How To Fly Independently In a Wheelchair – My Top Tips and Tricks

How To Fly Independently In a Wheelchair – My Top Tips and Tricks


today I’m gonna be showing you guys how
to fly with a wheelchair I’m all packed up and ready to go now
it’s time to call a cab so the app I like using is lyft you probably gonna
want to choose the xl the reason why you want to choose the xl is because
there’s plenty of room to put in your wheelchair and your luggage and
sometimes when you call the regular one there’s stuff in the trunk and you can’t
put your chair in there or you might have to put your chair in the front seat
it can be a little bit of a mess so I’m gonna go ahead and choose the xl and
we’re gonna get to the airport don’t be afraid to ask your driver for help
they’re gonna see that you’re in a wheelchair and they’re probably gonna
want to help as much as possible sometimes even a little too much but
that’s okay just directly through the process and they’ll be more than willing
to help on your own you can definitely just transfer in when going to airports
especially if you’re using an app it’s pretty specific where it asks you where
you want to go so if you know where the terminal is you can definitely tell the
driver what terminal is if you don’t know what terminal is you can usually
select on the app what airline you’re flying out of now when you get there
you’ll have them drop you off right next to you the curbside check-in and you the bag alright so we got the curbside
check-in valet to come grab the bag for us and we’re gonna go do a curbside
check-in so everything can go smoothly okay so they gotta inspect your
wheelchair for prior damage to make sure that any damage that you have you can’t
claim that they did and if something does happen you have got a way to
measure if something that happened they will make a destination tag for my
wheelchair once we get to the gate we’ve got our bags checked in we’ve got our
boarding passes and the next step as we go through security okay use the
restroom before we go through security the reason why I like doing that is
because sometimes they make you lean left being right so touch in places and
maybe if they put too much pressure in one specific place or if you have to do
a specific movement you don’t wanna leak on yourself um well I’ll be definitely
peeing again a couple more times to have the trip right before the plane boards
I’ll go again but for now I’m doing that right before we go through here
another important thing to remember is to stop drinking about two hours before
your flight if you need to take a sip of something every now and then
that’s okay try to avoid caffeine because caffeine is a diuretic and it’ll
push fluid out of your butter you’re not going to be able once you’re on the
plane to make it to the bathroom unless you can stand or walk a little bit
alright when you’re looking for your place in the TSA line don’t go to the
original line go to the ad a access part of the line take off your shoes and get
all of your keys in your wallet out of your pocket now I can stand and walk and
go through the beeper but I’m not gonna do that today just to show you guys what
I’ve hat down looks like if you’re a complete or someone who can’t get out of
here very easily all right so he’s grabbing some of my bags for me I’m
gonna do a pat-down I’m gonna explain to you very briefly yeah for they’re not
sensitive areas to Chester bag elite someone that I’m done with the Front’s
of my head for sensitive areas you’re going about so I’ll put it down with the
bags on my hand you have any internal or external medical devices in this area I
have an implant that you’ll be able to feel any parts of your ID card if I
punch it down like a fireman screening you know that’s able to live here
like I really push up like this okay that’ll work yeah arms up palms loose
you go for it almost art of the batch I’m not sure if you’ve heard anybody
Asif IDing these sores or any sensitive areas if there are certain things I can
and can’t do you might assume you lean forward that’s pretty easy because I’ve
got good core strength and you don’t have core strength don’t worry about it
they’ll fund it’ll turn it away around ID on your legs on the backside I hope
you don’t find the money strapped to my thigh it’s pretty invasive
but as wheelchair users were used to that like think about when used to get
bed baths back in the hospital when they were just rubbing up on him naked so
it’s not as bad as that your arms down I’ll cut down the waistband so now he’s doing a sniff test check on
the wheelchair to make sure that there’s no shady stuff on near or around the
wheelchair could I have you put it over toward the bench yeah they’d be great
after it’s finished up they’ll help you bring your bags to this area you can put
your shoes back on put your backpack on and get to the gate one of the
interesting and fun challenging things about getting around an airport in a
wheelchair is finding all the elevators some places are really easy to find like
this one is right here in front of TSA but sometimes you have to go back down
these weird alleys and like behind stuff and parts of the airport you didn’t even
know existed before that’s okay ask questions or follow some of the
people that are escorting other individuals in a wheelchair
they’re called transporters it’s a trans and they’re usually for like elderly or
like overweight individuals but if you need a transporter you can definitely
get one too I don’t want one personally because I just don’t want one but if you
want to get one you totally can there’s nothing wrong with it but you can follow
those folks or ask those folks but this is real easy we’re just right all right now I’m gonna go check in at
the gate to get a destination tag for my wheelchair and to let them know that a
wheelchair user it’s gonna be on their flight I need to grab a destination tag
please from my wheelchair yeah I’ve got this tag the inspection destination
