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Last Updated on September 29, 2013


Despite the fact that flying has become more closely associated with inconvenience and hassle over the past several years, it is still the public’s preferred mode of long-distance travel. If you are preparing for air travel in a wheelchair for the first time, there are several differences you should be aware of before you head to the airport. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for flying with your wheelchair:

Make Arrangements in Advance
An airline cannot refuse to serve you for having a disability, but it may not be able to provide you with the equipment you need to travel if you do not give them enough notice. Make arrangements with an airline representative at least 48 hours ahead of your departure time to ensure that you have the wheelchair, respirator, or other medical equipment you need for your flight.

Prepare for Security
If you are unable to stand and walk through an airport security scanner, then you must be prepared for a pat-down at the airport. If you fear that the pat-down may feel invasive, remember that you have the right to ask for a private security screening.

Check Your Chair Before Boarding
After you have boarded the plane, your wheelchair may be checked at the gate and flown underneath the plane with the passengers’ checked baggage. To avoid losing anything, remove your personal belongings from wheelchair pockets, as well as any cushions, pillows, or accessories you use to make your wheelchair more comfortable.

Flying with a wheelchair is easy, but it is still helpful to be prepared. Make advanced arrangements for a wheelchair and any other equipment you require with an airline representative in advance, and scope out your ground transportation options. If you want to make the accommodations at your destination more accessible, you may also want to rent a wheelchair ramp. To speak with an accessibility equipment professional about your ramp rental options, call Williams Lift Company at (908) 322-7070.

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