Loos on planes-advice for wheelchair user

I really want to see family, but this will involve a 12 hour flight. I use a wheelchair, can weight bear, but can’t walk. I know I can transfer to aisle chair etc as I’ve been on a couple of short flights, but haven’t been to the loo on the plane. I know I won’t be able to hang on for 12 hours! Any advice gratefully received.

When you book the flight I imagine the chair will crop up in the conversation,so maybe then would be the time to raise your concerns.Could bring a whole new meaning to the ‘Mile High Club’

Happy hols,



You’ll not be the first person who has had this problem so I’m sure there’ll be a solution. As Wb has said, just give the airline a phone to find out what they can do. If you’re a bloke as well, the obvious solution is to get a sheath & leg bag - a continence nurse will be able to help sort that out for you.


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 pedantic 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 if your going to an EEC Country or Switzerland.

As far as Toilets are concerned there is NO directive to be helped by a Cabin Crew member in the toilet. I presume you will be accompanied; if you are a man as Dan say’s a Conveen (sheath) with a leg bag ideal; depending on what you drink I doubt if this will need emptying in 12 hours; if you’re a Lady a catheter.

Be advised; do not let the bag fill up with urine otherwise you will get blow back on a Conveen; a catheter I have no idea.

The rest is just info you may find useful.

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