Flying with a Passenger that Requires Extra Care
Tips To Make Flying a Breeze for Passengers with Special Care Needs
Flying is a convenient form of travel, but it is always important to plan carefully when you are traveling with someone who requires extra care due to their age or a disability. This is because airlines are equipped to make special accommodations that can make traveling easier, and bringing certain items along can ensure the comfort of everyone involved. As you plan your trip, use these five tips to turn flying into an enjoyable experience for travelers of all ages and abilities.
Ask About Seating
When you book your flight, call ahead to find out if you can make special seating arrangements. For example, babies who will be using a car seat may need to be placed in a seat away from the aisle so that it does not block access to seating for other passengers. There will also be special seats on the airplane that have wheelchair access if you are traveling with someone who has a disability.
Pack Extra Supplies
Although many passengers try to limit their carry-on bags, it is important to make sure you have everything you need to provide the passenger with special care. If you are traveling with children, make sure to have diapers, baby wipes and extra food ready. Senior citizens may need to carry their medication. Just make sure to call ahead to find out how to pack and label the medicine correctly so that it can be taken aboard the flight.
Maneuver Through Screening Points
Security checks at the airport are required for everyone because they are important for everyone’s safety. However, removing shoes and walking through metal detectors can be difficult for older adults and people with mobility issues. Fortunately, airlines can make accommodations for those who need them such as a hand search in a private room. If you are traveling with a baby, then you are allowed to carry fluids used for feeding on the plane. Yet, you will need to mention them to the screener so that they can be checked separately from the rest of your luggage.
Know About In-Flight Accommodations
Making sure to call ahead will help you understand what types of help may be available once you are in the air. For example, flight attendants are well-trained in helping passengers with disabilities board and exit the plane. However, they are not permitted to hand-carry any passenger. Many planes also have special wheelchairs that are designed to fit through the aisles if a passenger needs one to get to the rest room, but it is important to let the staff know ahead of time that one will be required.
Carry Medical Documentation
Although most airlines make every effort to be accessible, you will find it much easier to get special care when you can present proof of your need. In some instances, a medical certificate may be necessary to bring certain types of assistance on board such as a special services animal or an oxygen tank. For this reason, you will want to schedule a pre-flight visit to the doctor, and ask for any documentation you may need to prove a special care need that may not be visible at first glance.
While flying is not always the most comfortable way to travel with kids or older adults, there are many things you can do to make it easier. Airport personnel are trained to go out of their way to help when there is someone in need, and airplanes are all equipped with things that increase accessibility. By being prepared to ask for what you need and knowing what to expect, you can travel in comfort while taking care of any health care need.