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Thread: Flying - Rollators and manual wheelchairs

  1. #1

    Flying - Rollators and manual wheelchairs

    May I pick the communal brains yet again?

    Up to now I've flown using wheelchair assistance from check-in to the plane, having managed to get into the airport on crutches. Fairly soon I can foresee I'm going to need a walker or perhaps a manual wheelchair as soon as I get to my destination.

    Is it possible to take a walker or manual chair as hold baggage - would they survive? Do you need to tell the airline in advance?

    Grateful for any advice!

    Doug

  2. #2
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Yes, Doug, it's definitely permissible to bring mobility aids with you on an aeroplane and it does not count towards your luggage allowance, even on the budget airlines.

    You *must* inform your airline in advance and they'll have regulations re max weight, folded or collapsed dimensions etc.

    They'll store a manual wheelchair in the hold but you generally can use it (as opposed to an airport chair) to the aircraft door, same for a rollator but some larger aircraft may store it onboard.

    Aircraft usually, but not always, have their own narrow-ish onboard wheelchair to transfer you from the aircraft door to your seat, if you cannot get to it unaided.

    So, the message is: ring the airline, tell them what you're bringing and arrange the special assistance! (Know their weights and collapsed dimensions before you ring)

    Are you bringing any medical equipment or meds?

    Love Ellie.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Kayleigh's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,

    I don't have experience of travelling by air with mobility equipment but there is some information on the caa website that might be useful (and there should also be information on each airline's website):-

    https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/PRM...cal-equipment/

    Love Kayleigh x

  4. #4
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    Hi Doug,

    I have flown several times with my mobility scooter, walker and manual wheelchair. Under EU law they are obliged to take both free of charge. However some airlines only have space for a given number of powerchairs or scooters so it might be a problem if you book last minute.

    I drive onto the ambulift and then transfer from my scooter to an aisle wheelchair and then from that to my seat. We have flown several times with Ryanair and I ring the special assistance helpline when booking and then the day before just to check. It's cheaper though to then book online and ring back the helpline.( we leave a couple of hours free!!!)

    They have the details of my scooter on their system but I usually go over it with them. They want all the dimensions and all the details of the battery so have your manual handy when you book. I haven't flown with my new salsa yet although I am assured it is airline friendly. I have watched baggage handlers be less than careful with mobility equipment but it is covered on their insurance.

    I have found the special assistance to be really good and although I am always anxious it fades away when I am in the sun with a glass of something.

    Happy travelling and Good Luck. We have flights booked on Friday and are debating whether I am still too sore after my fall or whether we should just go for it!

    Love Debbie x

  5. #5
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Oh no Debbie, I'm sorry you're still sore

    Is it your leg that's the problem?

    I do hope it won't stop you travelling - if the actual plane journey is OK, you may as well be sore away as sore at home?? (my very simplistic view!!)

    Love Ellie.

    PS. Sorry Doug X

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much Ellie,

    Its ligaments apparently, on the mend but it just hurts when I cant stretch my leg out, like on a plane. I think I am going to " man or woman up " and go for it. Your view is great not simplistic because when we're there its home from home !

    Love Debbie x

    PS I am sure Doug won't mind as you sent him a kiss and here's one from me x

  7. #7
    Many, many thanks folks!

    Incredibly helpful as always.

    Thank you for the link Kayleigh - your web sleuthing powers are terrific.

    Thanks for all the info Ellie. I can see I'll need to decide what to take, measure it and tell the airline. No, I don't expect to be needing to take any meds (other than Riluzole) with me, or equipment. At least I sincerely hope not!

    What I have in mind is a flight out of Heathrow to Hamburg in September, but then a train journey to a meeting in Kiel. I should be travelling with colleagues.

    Thank you too for the kisses Deb and Ellie - they are genuinely therapeutic and much appreciated.

    Doug

  8. #8
    Forum Member
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    Good morning Doug. If you are in a wheelchair, don't forget you might need a ramp to get on and off the train. You might need to book that in advance.

  9. #9
    Thanks Miranda

    That's a very good point. I'm most grateful.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Forum Member Barry52's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,

    You have had excellent advice from our members and as a regular air traveler I offer my experiences.

    It is the airport ground crew who are responsible for assisted travel and some airports are better at it. My experience in order of best assistance is.
    1 Heathrow
    2 Birmingham
    3 Stansted
    4 Luton
    5 East Midlands

    If you use a walker then when you are directed to airport assistance say you want to have help from the departure gate. The reason I say this is that often the assistance pick up area is busy with passengers flying to many destinations and you can find yourself in a queue waiting for help. I have been in this situation and ended up late for departure. They won’t go without you because you have checked in but it doesn’t half raise the anxiety levels.
    At one time the wheelchairs, walkers and pushchairs used to come off the conveyor with suitcases but this was causing damage so they now come into a separate area which can be distant from your luggage. Last week on arrival at Rome we spent 3 hours in the airport searching for my walker and whilst the assistance staff were very helpful it did not fill me with joy, especially with our transfer waiting.
    We discussed travel with some German people and they talked about rail travel in Germany. Alighting a train is challenging but if you contact the rail company they will organise ramps.
    Enjoy your holiday Doug and to anyone reading this don’t be put off by the challenge of travel as we all deserve to have the same rights as able bodied people.

    Barry
    Iím going to do this even if it kills me!

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