exactly I see he’s got a just check-in get your destination tag and now we wait
on the plane you flying tips and tricks I like to do first tip wear soft pants
don’t wear jeans you are going to be taking your cushion on with the plane
with you and you’re gonna want to make sure that you do weight shifts while
you’re on the plane which is really important another top tip I did check a
bag but I always still carry a bag with one or two days worth of extra supplies
because all my catheters all my meds all my supplies all my clothes are in that
checked bag and like what if it gets lost what if it gets in this place what
if something happens who knows you want to be prepared so I’ve got a couple of
days with the meds I’ve got some cats in here I’ve got my computer I also take a
sweatshirt because where I’m landing it’s going to be freezing and it could
be freezing on the plane you never know I do have a water bottle with me that I
will fill up before we fly but again just a simple on you don’t want to drink
a lot of water while you’re on the plane because if you drink a lot of water on
the plane you’re gonna have to be and there are some emergency techniques that
I’ll I’ll show you guys but I don’t recommend doing
but for now when the plane that we’re gonna leave on shows up
we’ll go talk to that person and say hey you know I’m here what I need what I
don’t need do I need an aisle chair join an escort
the idea or whatever we’ll just check in with them next know that I am what I
needed was I don’t need to let them know that I’m gonna be here for early
check-in and then I’m on the plane and I have two companions is that Alright
thank you okay cool yeah I just wanna make sure that everything’s gravy I’ve
got my destination tag I’ve got my my claim okay we’re good to go
no worries and then of course you know cherry okay just I’ll be without an
aisle chair as long as I can get on those first couple rows yeah I can
usually just scoot in and virgin oh that time there’s my own issue okay perfect
sounds good alright thank but he asked if I needed an aisle chair one of the
week and I said no one of the reasons I like flying Southwest so much is because
you can if you’ve got a small compact chair like I do you can roll into the
plane and even into the aisles to the very front aisle and transfer over into
two seats and then they can take your chair out from there because on
Southwest you get to choose your own seat most of the airlines are not like
that but that’s where this is why I like choosing Southwest because I know I’m
very easily on and very easily off it’s not a big stress and I kind of get to
pick just up front every time which is replicate VIP
the reason why they always like a DA on first first on the very first because
they know and they recognize that it might take a little bit longer for us to
get on the plane especially if we need to use an aisle chair if you do think
don’t be shown so sometimes these can be pretty steep be very careful going down
them all right if you were on a flight that
did require an I’ll chair this is where they would transfer you into the aisle
chair all right you want to get everything off
your chair that could fall off don’t put anything underneath the plane that could
fall off of the plane you’re the cushion and then have flight attendant take this
if you saw it was real easy for me to transfer into the seat another part of
flying with Southwest since you get to pick your own seat so I was first one on
so I got to pick the very first seat I’m now sitting on my cushion it’s always
good to sit on your cushion that we can avoid all skin sores send me with a soft
pants that I mentioned before wear some soft pants don’t forget to still do your
weight transfers then you got your bag with you you can have the stewardess
grab the back and put it up above and I’ve got my water bottle microphones and
good to go for the rest of the flight once you’re on the plane you really just
have to sit there unless of course you have to pee so if you’re gonna do this
you have to come prepared you have to come with not just catheters but a leg
bag as well or a bag for your your pee to go in you can ask the stewardess for
a blanket and then you put the blanket over top of you like a little tent and
then you can do a full cath session right there underneath your blanket no
one needs to know the difference even if your neighbors are weird it’s better
than peeing on yourself so you hidden cats right there and then
your bag of your pee bag your urine you the stowaway back in your bag until you
can find a bathroom to dump it out in or you just drink it
that’s know cuz it’s sterile and I love the taste so that’s definitely an option
like especially for international flights I was talking to the guy this
week he said honey go to Africa it’s like a bajillion hours and he had to do
that a couple make sure you get your weight chips and
that’s the most important you don’t be catching the skin sore on your trip well you don’t have to pee underneath
the blanket tent but if you do that option is available towards the Erie back hallway we got a
driver we wanna be fancy hold your baby up like
this the older the fancier you are we got the baggage claim I got my bag
today we have a driver so we’re not gonna have to worry about calling a lift
that’s something you’ll probably have to do if I was here by myself without a
driver and had to call lyft I would probably find someone in these areas is
like a baggage handler or maybe even the person who was gonna push me like those
wheelchair ballet guys and see if they can help me take this out to the
curbside pickup or whatever my my ride was gonna be thanks for watching be sure
to comment down below about what your favorite part of this video was or some
of your top travel tips for other wheelchair users to do yourself are in a
wheelchair be sure to find me on Instagram Facebook and make sure to sign
up for our email list down below and we’ll see you in the next one when going to airports

