Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Q&A: Should the wheelchair-bound fly alone?
Q&A: Should the wheelchair-bound fly alone? PDF Print E-mail


Q: Now in my mid-80s, I can no longer do the long walks necessary in airports. I need to use a wheelchair. I read recently about a disabled man in a wheelchair was kicked off a flight because he didn’t have a companion with him. The airline said he couldn’t help himself if there would be an emergency. For my future flights, should I always travel with another person? A: We saw it on the news, too. A man with cerebral palsy was recently removed a US Airways flight, and the matter may eventually be disputed in court. It must be a new policy for that airline, because we’ve never heard of such an incident before. On almost every trip we’ve ever flown, we’ve seen lone wheelchair-bound people, small children and elderly people who couldn’t help in an emergency. We’ll just have to wait until the full story is told, and then make our judgment.

With that said, there are situations when you need lots of help. If they include getting on and off flights, trouble going up the aisle to the bathroom, need to cope with changing planes and are overwhelmed with the security and check-in process, you should consider traveling with a companion. Best to check with airline policy before you plan future flights when you need a wheelchair.

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