Walking stick and or cane

Old Dec 7, 19, 11:49 pm
  #1  
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Walking stick and or cane

Can I take a collapsible walking stick thru tsa? On to the plane? Diagnosed with MD a year or so ago. Legs are a bit unsteady. Getting worse
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Old Dec 9, 19, 12:51 am
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Yes, you can. Also consider requesting wheelchair service to get you through TSA and to your gate to save your energy.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 12:51 pm
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Unfortunately in life, if something is getting worse, it may be wise to prioritize things. The places that you really want to see should be seen while legs are still somewhat steady. However, there are competing things for one's time.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 2:44 pm
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Thank you both for your comments.

I will check out the wheelchair posts to see how that works. Right now I can walk slowly, although a bit gimpy. If I fall I cannot get up without help...a person or a chair, table, pole whatever. Stairs are a real challenge..So on tour, long walk, etc I have started using a walking stick to help steady me. When our plane is late in for a transfer, I send my wife ahead to tell them we are here and I am coming. Long check in lines, TSA lines and luggage carry are a bit of an issue, getting worse. We try to do business fare and are looking into Precheck. UA usually gives us precheck anyway. Have UA and AA cc's for early boarding, but will soon be looking to go early with others having boarding issues.

We have been accelerating our travel to key destinations for a few years now, as problems existed before my diagnoses. Finished last continent with 3 countries in Africa and went to the Artic Circle Norway/Iceland area recently. Booked on a cruise to finish the last part of Australia (NW area) along with a short stay in Asia. Our jobs afforded us large amounts of miles and hotel points. They came at a time when bonuses, upgrades and status were really a part of travel. Now, not so much. Once retired most status dies quickly.

We hope to get fly back to Africa, do a bit of cruising and see Cape Town (sea life) early 2021 (Regent 7 Seas?).

Thanks to FT, we have been able to do a lot of travel quite efficiently. In the early days I was able to contribute a lot too.

Don't forget it is not just miles that run out, or money, it is body too...and mind. Places to go "give out" too, or at least get so crowd and touristy that visiting is hardly worth it. Safety is becoming a greater issue too.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 8:57 am
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Iíll encourage you again to take full advantage of wheelchair services while you travel. It will help both with managing your energy and fatigue levels, and with your safety.
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Old Dec 16, 19, 12:13 am
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Thank you

I went thru the Sticky link on Guide to Accessible Air Travel. For me most of the links would not work. Is it me, or are they no longer accessible?

Not sure of the category I fit in. WCHR or WCHS? Can walk a couple of blocks unaided if fairly flat, but slowly. Standing in place for very long is not easy (check-in, TSA, loading). Stairs with hand hold okay up, scary down (but possible).

Booked air with an online travel agent, as inclusively provided by the cruise line. SAN to LAX to HKG to Denpasar (Bali). Compass airlines (AS American Eagle)...the balance of the flights are on CX. Flights in business. Reasonable layovers. Traveling with wife, both of us 75. Will take Prime Time to SAN (Super Shuttle going out of business). Two large and heavy (45+lbs each) roller bags (to check) and two backpacks. Will be met at the Bali airport for transfer to hotel by motor coach by cruise line. Question: who do I tell and what do I say? Wheel chair and pusher from check in thru TSA and over to gate would be useful at LAX and perhaps between gates at HKG (if distant), then from plane in Bali thru whatever immigration and then on to baggage. Will have electronic, not hard copy tickets.

Return is SYD to Vancouver to SAN on AC (leg to SAN is AC Express-Jazz, if that matters' My walking stick is collapsible and will fit into, and protruding, in my backpack.

Sorry for all the detail, but I feel like a newbie with this disability having progressed to this level. Read the first 5 pages of posts on "disability travel", but still left me how to get started and fear of being stranded versus the risk of trip and damage on my own. Our experience, foreign and domestic, of getting on an ADA cart has been unfruitful. .Hopefully it will get easier to navigate the process next time.

Thank you all for your patience.
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Old Dec 16, 19, 8:28 am
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You can contact your airline and ask for wheelchair assistance. They will get you one, with a person who pushes cit for you. They will take you through security to your gate.

I don't know which code applies to you, but you must be clear when describing what you can do because if they misunderstand and give you the wrong code, it could impact your trip. I would try to learn the codes and decide which one applies to you rather than leaving it up to them. You know your needs better than they do.
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Old Dec 16, 19, 12:46 pm
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It's not you - I haven't gone through that sticky in a long time to make sure things are updated. I'll work on that.

DeafFlyer has good advice. I'd add that when you are considering what you can or cannot do, you should be as pessimistic as possible, and keep it very, very simple for the airlines. When you say, for example, "Stairs with hand hold okay up, scary down (but possible)", my advice is to translate that to "Cannot do stairs". No one at the airline is going to keep track of things like "3 steps is ok, but any more isn't". There will be no tests or challenges.

The 2 biggest questions that the special service codes are trying to answer are: can you get to the door of the aircraft unassisted (ie, stairs/ramp/jetway), and once at the door of the aircraft, can you get to your seat unassisted (slowly, if necessary, holding on to the backs of seats as you go) or do they need to break out an aisle chair to transport you from the door of the aircraft to your seat? I'm guessing from what you have said so far that you would benefit from wheelchair service to the aircraft door, but that you can walk to your seat.