100 thoughts on “How To Fly Independently In a Wheelchair – My Top Tips and Tricks

  1. Great video!! Two things I would recommend….One, would be to always get a GATE CHECK for your wheelchair instead of a BAGGAGE CHECK. If you get your chair checked through Baggage Claim you will have to use one of the Airline's clunky old wheelchairs to go claim your personal chair at Baggage Claim (where your bags end up on the conveyor). It is also more likely to be lost, stolen or damaged. With a GATE CHECK your chair is brought up to the jetway waiting for you when you get off the plane! This also saves time if you have to change planes (which typically requires you get to the connection flight quickly). To GATE CHECK your chair simply ask when you get to the service counter at the Gate!

    Two, if you need an Isle Chair or assist onto plane be sure to tell the counter person as soon as you arrive at the Gate so they can get the isle chair ready before boarding begins. That way you can get on first!! You don't want to be taken down the isle on an isle chair while being the last person boarding….everyone looks at you like you are Hannibal Lechter. Happy Travels!!

  2. I’m not in a wheelchair but these videos r very educational and I’m glad I watched. Hopefully I can help someone else out someday!

  3. I’m not a wheelchair user, but does anyone have any tips for flying. I’m going to Spain from the uk and I’ve never ever bend in a plane ✈️ so any advice or something! In scared 😂

  4. 11:45 no fucking way im sorry but surly the worker can help you to the toilet ewwww what if you need to have a 💩 also i would ask to move stright away like im sorry but i cant stand that

  5. Yo bro I thank you so much I am also inna wheelchair an you made me feel normal about flying and now I know to Fly Southwest to avoid the aisle chairs🤘🏽💪🏽

  6. I love how informative this video is. Even for non wheelchair users. Thanks for making me aware of what a typical experience is like.

  7. I work for TSA. Not something I normally post on the internet for all to see, but I have a question I really want to ask.

    How could I as an officer make your experience coming through the checkpoint easier? Is there anything specific you can think of? Obviously procedure is procedure and we can't skip steps, but what other "extra" things could help?

