People with disabilities can face challenges when it comes to traveling even though the Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees equal treatment. Over the last two posts we offered travel tips and some may be especially helpful when it comes to traveling outside of the United States where the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply. We will finish the travel tips discussion in this post.
When it comes to scheduling to flights, try to avoid layovers and connecting flights. Though wheelchairs are a common sight at airports, wheelchairs are the last item to be checked and the first item to be taken out of cargo. The process can create additional stress and hassle. Direct flights can reduce the need to load and unload wheelchairs multiple times. However, multiple shorter flights might be preferable if accessing the bathroom on the plane is difficult. If so, be sure to allow sufficient time in-between flights. Ninety minutes between flights is recommended.
Be sure to allow for plenty of time for check-in, security and getting to the gate. It is recommended to arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international one. Once at your gate or onboard the plane take time to check-in with a flight attendant in order to coordinate a plan for exiting the plane upon landing.
Remember to make plans for transportation to and from the airport. If traveling with a wheelchair and depending on the destination, advanced arrangements may have to be made in the destination city for a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Finally, be aware of the Transportation Security Administration’s rules for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. A guide can be found on the TSA’s website.
Source: today.msnbc.msn.com, “Paving the way for travelers with disabilities,” Oct. 11, 2011