Taking a trip should be enjoyable, but air travel as an amputee can be very stressful! The challenge for travelers with disabilities is to foresee their special needs and check carefully to ensure those needs are met every step of the way. Unfortunately, even when this is done, things don’t always turn out as anticipated. Travelers should know how to protest and assert their rights when things go wrong. Here are some tips and links for traveling as an amputee!
It is important to be prepared and to know what your airline offers! For example, when I fly Southwest I get to board first with no extra charge or pre-arrival work! With some airlines, you can “check” a disability assistive device for no extra charge!
One of the most frustrating parts of air travel for me involves TSA. I always allow for extra time because I know that I will need it to get through TSA. My leg always sets off the metal detectors, and then I have to be patted down. They swab my leg, my hands, and ask me a few questions. I usually leave my shoes on since they’ll be swabbing me anyway (they can’t make you take them off so make use of your disabled status!)
- If you need help getting on the plane and to your seat, you will need to request any necessary assistance when booking your ticket at least 48 hours prior to departure.
- Consider booking your trip through an experienced travel agency or a company specializing in disabled travel – their knowledge could be invaluable for ensuring your flight and accommodation needs are met.
|Accessible Journeys||35 West Sellers AVE|
Ridley Park, PA 19078
|Access Aloha||414 Kuwili ST STE 101|
Honolulu, HI 96817
|Flying Wheels||143 W Bridge ST|
Owatonna, MN 55060
|Easy Access Travel||5386 Arlington AVE|
Riverside, CA 92501
|Cruise Holidays||701 Carlson Parkway|
Minnetonka, MN 55305
|Gimp on the Go||4808 Moorland LN|
Bethesda, MD 20814
Toilets on planes are generally small and can be challenging for those with limited mobility, so for longer journeys, you may want to consider taking shorter connecting flights rather than one long-haul trip.
- Certified Assistance Dogs are permitted on most flights.
- If you will be bringing a wheelchair you will need to provide your airline with as much information about it as possible, including dimensions, type of wheelchair, number of batteries, type of battery and weight.
- Crutches, Canes, Walkers, & Scooters
- Casts & Support Braces
- Service animals
- Prosthetic devices & associated tools
- Assistive/adaptive equipment
- CPAP machines & respirators
- Medications & associated supplies
- Tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly
- All diabetes-related medication, equipment, & supplies
- Any other disability-related equipment & associated supplies
Read about Daily Struggles as an Amputee here.
At the airport
- Check in as early as possible to ensure you can secure the best seat for your needs.
- Give yourself plenty of time to reach the airport and your departure gate with time to spare. It may be worth arriving a couple hours early to anticipate delays.
- All passengers, including those with disabilities, are required to undergo security searches. You may wish to alert security staff of any specific medical needs prior to a security search.
- Wheelchair users will not need to pass through the metal detectors, but will instead be subject to a body search. Make sure to inform security of any painful or sensitive areas before they begin.
- They cannot require you to take your shoes off! They will most likely have to swab you anyway, so they can just swab your shoes too.
|10 Major Airlines|