Are Planes actually accessible when travelling with a disability?
Airplane travel and disability
If you have a mobility issue or are registered as being disabled and wish to travel via airplane, you should be aware that you will not be restricted in doing so and that there is a lot help in place to ensure the process of flying with a mobility scooter or wheelchair is easy and comfortable. Airlines and airports all have different facilities for the disabled and we hope that our post will help you to gain a little added insight into the subject so that you can navigate your way to your next holiday destination with ease and confidence.
Before you fly
Be sure to inform your airline that you have a disability at least 2 days before your departure day if you need any help at the airport. Similarly get in touch with the airport to clarify if they have disabled access, parking and toilet facilities. This should be quite easy information to get hold of and most airlines allow you to ‘tick a box’ during registration to what assistance you will require.
In all European airports you have the right to get certain types of help regardless of whether you have a physical, sensory or learning disability. These airports will be able to help you with getting to the check in counter to check in, help with moving about the airport and help at arrival points that involve interchanges, terminal entrances or transport.
Wheelchairs on the plane
The process to getting on and off the plane is carried out my the airport – not the individual airline. So if you are paying £20 with Ryanair or £1500 flying to Dubai the process of getting on and off will most likely be the same. Although the comfort of the seat when you are on the plane may differ! It’s usually ‘ok’ and the ambulift gets you to the level and if you can walk a little you can then walk down the aisle, if not you transfer into an ‘aisle chair’ which has small wheels and fits down the aisle. 9 times out of 10 the process of boarind is great – jump the ques and help is offered if needed.
For those who are not self-reliant, it will be imperative that you have a travel companion accompany you on your flight. A companion is needed for those that have trouble feeding, using medication and using the toilet independently. Be sure to contact your airline at least 48 hours before your flight in order to get the staff to arrange the two of you to sit next to each other (this shouldn’t be a problem).
Airport escorts are readily available in most airports and should provide a qualified employee to allow an un-ticketed parent or helper to help guide someone with a disability through security.
Those with disabilities are able to travel with an assistance dog but will need to follow some rules in order to be able to do so. Be sure to enquire before you travel for more specific details.
Travelling with a disability should not limit your opportunities but expand them. With a little careful planning and a few phone calls, you are sure to have an amazing travel experience. If you are travelling to the States, be sure to apply for an ESTA visa in good time before you go here:
It essentially grants you permission to enter the country after conducting a background check.