  8. Whenever I travel I book the Wheelchair Assist Program because I simply can't manage the distances involved by Myself and it also insures Preferential Treatment throughout the entire Airport, including Security.

  9. I think it's really amazing that you share your tips with others so they can learn how to cope with their new normal. I'm not in a wheelchair myself but my mother used a wheelchair for a short period of time before she passed away. I tried to drive in the wheelchair myself and man you really need to have upper body strengh! Cheers 👍

  10. I am not a wheelchair user so this video was very interesting. The airplane bathroom issue had certainly never crossed my mind so thank you for teaching me something new today ❤️🇨🇦

  11. They are not called transporters.

    They are called psa personal service assistants. They get paid less than minimum wage and work off tips especially if you fly Swa they use prospect airport services and the agents are not allowed to tell you they work off tips so if you use them consider tipping them.

  12. I love your sense of humour and positive attitude towards life, particularly your friendliness and confidence at communicating your needs to the airport staff. The little eyebrow wiggle you did when the security officer touched near your groin area. LOL! Much respect to you, brother!

  13. Nice videos. I had a bad bout with bone marrow failure about five years ago and suffered joint damage from the lack of blood to my bones/joints. I use a wheelchair for travel in airports. I’m relatively young and sometimes get side-stares bc I “look” fine. Especially when I get up to walk to my seat (even though there’s lots of hobbling). It’s the same with the handicap parking, when I’m hurting really bad and need it, or when my blood levels are low and don’t have much oxygen pumping through me. Ok – I went off on a tangent there, but bottom line – thanks for sharing… your videos have given me an extra boost of confidence to just do what I need and don’t worry about what other people think.

  14. Hahahaha I was in that exact same airport 2 days ago and I remember all of those parts lol (The first one which was LA and I flew southwest also)

  15. This is a really good insight to what it's like to travel in a wheelchair my mum has been in a wheelchair, her whole life and I have seen that not many people understand how hard it is to travel alone in a chair or even with help. Great work on showing it can be done. 🙂

  16. Going on a plane is always a nightmare for my family. 4 people, 1 child. (Not encluding) last year or the year before it or even both idk we always have to wait an hour cuz my sisters thing was expired or sumthin idk

  17. Thank you for the advice concerning hand luggage and the supplies for a few days! It is good to get this known to a lot of people using wheelchairs! I work at Baggage Assistance (lost luggage) and It would be good to get all these tips known out there! Greetings from Europe!

  18. Thank you for your vision and mission I'm very proud and appreciative of you. With my arthritis reality is ill need a wheelchair to do any type of convention there's no other way.

  19. I'm a transporter in a small station, aisle chairs are very common because our planes are typically smaller. Just explain how you like to be treated and 9/10 everything will be super easy.
    If you prefer the assistance of a transporter, please ask!! They will be happy to assist. Even if you want to wheel yourself, we are more than happy to be a "tour guide" or luggage handler. Whatever you need. And if the transporter that comes isn't willing to help in the way you like, you just go right back to whatever agent you requested the assistance with and explain.
    9.99/10 everything goes smoothly and we are so happy to help you.
    Also, in a bathroom related emergency, on board aisle chairs are possible on most larger jets. Just ask a flight attendant or gate agent.

  20. Great video congratulations on everything you do I myself am a wheelchair user I also have an ultralight wheelchair I could definitely see that there’s benefits and yours not benefit in having A Wiltshire employee attendant with you one do you know the actual layout of the airport sometimes better than you do if you don’t travel to that true that’s Pacific airport a lot too DICK’S it always be your eyes and they could be your hands if you really need something being independent is 120% important but sometimes relying on the staff of the airport is great because if something happens you could fall back on the fact that it was the employees fault not your fault so because you’ve got you might’ve gotten lost you could say it was because of the company X that was assisting you and by ADA law they are liable and they should reimburse you for your travel it has happened to me going to Cozumel going to Dubai going to Europe a lot South America there’s lots of wheelchair hacks and there’s lots of ways you could get compensated. If you are a frequent traveler you could always ask for upgrades and nine times out of 10 they will give you the upgrade for little to no cost specially if you have points

