SMA News Forums Forums Our Community Adults ​With​ ​SMA Flying With My Wheelchair, For the First Time

  • deann-r

    June 24, 2019 at 11:06 am

    No tips as I have zero experience with this. Just wanted to say good luck and have fun!

  • tracy-odell

    June 24, 2019 at 11:53 am
    • Don’t forget to pack your charger.
    • Check that the outlet you use for your charger in your hotel room stays on when the room light is turned off. Otherwise, you will find yourself running out of power and wondering why.
    • Remove your seat cushion and keep it with you – either sit on it so your back is at a better height compared to the seat height of the plane seat, or if your feet don’t reach the floor, put it under your feet.
    • Remove anything from the chair that you can put into your onboard like each – like the control joystick. These are very vulnerable to being damaged.
    • Use a lot of zip ties to firmly attach wires to the chair. They can get snagged and torn off easily otherwise.
    • If your footrests are removable, put them in your luggage.
    • Use packing tape or electrical tape to tie down loose bits that stick out.
    • I don’t know if your airline has this service, but sometimes you can ask for a crate for your wheelchair to be transported. That protects it from a lot of damage from other things falling onto it in the cargo hold.
    • Don’t have anything to drink for at least 12 hours beforehand unless you have an easy way to use their washroom on board. Some airplanes apparently have wheelchair accessible bathrooms on board but they are quite small and you might not have room for someone to help you inside the bathroom.
    • Use the washroom as close as possible to getting onto the plane to buy you some extra time. After you land, you may find takes an extra 1 or 2 hours for them to get you off the plane, to your wheelchair, and then to an accessible washroom.
    • Have a list of wheelchair repair places handy available at your destination…just in case!
    • Enjoy the trip!
    • kevin-schaefer

      June 24, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Great tips! Thank you!

  • ryan-berhar

    June 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Good luck man. I would say just be as vigilant as possible about taking care of your chair. I know it’s out of your hands for the most part.

    • kevin-schaefer

      June 25, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks! And yeah, fingers crossed that the airline folks take proper care of it.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    June 25, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Kevin can you spend 12 hours without water?

    • kevin-schaefer

      June 25, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Hey Adnan. Well, it’s not that long a flight, but also I wear a catheter everyday. I never use public bathrooms. Thanks for your concern though. I appreciate it.