Let’s be clear–flying is hard for people with disabilities. Sure, it’s a hassle for everyone, but there are many more considerations for people with disabilities. We have to call ahead to book our seats (for most airlines). We have to be physically lifted into our seats. We can’t use the bathrooms mid-flight. Our wheelchairs are likely to be damaged. And that is just the beginning of the list. With all of these hassles and hurdles, sometimes I don’t think even Ethan Hunt would accept the mission of making air travel wheelchair accessible.
Note: If Tom Cruise wants to tackle this mission, please contact me.
But flying is a necessary hassle, and the experiences gained from traveling are well worth it. Plus, the more we travel, the easier it becomes–both for us as individuals, but also as we educate crew, security, and other passengers on obstacles and solutions during the flight process.
To make your journey easier, I compiled relevant contact information, overviews of each airline’s ticketing process, and other tips, tricks, and tools that I find helpful when I travel.
- Overview of Wheelchair Accessible Flight Process (Booking to Deplaning)
- Airline Specific Information on Booking Accessible Services and Seat Assignments
- Sun Country
- Alaska Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Things that Make Flying with a Physical Disability More Enjoyable
- Handling Damage to Wheelchairs or other DMEs
- Filing a Complaint (e.g., wheelchair damage, long wait time for wheelchair, refusal to assign wheelchair seats)
Again–the more frequently people with disabilities fly, the more likely it is that we will see meaningful changes to make air travel that much more wheelchair accessible.