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TJ_ASG
4th July 2014, 08:32
We are looking to take a trip to Portugal. I need hoisting. Does anyone have any experience of transferring from own wheelchair to airport's?
Any other advice on European air travel gratefully received!

john
4th July 2014, 09:08
My wife and I went to Madeira several times as well as France and Spain after she became wheelchair bound. The airport staff could not be more considerate especially overseas. In the uk she was usually transferred from her chair to the plane via the scissor lift direct into the front seats usually. On arrival she was met by a member of their support personnel and transferred usually by lift and once in France by a special chair which could climb and descend the aircraft stairs. We usually got front row seats and no queuing to board the plane.
The airlines would carry anything including motorised wheelchairs, walking aids and turning devises . No additional charges were ever made and nothing failed to turn up. I think they usually required that the wheelchair should dismantle if it weighed over 50 kgs. I think generally this could be achieved simply by removing the battery compartment.
Go for it.
John

Maximas08
4th July 2014, 10:55
Hi,
I can only echo Johns comments. So far this year, I have been to New York, and Barcelona. On both occasions transfers on and off the plane were superb, with no issues. On boarding I was wheeled to the door of the aircraft and taken on in a special chair, this was done before anyone else boarded the plane. On arrival at our destination, we remained in our seats until all the other passengers has left, and I was again transported out of the plane in a special chair. I was then placed in my own chair which was waiting at the door of the aircraft. It couldn't have gone any smoother on both occasions. When checking in just tell the staff you need help getting to your seat and they will sort everything. I am off to France for three weeks in the next couple of weeks, and have taken the plunge and booked a Caribbean cruise for next February, which involves flying to Barbados. As John says… Go for it!… Enjoy,
take care, keep well,
Pete.

Big Steve
4th July 2014, 11:20
Hi Pete & John

I too am wheelchair bound and would love to travel abroad again. However, I have great concerns as to how I would access the toilet on a plane. I have zero leg function so getting in and out of the stand up coffins that are used as toilets on most planes are a no go. How did you guys manage??

Steve

Maximas08
4th July 2014, 11:59
Hi Steve,
the planes I have been on recently, have been kitted out for disabled users and have been bigger than the stand-up coffins you refer to. That said, I am unsure what provisions are in place to get a wheelchair users to and from the toilet. without going into too much detail!… I have mainly used the loo before boarding the plane, which is obviously fine for short haul flights. On a number of occasions we have rang the airline to clarify some issues before travelling, and they have been most helpful. This is maybe one route to follow prior to booking. We have also booked holidays through Thomas Cook, who have catered for my needs and dealt with any issues I have raised prior to making the booking. Again, this is another option to gain peace of mind. My thoughts are, if they are disabled friendly toilets, there must be something in place to allow usage by disabled people. I am sure if you look into it, your concerns will be addressed. Don't let it hold you back… Take care, keep well,
Pete.
l

john
4th July 2014, 13:40
Hi again Tessa,
I forgot to say that although my wife could weight bear they occasionally insisted on lifting her into and out of her aircraft seat. That was very professionally and painlessly dealt with by people who had obviously been trained.
On the question of loos we tended to go to them at the airport before departure. If you are unable to do that talk to your medical support team. There are temporary catheters I believe that you ca n use.
You can always talk to mnda connect who can probably advise.

John

TJ_ASG
4th July 2014, 20:05
We are going for it, as long as we can sort out carers, or it will not be a holiday for hubby.
Catheter already sorted!

john
4th July 2014, 22:01
Hi Tessa,
You did not mention loos but Big Steve did. Just general info. I hope you have a good time. The Portuguese are awesome and claim us as there oldest allies.

John

Terry
5th July 2014, 11:21
Do please have a nice time Tessa;

Try to relax and let them do the work on and off of the plan, Terry

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