Flying with crutch and FES

Husband has just passed away and for the first time I will be having a holiday abroad with my crutch and FES.

I presume many people fly with these things. But what do I need todo.? Inform the airway or just need doctors letter saying I need to be able to get on the plane with these things or both.

Help and advice much appreciated.

C x

Travelling by aircraft seems a daunting experience for anyone Disabled in wheelchair or not, but in reality it isn’t it can be a seamless experience as you are helped every step of the way, (that’s not meant as a pun).

I worked for British Airways for 26 years, as such travelled to many parts of the World. In fact in 1988 I travelled twice around the World, some 48,000 miles in 5 days on aircraft, sponsored for Charity. Not something I would recommend but shows you it is possible.

Stick to these guidelines and you will really enjoy the experience. First on booking your flight tell them you would like assistance from check-in to the gate. This could be a wheelchair with someone pushing or a lift on a Golf type buggy. The gate could be over one mile away so don’t think your doing any favour’s by not asking for help. The aircraft has a certain slot for take off, if you are late because of walking difficulties, THE AIRCRAFT HAS TO GO without you, otherwise it costs mega bucks.

If you have problems walking down the isle when you get aircraft side, no problem, quite a few aircraft now have small wheelchairs especially to take people up and down the isle. If you can’t walk whatsoever, no problem, tell them and facilities will be put in place from check-in to take you to the aircraft by ambulance, high lift you to the aircraft and trained medical staff to lift you in the seat. The golden rule here is ‘tell them.’

With some airlines you can pre-book your seat. If so get one that has more leg room and near the toilets, probably a bulkhead seat. The Civil Aviation Authority has made a ruling that no Disabled person can have a seat by an Emergency Exit for obvious reasons.

If for some reason you get to your destination and your wheelchair is missing or worse still damaged it is the airlines, or should I say good airlines signed up to something called the Haig Protocol to restore or repair your chair, see the airlines staff.

I remember I went to San Diego from Gatwick once and they left my chair behind. I was in a rush had to go down to Tijuana and the only one they had to loan me had a large sign above my head saying ‘AVIS Rent a Car.’ The times I was stopped in my Hotel by people saying “hey fella, where can I get a car.”### ### Have a good time, don’t worry as far as flying is concerned your husband will be looked after.

Equipment used for his disability eg wheelchairs; crutches travel free. I have no idea if this extends to a travel kit but I would think they were being rather padantic if they charged; mind you I would be very careful with so called ‘budget airlines.’ Give you airline a ring to clarify.

Don’t forget your EHIC card

### George

Hi Candy,

I do apologise; unfortunately I did not erase the part about your husband as it is pre-written info and I did not check; sorry.


One other thing you may want to watch out for, Candy:

Your FES unit will ring all the bells at the security check. You will either need to remove it and pop it through the scanner with your camera, laptop, or similar, or you will need to alert security before you step through the scanner arch and ask for a hand scan. The FES may need to be switched off at landing and takeoff as well (I would be inclined to ask the people at Odstock first, rather than the airline).

And, I’m sure that a number of us with the same crutch, or two sticks, and FES will want to hear how you get on.