Flying within Australia
Getting on the plane:
- You are usually the first to be loaded into the plane and the last to disembark.
- At small regional airstrips you may be forklifted on and off the plane. You may then be carried to your allocated seat.
- At large city terminals, use your own wheelchair until boarding the plane (electric wheelchairs are checked in with baggage - sealed dry cell batteries only).
In the plane:
- You are then transferred into an aisle chair and ushered to your seat on the plane.
- Some planes have moveable armrests to allow for simpler transferring.
- Check this when you get your seat allocation.
Airlines may require medical certificates and, depending on distance, you may be required to use a catheter or other urinary device, as toilet access on most planes is impossible for people who use wheelchairs for mobility. It pays to know the airline's policy regarding transporting people with disabilities (e.g. some may require you to travel with another person). If using an electric wheelchair, other countries use different power levels and plug outlets (e.g. America uses 110v AC), so you will need to assess your wheelchair charger requirements.
- Give yourself at least an extra half hour for checking in and getting aboard.
- Empty your drainage bag last thing before boarding the plane.
- Night drainage bags are handy to drain leg bags, etc.
- If you use condom drainage wearing absorbent pants could be an additional protection.
- Take your cushion on the plane as cabin luggage. You may wish to sit on it.
- If you don't have good balance, you can ask the hostess for a harness that will assist you to stay upright when landing.
- Try to have all items you may need while flying in one small bag (put spare axles in main luggage).
- Let some air out of your wheelchair tyres and Roho cushions (the air expands when the plane gains altitude).
- Put a label with your address on all removable pieces of your equipment.
- Do not drink too much alcohol.