People often say that traveling is all about the journey and not the destination, but for wheelchair users, navigating air travel is often more of an adventure than they would like. Rolling through large crowded airports, hauling luggage, waiting in long lines, receiving a pat down, being strapped into a tiny aisle chair and then sitting for hours unable to move is exhausting. We’ve learned that the best way to circumvent some of the inevitable issues is to know what to expect, and prepare accordingly.
Before clicking the purchase button, even seasoned travelers should review the airline’s policies regarding passengers with disabilities. John Morris, a triple amputee who has flown more than 850,000 miles in the past five years, writes about accessibility for his website WheelchairTravel. He discovered, after reading AirAsia’s website, that he cannot fly with the airline because his battery-operated wheelchair weighs more than the airline allows. When choosing a seat, Mr. Morris prefers a window to avoid being crawled over by other passengers. Other travelers, particularly those who cannot transfer from a wheelchair to their seat independently, may prefer the aisle seat. The roomier bulkhead seating might be an option for some, just be aware the armrests do not raise.