Flying the Unfriendly Skies

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Old Dec 15, 17, 5:35 pm
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Flying the Unfriendly Skies

Lengthy article in New Mobility magazine this month about flying while disabled, especially with a power chair: Flying the Unfriendly Skies - New Mobility
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Old Dec 16, 17, 1:35 am
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Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Lengthy article in New Mobility magazine this month about flying while disabled, especially with a power chair: Flying the Unfriendly Skies - New Mobility
Thanks for posting that link. I read that earlier this week and would have shared it but I'm simply not in that camp. I have a feeling a lot of people here are going to pile on with the "me too" stories and just wanted to be the first one to share that the airlines' handling of my power chair has really been exemplary. In over 10 years and for over 800,000 miles and 100s flights on nearly 20 airlines on six different continents my three different power chairs have never been damaged to the point of inoperability or even inconvenience. A lot of scratches and broken plastic parts that have been easily repaired once I got home but have been fortunate that I've never had a trip interrupted due to the airlines mishandling of my wheelchair. My worst experience was returning home after a trip to Africa and once I arrived in Miami I found out that my wheelchair was still in London. Fortunately I had a backup chair at home and my wheelchair finally showed up three days later. Definitely would've been a major issue if it had occurred on the outbound portion of my trip, but it didn't.

I have tremendous issues with the airlines regarding boarding, seating, deplaning, and wheelchair return policies. My current crusade is addressing the total inaccessibility of the airlines' "suites" that they are installing in business class. They have become so private that there's no way to transfer from an aisle chair, yet to comply with the ACAA they actually have movable armrests. It's amazing!

Just wanted to share my positive experience regarding the handling of my wheelchair by so many airlines and so many flights. Yes, we do exist.
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Old Dec 16, 17, 9:56 am
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I basically agree - I've been a booster of how improved the airline treatment of wheelchair users and equipment has been in the last decade or so. But I know that people's equipment still sometimes gets trashed, and that there's still a ways to go in ensuring that boarding/deplaning are safe, especially for people with higher level injuries or a greater degree of disability. I don't want to fall into the trap of believing that because my experiences (as a manual chair user) have been generally good, everyone's experiences are.

It's also interesting to see that some of these efforts to get a chair tie down certified for air travel are starting to get some traction.
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Old Dec 16, 17, 11:42 am
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As one who did file a complaint with the DOT, I agree with this article about the lack of accountability. The complaint process does not work. Itís pretty much a waste of time. That needs to be done. I do agree that damage seems to be rare, but itís bad enough to scare me away from flying sometimes. Sometimes I have no choice. At those times I always chicken out and bring my manual chair. I have never been able to go ahead and travel with my piwerchair. If I had a backup, I would go for it. Iím not sure that I would want to fly in my chair. As in vans, I prefer to use the seat in the car rather than use my cha
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