We at Limitless Travel know and understand the difficulty of flying with a disability. This handy guide details what you need to know to ensure you are making the most of the disabled assistance at airports when you fly overseas. From booking your ticket, to disembarking the plane, everything you need to know is right here, so flying needn’t be a daunting experience. Remember – airport assistance is there to make your journey easier. All you really have to do is book your assistance and show up!

 

Research your Special Assistance

Before you book any disabled holidays, or even your airline ticket, it is very important that you research which airlines can provide the type of special assistance you require. Each airline has a slightly different policy, so it is best to ensure you understand what the airline can and cannot do to provide the level of special assistance you need to have a safe and accessible flight. The best place to do your research is with the airlines directly, either on their disabled access website page, or by calling the airline via their dedicated special assistance contact number.

 

Booking you Special Assistance

When you book an airline ticket, it is advisable that you book your airport assistance strait away. Airlines need plenty of notice, so they can make sure that they have the right number of specialist staff on the ground. To book specialist assistance at airports, it is advisable to call the airline you have booked your tickets with and explain to them the type of assistance you will need. The airline will book in your airport assistance, and may also ask for details and dimensions of any mobility equipment you are brining with you. It is handy to keep the dimension, battery type, and any other important information about your mobility equipment, as it is likely you will be asked multiple times for this information at the airport.

 

Planning

Once you have booked your airline ticket, and the airport assistance you require, it is advisable to do some planning to make your trip as smooth as possible. For example, how do you plan to get to the airport? Do you need to order a taxi? Will you need assistance with your luggage from the taxi to the special assistance check-in desk? Limitless Travel can assist you with this step once you have made your booking, to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the departure days of your disabled holidays.

 

Check-in

When you arrive at the airport, you should make yourself known at the special assistance desk. Here, you can request assistance with luggage, the use of a wheelchair, and special assistance through security. The staff at the desk will inform you of how to check-in for your flight, and will tell you where to meet the airport assistance staff if you do not require assistance through security. Airports are generally very accessible, but you can also ask here for the disabled friendly toilets to be pointed out for you.

 

Airport Assistance

Airport assistance staff will always wear high visibility clothing and will be around the airport at all times. If you need assistance for something in particular, you can call their attention. If you would prefer a qualified carer to provide you with assistance at airports, you can meet the care team at a designated airport on each and every one of our holidays. They will be there to provide holiday care if required, as well as airport assistance, and general support. Holiday care is available in a range of difference package types; call us on 0800 069 8060 to find out more. Please note that standard airport assistance staff will not be able to assist you with any personal care, so it is advisable that, should you need assistance in the bathroom at the airport, you purchase one of our holiday care packages.

 

Aircraft assistance

 

Any steps up to the aircraft are avoided by one of two ways; via ramp or via ambulift. If a ramp is being utilised, airport assistance staff will accompany to the door of the aircraft, in your own wheelchair if you are using one. Here, you will be requested to transfer into an aisle wheelchair, which will be able to fit down the aisle of the aircraft. You can then transfer into your aircraft seat. An ambulift is a vehicle which is fitted with a lift for wheelchair access. Once you are safely secured inside, the ambulift rises to the aircraft door, and from this point onwards the procedure is the same as with a ramp.

 

Airports and airlines have a long way to go before they are fully wheelchair friendly and accessible, but by utilising the airport assistance staff, pre-booking your assistance and being prepared, the journey can be made slightly more pleasant.

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