    Once you arrive to your destination in question make sure that they actually remembered to bring out the wheelchair for you I’ve been in situations in countries where my wheelchair has been left and I have to wait there for 45 minutes to an hour for them to even get my chair I’ve been lucky in several times but that could happen once you arrive to your destination in question make sure that they actually remember to bring out the wheelchair for you I’ve been in situations in countries where my wheelchair has been left and I have to wait there for 45 minutes to an hour for them to even get my chair I’ve been lucky in several times but that could happen it would be amazing if you could show the people how an every day wheelchair user gets transferred specially if the airplane does not have a gate you need to use the traditional stairs that’s very difficult or even in airports that the elevators are broken and you’re forced to come down escalators does this happen to me as well some countries have wheelchair ramps that are connected to the actual air at stairs but that’s very infrequent the only country of seen that is in Colombia South America
    For somebody that she’s in a power wheelchair or a scooter that’s a whole different scenario they have to take your batteries out check them in a specific container or cartridge

  21. I'm glad youtube recommended this to me, because even though (for now, because disability doesn't discriminate) I'm currently able bodied, it's always interesting to learn more about accessibility so you're at least more aware of it. Well done video!

  22. I was injured while in the Navy, got convalescent leave to go back home because i was basically unable to really care for myself. I was in a wheel chair and in uniform, getting through security and I got pulled to the side by a TSA agent. While they were patting me down, they kept pressing pretty hard on the gauze from the surgery. which even with the painmeds i was on still hurt alot. after what seemed like 20 minutes with multiple agents conferring with each other that it wasn't a bomb they let me get to my flight. Other than that they were pretty accommodating.

  23. I think this would have been beneficial for my dad for traveling while he was wheelchair bound, Rest In Peace papa. But seriously thank you for this in the event something were to happen to someone close to me that they can still travel freely.

  24. Usually I interact with so much patients on wheel chairs… you really have taught me alot in terms of interacting with them to ensure I am meeting their needs. Thank you so very much!

  25. Currently 1:58 am don’t really know why I’m watching this cuz I don’t need a wheelchair but still very useful

  26. it's easy for him because he has a lot of upper body strength enough to carry himself, respect my dude ✊🏼

  27. This video is great. My daughter is 7 and she uses a wheelchair. We are flying with her for the first time in a few weeks. I'm stressing so much on how it will go. I think my biggest worry is the fact that she wears diapers still and I don't know how I'm supposed to change her on an airplane. I will of course call the airline and ask. Also, for anyone who has children with disabilities and/or autism, TSA has a program called TSA cares. They will help you through check in, security, and anything else you need while at the airport.

  28. What about someone that uses a power chair? I am a t4 complete but my shoulders are shot and i am also anemic so a manual chair isint really a option

  29. Would love to see a video on what assistance wheelchair users actually appreciate. Like if your crossing the street, is it helpful to offer to push the wheelchair? Should you hold open doors for them? Ask to help carry things?

  30. Great video!! I haven’t flown since using a chair, but I’m saving this for future reference ☺️

  31. Wish I had this when I broke my leg and flew from Australia to Malaysia but helpful if I break my foot/leg again when I’m gonna fly

  32. Great video man. I'm also in a wheelchair, when you purchase your ticket online, how do you let them know that you're in a wheelchair?

  33. You are also allowed an extra medical bag carry on. I dont check anything medical. You just can only put medical things in it.

  34. I have no wheel chair but I do have asthma and I do agree to always have your medicines with is a good thing too do and I’m always curious because I like to learn about the world and how everyone else live there days or lives with a disability or disease and thanks for the tips and tricks gg

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