Airline Travel

Airline Travel for Disabled Persons

When traveling on most major airlines, request a wheelchair when you make your reservation. Upon arrival at the check-in desk, remind the agent of your wheelchair reservation. You will then be invited to sit in a special handicapped section to wait for a chair and assistant. The assistant will confirm your boarding pass against his/her information. The assistant will then wheel you (and your travel companion) to the gate, using elevators and shortcuts. You will be wheeled to the front of the TSA check-in line.

HINT: If you travel frequently, you might consider applying for a TSA pre- check for a small charge. .

On our last flight from SFO to JFK my husband and I were on the pre-check list at no extra cost. Check your ticket and/or boarding pass. If you are a pre-check passenger, you do not need to remove Shoes, Laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, Belts, or Light jackets. During the screening process, TSA officers may swab your hands, mobility aids, equipment and other external medical devices to test for explosives using explosives trace detection technology.

We flew to JFK on Delta Airlines and sat in the Priority section, where we had extended leg room, meals, wine, etc. It was worth the extra cost.

I’ve found that the cheapest tickets are not the best deal. Sometimes you need to spend a little to save a lot. When we flew on SwissAir to Zurich, we originally purchased coach tickets. We were offered to bid on upgrades to Business Class. Our bid was accepted. We saved almost $1,000 per person and rode on a ten hour flight in comfort. Our seats reclined into a flat bed. On our return flight to SFO, we accepted the same offer. Another $1,000 per person saved–$4,000 in round-trip total. In addition we were able to wait in the SwissAir Business Class waiting room, where we were  provided free snacks and drinks. On our short flight from Zurich to Amsterdam, business class was the same as coach, only in the front of the cabin.




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