Leaving On A Jet Plane – But What Exactly Does That Entail for Wheelchair Users?

Last year saw some shocking high profile news stories about wheelchair users and air travel specifically. (Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below)

In response to the steadily increasing requests for assistance made at UK airports, totalling in excess of 3million in 2017 alone.  The UK charity organisation, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority have put together this groundbreaking video detailing John and his Dad’s step by step journey from London Heathrow to Manchester, ‘Your Guide to Flying with a Disability’.

The video illustrates the need for preparation and planning and what to expect from airlines and airports.

The video’s objective is to demystify the process and eliminate the unexpected thus making virtually all air travel possible for wheelchair users and specifically Power Chair users like John. By reducing the anxiousness and increasing confidence it is thought that more wheelchair users and their families will be encouraged to travel which often can be imperative to their medical treatment.

With the growth in air travel amongst people with disabilities, the video is a ‘must see’ working hand in hand with Lonely Planet’s (Free) PDF Accessible Travel Phrasebook,  the world is in every sense your oyster.

For further bespoke help with travel get in touch with our Travel Counsellors who will walk you through every aspect of your trip so nothing is left to chance. Feel free to email them at springchicken@travelcounsellors.com or call them on 01865987310.

QEF’s Accessible Aviation expert, Graham Race, says:

Our QEF Tryb4uFly service has already proven invaluable to many disabled people that have been anxious about taking a flight, but there has been a significant increase in demand for information. British Airways have already confirmed that they will make the film available to all customers who book wheelchair assistance.

“The film shows a complete journey by air and offers advice at each stage. It provides much needed information and assurance to the thousands of disabled people and their families who currently feel that air travel is not an option for them.

Paul Smith, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority added:

It is a priority for the UK Civil Aviation Authority to continue to improve the accessibility of air travel. We have worked closely with UK disability charity Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) who have expertise in this area, to develop an insightful and informative film. As it shows every stage of a journey by air for a powered wheelchair user, we hope the film will answer many of the questions people currently have about flying as a wheelchair passenger and increase the confidence to fly.

Let us know your experiences while travelling in the comments section below, good and bad.

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  • I have mobility issues. At various times I have had to wait up to 2 hours for a wheelchair to arrive to take me to the terminal or have been left (dumped) for the same two hours at the departure lounge. There is also a time when I was left waiting for a golf cart after a flight and the building lights were switched off whilst I sat in the dark. To be disabled is to be disadvantaged, to be disabled at an airport is a nightmare!

    • That is truly horrendous. Hopefully, the work QEF and the Civil Aviation Authority are doing will help improve shocking stories like yours.

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