You're doing great. Ask the cruise line agent if s/he will be notifying the airlines of your needs or if you should do it yourself. Even if s/he says they will, I'd suggest following up by phone with each airline. Finally, even if no one has contacted the airline, or the airline says they don't have record of a request, request wheelchair assistance as soon as you check in. It happens all the time, and they will scare up a wheelchair (and attendant) for you. In the US, the wheelchair pusher will generally take you to the gate and leave you there. In Europe, there's frequently a lounge/waiting area of some sort for disabled passengers, and they'll dump you off there and promise to come back for you when it's time to board your flight (and they usually do). I haven't been to HKG, but in Japan an airline employee meets you at the aircraft and takes you wherever you want to go.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 2:31 pm
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Thank you Katja. I will make the e-mail and calls right after New Years. Flight in Feb. Docs in a couple of days
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Old Dec 22, 19, 5:22 pm
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Separate and apart from all of that, yes, you may take a cane -- folding or not -- through the checkpoint. You may be asked whether you can make it through the mag on your own and thus run the cane through the machine. If not, either an Officer will separately check the cane or you will be asked to run the cane though the machine and TSA will provide you with its own cane for use as you walk through the mag (presuming Pre-Check). It's your choice.
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Old Dec 24, 19, 3:41 pm
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I'll join the others in encouraging you to use the wheelchair service - my husband needs it and it really eases the trip through the airport. I would recommend saying that you're unable to use stairsin anticipation of the rare situation where the plane lands at a remote gate - even though you have to wait for the transfer by special bus we've found we still get through immigration etc well ahead of the rest of the passengers. As Katja has recommended, always reconfirm the service directly with the airline a day or two ahead of your flight. I also take a copy of my reservation which shows I've requested this service - have had to use it on one occasion with Emirates when they claimed we hadn't requested assistance. Enjoy your trip, you'll find the airport transfers much less stressful.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 3:36 pm
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I'd like to add to this with some recent experience. My mother has similar sounding mobility issues. She can walk slowly with a walking stick and multiple stops to rest. She has difficulty with stairs but can navigate them if absolutely necessary (again slowly). Last year I took my parents to London for a vacation and did not think to get wheelchair assistance since my parents have never done so before. While checking in at LHR on the return, the check in agent saw my mother and recommended wheelchair assistance. His metric was whether she could deplane using the stairs rather than a jet bridge. I replied that she could if necessary and he said that meant no.

So we got the wheelchair assistance and it was a huge help for her to be wheeled around and then driven in a buggy to the gate. Since then, my parents have made sure to request wheelchair assistance in advance, so I definitely recommend it. Anything that helps make air-travel a slightly easier experience is good.

Originally Posted by Katja View Post
It's not you - I haven't gone through that sticky in a long time to make sure things are updated. I'll work on that.

DeafFlyer has good advice. I'd add that when you are considering what you can or cannot do, you should be as pessimistic as possible, and keep it very, very simple for the airlines. When you say, for example, "Stairs with hand hold okay up, scary down (but possible)", my advice is to translate that to "Cannot do stairs". No one at the airline is going to keep track of things like "3 steps is ok, but any more isn't". There will be no tests or challenges.

The 2 biggest questions that the special service codes are trying to answer are: can you get to the door of the aircraft unassisted (ie, stairs/ramp/jetway), and once at the door of the aircraft, can you get to your seat unassisted (slowly, if necessary, holding on to the backs of seats as you go) or do they need to break out an aisle chair to transport you from the door of the aircraft to your seat? I'm guessing from what you have said so far that you would benefit from wheelchair service to the aircraft door, but that you can walk to your seat.

You're doing great. Ask the cruise line agent if s/he will be notifying the airlines of your needs or if you should do it yourself. Even if s/he says they will, I'd suggest following up by phone with each airline. Finally, even if no one has contacted the airline, or the airline says they don't have record of a request, request wheelchair assistance as soon as you check in. It happens all the time, and they will scare up a wheelchair (and attendant) for you. In the US, the wheelchair pusher will generally take you to the gate and leave you there. In Europe, there's frequently a lounge/waiting area of some sort for disabled passengers, and they'll dump you off there and promise to come back for you when it's time to board your flight (and they usually do). I haven't been to HKG, but in Japan an airline employee meets you at the aircraft and takes you wherever you want to go.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 7:28 pm
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It sounds to me like you have the identical problem to my husband - he has myotonic dystrophy and while it can manifest in many forms, he has muscle weakness in the thighs which means he cannot go up stairs at all and has trouble rising from a normal height chair and if he falls, he is unable to get up unassisted.

I would definitely take advantage of any assistance you can get. We are going on a cruise in 2 weeks and I have organised a wheelchair transfer onto the ship for my husband. There is no way he could walk all the way onto the ship with luggage. I'm not sure how he would go on a plane unless he was in business class. Economy would be almost impossible as he has to lean forward at an almost 45 degree angle in order to push himself up.

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this diagnosis.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 12:50 pm
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While on this subject, what do you think is a sufficient tip to the person pushing the wheelchair in the US and UAE? $2 too low? $5 too much?
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Old Jan 18, 20, 3:56 pm
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Thanks all for your caring responses


xobile IF you scan down a few questions, you will find 5 pages on this tipping subject. If your answer is not there perhaps your post will get more attention there.
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