travel with a wheelchair

Old Sep 24, 18, 3:30 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 39
travel with a wheelchair

Walking to the gate in an airport has been difficult for me, hence I sometimes get wheelchair assistance from the airports.
I will be flying to HNL for vacation and am thinking to bring my wheelchair with me. Can I use my own wheelchair to the gate and then gate check the wheelchair? If so, what is the best way for me to "lock" the wheelchair at the gate so that it does not open by itself or make the wheelchair easier for the crew to handle?
My other option is to rent a wheelchair while in Hawaii and just ask for wheelchair assistance from the airport, but then I have a long layover and I hope to be able to go the lounge, hence I am afraid I may not be able to use the airport wheelchair.
annamom is offline  
Old Sep 24, 18, 2:37 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: DEN
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Welcome to the Disability Travel forum, annamom!

Yes, you will be able to use your own wheelchair to the gate, and it will be gate checked. You will need to get a gate check tag from the agent, just as parents with strollers and car seats do. Plan to take anything that can come loose with you onto the plane - that includes cushions, bags, footrests (if they detach), armrests (ditto). Put a luggage tag on your wheelchair.

My wheelchair is rigid, so I'm not necessarily going to have the best ideas about how to fasten a folding chair so that it will not come open, but it seems to me that an adjustable strap around back posts or the frame under the seat might do the trick. That said, I think most wheelchair users just fold the chair and don't worry about it.

A couple of other items to be aware of:
  1. if you pre-board with a folding chair, you may be able to get the chair stowed in the cabin if it fits into a closet. Ask the crew for this when you board.
  2. when you arrive at your destination, do not set foot off the plane until your chair has been brought to you at the door of the plane. If anything goes wrong and you are still on the plane, the crew cannot leave and are therefore more motivated to get things right. Once you're off the plane, you are no longer their problem.
Enjoy your vacation!
Katja is offline  
Old Sep 25, 18, 12:56 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: IAD
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Originally Posted by annamom View Post
Walking to the gate in an airport has been difficult for me, hence I sometimes get wheelchair assistance from the airports.
I will be flying to HNL for vacation and am thinking to bring my wheelchair with me. Can I use my own wheelchair to the gate and then gate check the wheelchair? If so, what is the best way for me to "lock" the wheelchair at the gate so that it does not open by itself or make the wheelchair easier for the crew to handle?
My other option is to rent a wheelchair while in Hawaii and just ask for wheelchair assistance from the airport, but then I have a long layover and I hope to be able to go the lounge, hence I am afraid I may not be able to use the airport wheelchair.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but I would use an adjustable strap. I have one with latches on both ends. I'm assuming you mean a manual folding chair. I don't use anything for my chair. I do remove the seat cushion, arm rests, and feet rests from the chair, ;put them in a special bag I carry, and then carry them on. The rest of the chair is unlikely to break so we just leave it at the aircraft door for them to gate check. On arrival, my wife puts the arms, feet rests and cushion back on for me when we get the chair back.
DeafFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 26, 18, 1:09 am
  #4  
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thank you for the suggestions.
annamom is offline  

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