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The DO and DON'TS of traveling Disabled!

The DO and DON'TS of traveling Disabled!

Caitlyn Resch |

Hello there! 

My name is Caitlyn Resch. I wanted to introduce myself. I am a 32 year old CIDP/CIAP patient who lives in the Midwest. Why is this important?

I have FIRSTHAND experience with how these chairs operate. I use one EVERY day! 
Today, I'd like to talk about traveling as a disabled person and how you can prevent YOUR wheels from being destroyed!

This past February, I took a trip to Paris, France. I brought the AIRHAWK wheelchair with me for this adventure! Let's talk about the AirHawk for a moment.

The AirHawk wheelchair, WITHOUT batteries, only weighs 41 pounds! This qualifies it as a carry on into the cabin of the plan WITH you. Batteries can be stored with your carry-on luggage. When I went onto my first plan, the crew TRIED to put the AirHawk in the cabin bins, however, it did not fit. They were able to place it behind a seat in 1st class, safe and secure. The second plane I was in was smaller, therefore, it was not an option. HOWEVER, the crew placed it into a storage closet in the plane. DO NOT LET THE CREW TAKE YOUR WHEELCHAIR AWAY FROM YOU! The AirHawk is DESIGNED to travel and is SAFE for the cabin of the airplane. Assert yourself and stand your ground!

I did that on the first THREE planes I happened to be on during this trip. However, flying out of JFK, I had told the crew to place the wheelchair with me. They refused and put it with the other luggage. This resulted in my wheelchair coming to me broken, with a twisted frame and a missing battery. DO NOT LET THEM TAKE YOUR CHAIR. Insisting your chair stays with you is your RIGHT as a disabled traveler. Tell them to call ME if they give you any grief! I'll roll myself there to fight for you!

That being said, let's talk about the PERKS of the AirHawk while traveling and end with some tips! 

Perks: Lightweight, foldable to large suitcase size, easy to maneuver, easy to assemble, can be both manual AND electric.

While in Paris, there were several sets of staircases my chair had to be carried UP. The lightweight design made that easy for my travel partners. 

Some tips while traveling, especially to other countries as a disabled person!

  • DO map out your travel so you can check accessibility where you are traveling to.
  • DO have a way to get to places in the country or city you are traveling to (bus, train, car, etc).
  • DO bring a travel buddy to help you with your luggage and wheelchair IF possible.
  • DO speak up for yourself and make sure you are respected as well as your medical equipment
  • DO bring extra medications/batteries/chargers.

 

  • DON'T let them take your wheelchair from you. Keep it with you at ALL times.
  • DON'T be afraid to ask for your accomodations.
  • DON'T travel without RESEARCHING the area.

 

I'm so glad I could share this with you today! Don't worry, you'll be seeing me often! The trip to Paris would've NEVER been possible without Showcase Mobility and the AirHawk wheelchair. Here's a picture of the MONA LISA in the LOUVRE with the AirHawk and me! Paris was a DREAM!


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