cane-falling-down tip - if you're in a situation where you lean the cane against a wall, turn it upside down and lean it against the wall with the rubber tip up. It won't slip and fall.
Apr 22, 11, 8:48 am
Just a warning about storing anything personal in the seat back pocket. It is, according to a recent flight attendant, a violation of FCC policy to put personal items in the seat back pocket. I still stick a magazine in there now and then, but I would not put my cane there. I am sure I would be asked to move it prior to take-off; although I do acknowledge that this is a convenient location.
Apr 22, 11, 10:24 am
When I used a cane (not folding), I always liked it when I got a window seat because I could slide the cane between the seat and the wall and didn't have to get someone to put it in the bin.
Apr 23, 11, 8:42 am
Most folding canes are held together with a large rubber band. If that breaks......
It can happen.
The last time I traveled with a folding cane, it broke mid trip. Never trusted one again.
Apr 23, 11, 10:37 am
My first folding cane had a piece of velcro on it so I could wrap it around the cane and keep it closed. That cane has long been retired, but I still purchase a piece of velcro and glue it on my replacement canes. It is much safe than the rubber band, and eliminates the need to carry the little plastic case.
Apr 27, 11, 9:19 am
You can search a bag developed by a polio survivor, intended to lean on and walk without having cane and bag on both hands.
Just google "Etsuo Miyoshi" or "walkinbag".
I had a seamstress sew a fabric version of the plastic bag the folding cane came in and added a medium-sized metal eyelet to the top of the bag. Therefore when I am seated (restaurants, movie theaters, public transport) I can store the folded cane in its bag and hang it from the table with a purse-hook or an S-hook. In addition to the eyelet, I also have a small loop sewn to the bag (similar to a tiny belt loop) so I can roll the bag up and attach it to the cane with the velcro strap used to keep the cane folded-up.
Flight attendants seem to really like the bag as it ensures that the cane won't accidentally pop open during flight and become a trip hazard for other passengers. Likewise most of them are okay with storing it under the seat or sometimes even in the seat pocket.