Part of the GET WISE series from BHTA is a guide to flying with a disability.
Flying is an essential and desirable form of transport for millions of UK citizens each year, whether for business, pleasure, family or health reasons.
Am I fit to fly?
Speak to your GP or consultant in the first instance. Airlines want to ensure that your condition is stable and may ask you a set of questions when you book. You can view specific flying advice related to your disability, for example at www.stroke.org.uk or www.bhf.org.uk The UK Civil Aviation Authority www.caa.co.uk feature advice for disabled passengers before planning their journey.
Where do you want to fly to?
That is up to you! Bear in mind that each country’s disability discrimination laws vary and it pays to research your own essential requirements before you fly. If you have not flown before or want further guidance, speak to specialist travel agents who are experienced in supporting disabled travelers for example: www.accessibletourism.org.uk; www.enableholidays.org.uk; www.accomable.com
What items can you take on the aircraft?
Flying to and from the UK you are allowed to take an additional two pieces of mobility equipment free of charge. This can include a wheelchair, a special seating system or specialised buggy. Always check with your airline when you book. Some travelers like to hire equipment instead at their destination. Consider www.mobilityequipmenthiredirect.com
Can I take my wheelchair or scooter?
Yes, you can take your manual or powered wheelchair or scooter, if battery powered, it is subject to the dangerous goods requirements. The airline you choose to fly with will ask about the make and model of your wheelchair, its weight and dimensions. If it is a powered chair or scooter, the airline will also need to ensure the batteries are safe in transit. You can look at www.bhta.com for information about your wheelchair and how it will need to be imobilised when stored in the aircraft hold. Consider the use of an Airsafe Plug www.flexelmobility.com. Take a copy of your wheelchair manual and notify your wheelchair services if it’s not privately owned.
What medications can I take?
If taking over 100ml of medication you will need a doctor’s letter. There is no limit to the amount you can take with you in the cabin. It’s advisable to take a doctors letter declaring medical implants and if you are travelling to Middle Eastern countries check the legality of any drugs you plan to bring with you. The UK CAA has an Aviation Health Unit for medical questions related to being in the cabin. Take essential prescriptions with you should you be delayed at your destination.
Click below to continue reading the BHTA guide to flying with a disability.