Video about travelling in wheelchair on aircraft

Hi, Great video will wacth this a few times as Im thinking of flying soon. Kind regards kielyn

Theres many a seasoned traveller on this site that can hand out advice re flying with a wheelchair. I don’t think I’d go alone. Its too much of a hassle even with assistance.

My motorised chair is too heavy for air travel so I take my manual one. It’s super light and easy for hubby to push. I find the assistance people here in Ireland and in Las Palmas amazing. Excellently trained and professional. I now get them to take me to my seat using the aisle chair. A very narrow chair that they wheel me along the aisle backwards. I feel a little conspicuous and self conscious for the few moments but the destination makes it worthwhile. Great video!

I’m never planning on flying again. Unless just possibly we come into some money (or steal some!) and can do it first class. Even then, probably not.

I don’t use a power chair, just a manual, and we use that right up to the plane, at which point we take the arm rests, foot plates and cushion into the cabin and the body of the chair goes in the hold. That bits easy.

I hate those on board wheelchairs. If ever I needed to feel that my butt is the size of an elephants, I’d sit on one of those.

Then there are the ‘handlers’, the airport staff / stewards who try to ‘help’ by grabbing parts of me, like my arms as I transfer to the aircraft seat. They are only being helpful, and I can see that it’s almost impossible for them to resist, but then it’s almost impossible for me to get a bit ‘snippy’ in response as they nearly yank my arms out of their sockets and almost put me on the floor. These days I give my instructions in advance. ‘Let me do it alone, try to avoid ‘helping’. Then I am justified if I get a bit tetchy.

Once the engines start up, my bladder / urethra behaves like a 3 year old child, ‘I want a wee wee’! I tell it, ‘you’ve just been, you don’t need to go again’! But it whinges and moans the entire time, which is no joke on a ten hour flight. And there are only so many times I can call for the steward to bring the on board ‘chair, for me to struggle onto it (squeezing fat behind into the chair between the stupid little arms) to go to the loo, for no good reason.

So I declared last year, that was it, not flying again. Nowadays, it’s cruises for me. An hour to the cruise terminal, less than an hour later, I’m sat with a glass of wine having some lunch! No indignity, no naughty bladder behaviour, no man or woman handling, no feeling like I need a crash diet and no waiting around.


Oh dear Sue. What a dreadful experience you’ve had! I’ve only ever done a 4 hours flight to the canary Islands since the wheelchair. I couldn’t endure any longer now. My Quickie Helium chair is without sides. We take the cushion on board, the back folds down and gets put in the hold. My bladder is reasonably well behaved, at present and I truly appreciate the assistance staff. Never have any of them laid a hand on my person. I would have thought that would be an essential part of the training so as not to be accused of “assault” or inappropriate contact. The staff in Las Palmas are hilarious. They talk and laugh at each other loudly. The Spanish don’t do volume! The sign language is fun. However I agree with your comments about the aisle chair. Now my backside is not a large one by any means, but once it sits on the miniscule seat of that chair… I believe it’s designed for small bottomed pygmies or Barbie dolls. My bottom resembles a blancmange, melting over the sides I’m sure. Still, it works for me and we wouldn’t be able to manage without it or them.

The Hellarwe were a pygmy tribe in Africa; only grew 3 feet tall. They got their name because the grass around their encampment grew to 4 feet; so all you would see is heads bobbing above the grass saying “were the hell ar we.”


Flying to New York in May with one of my brothers who is able-bodied and a seasoned traveller. Any top tips for travelling as never done since I couldn’t walk properly (I will be taking some medications and I use a light-weight manual chair but can transfer easily enough if I plan ahead) or ideas of places visit. NY is apparently superb for we disabled folk so I have read. Any tip well received. Thank you in advance Jem

Hello Sue.

Those aisle chairs can be dodgy. For some reason, Turkish Airlines in Istanbul put me on last so I’m thrashing the elbows of the aisle seats. Last time I flew I used incontinence pads but now I have a catheter.

I will try a cruise soon. It’s two trains to Southampton. Easy peasy.

Steve x

Go for it Steve. I was reluctant to go on a cruise (my OH too), but we braved it last year on a week to the Fjords. The scenery is simply stunning. Absolutely beautiful. And luckily my husband woke up really early every day, went out onto the balcony with his tea where he photographed and videoed our peaceful journey into the Fjords. So even though I stayed asleep, I got to see the silent beauty and I never get tired of seeing the results.

We were most bothered about black tie and formality in dress codes, but found we could avoid all of that nonsense by eating elsewhere.

We’re going on our second cruise in just over 6 weeks. This time to Northern Spain and Portugal. No worries this time.