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Any advice on flying abroad? And holiday experiences?

bevt2017bevt2017 Member Posts: 353 Pioneering
Hi everyone 😀

I'm just looking for some advice on flying and going abroad on holiday.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I've gone abroad. I suffer really bad with anxiety and stress so flying is unbearable.

I now have to use a wheelchair and I'm not sure what I need to do?

Unfortunatly "lol" my doctors have all said it's ok for me to fly (as long as I don't have an infection)?

I also suffer with tinnitus, Ataxia, virtigo, pherparal neuropathy, non specific vascilitus (very painful infections) Asthma, mental health problems and I'm prouvondly deaf. 

My daughter is only 12 and is pleading with me to go away, so no pressure lol. I've only been away once with her, so she really wants to go "bless".

If I do away? It will only be on a 2 hour flight like Spain lol.

Has anyone had a good experience with booking holidays, flights ect for disabled people?
Its quite daunting for me, so I really only want Good experiences. 

Thank you in advance 😀
For any help.
Bev

Replies

  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 313 Pioneering

    Hi @bect2017....Have you really thought through the logistics of what you're proposing?   In my honest opinion just about the least of your problems would be the cost of insurance which may potentially double the cost of your holiday. Then there's the hassle of getting on and off the plane by ambulift plus the possibility of loss or damage to your wheelchair.  Then having to look after a 12 year old on the point of adolescence.  Sounds like real fun [not].

     Of course you don't have to fly, you can get to mainland Europe by car or train, or why not even consider a holiday at one of the beautiful destinations in the UK ?.  There are many lovely places including Scotland, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, all within easy reach.

     Sorry if I'm putting a downer on your plans but quite honestly I think even short-haul foreign holidays are more hassle than they're worth.

    Whatever you choose I hope you have a great holiday.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bevt2017, hopefully people will be in touch to share their thoughts!

    I personally have had really good experiences with flying and using a wheelchair at a couple of airports- on their websites, there should be a 'passenger assistance' line you can contact to talk about your needs and the process. If you can, it's also a good idea to bring a prescription script or GP note as 'evidence' for any medication you need to take in your hand luggage.

    My friend Sian has a great travel series on her blog that you may find helpful too- lots of tips and advice!  
  • GoodienuffGoodienuff Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Last time I flew was EasyJet from Manchester!!  Their customer care service was EXCELLENT.  I was using crutches and as soon as I entered the airport, I was treated like Royalty.

    They got me a wheelchair, took me straight through check in and security, and before the flight was called, we were on board the flight and told to wait once we landed in Malta they came and got us off the plane and through customs in no time!
    If you know you need assistance when you go, you can pre-book the service, and we will certainly do so if I ever get to go on holiday again.
              HAPPY HOLIDAYS 
  • bevt2017bevt2017 Member Posts: 353 Pioneering
    Hi @exdvr

    Thanks for the advice.

    Yes I've done a lot of travelling to Wales and Scotland since I was a child I'm 45 now. Going on 21 😉
    (Absolutly love the places) 
    The kids however (i have 3) are really fed up and want to travel (can't blame them really). 

    Hi @Pippa_Scope

    Thank you for the advice. 
    I will deffenatly check out the blog.

    Thank you 😀

    Hi @Goodienuff

    Thank you for your advice 😀

    I will also travel from Manchester, so that's awesome advice thank you.
    We won't be going till next year, just getting prepared.
    I don't even have a passport yet, nor the kids (better do that first lol).

    They all know it will be the last time for me, so really need to make an effort for them.

    Thank you everyone 
    Bev 😊
  • GoodienuffGoodienuff Member Posts: 8 Listener
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    bevt2017 said:
    Hi everyone 😀

    I'm just looking for some advice on flying and going abroad on holiday.

    I can count on one hand the amount of times I've gone abroad. I suffer really bad with anxiety and stress so flying is unbearable.

    I now have to use a wheelchair and I'm not sure what I need to do?

    Unfortunatly "lol" my doctors have all said it's ok for me to fly (as long as I don't have an infection)?

    I also suffer with tinnitus, Ataxia, virtigo, pherparal neuropathy, non specific vascilitus (very painful infections) Asthma, mental health problems and I'm prouvondly deaf. 

    My daughter is only 12 and is pleading with me to go away, so no pressure lol. I've only been away once with her, so she really wants to go "bless".

    If I do away? It will only be on a 2 hour flight like Spain lol.

    Has anyone had a good experience with booking holidays, flights ect for disabled people?
    Its quite daunting for me, so I really only want Good experiences. 

    Thank you in advance 😀
    For any help.
    Bev
    For a start I would suggest that you purchase good quality travel insurance after disclosing ALL of your medical issues.

    Secondly try to ensure that you are not faced with having to travel as in a cattle truck - club class with BA or similar would help a great deal.

    Thirdly ensure that you have full details of the nearest hospital to where you will be staying.

    I hate flying and hate the queues! 
  • bevt2017bevt2017 Member Posts: 353 Pioneering
    Hi @Yadnad

    Awesome advice!
    Thank you.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bevt2017, I have found no issues with flying. I use a wheelchair part- time and am partially sighted. I take a fair bit of medication so got a GP letter which explained everything I was on. I would advise putting all medication in your hand luggage and keeping them in the original boxes (which is a pain, but shows what they are!). I go through the priority lanes and get to board the plane first. I found that airport staff were amazing and guided me when my cane was in the scanner. I have taken my wheelchair on several holidays and it goes in the hold once I am on the plane and is there waiting for me when I get off. I would advice booking assistance and this ensures and your family are very well looked after. I hope you have an amazing time and it would be great to hear about your experiences!
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    The last time I went away was late last year when I went to Italy (flew) with my son (23) for 2 nights then stayed in a hotel twice (within driving distance) on my own. These are the only times I have been away since 2008.

    The trip to Italy was from Gatwick and that went fine although coming back my mobility scooter was damaged and I fractured my spine (L3) trying to get off the bus in airport parking due to tiredness and confusion. The solo trips went fine but having to handle my case myself was difficult. On the plane I could manage walking far enough to get my seat at the front from the door.

    I don't like to dampen your enthusiasm but without my son I could not have managed taking sufficient stuff because I could not manage a large case. Could your daughter realistically help you with that? Taking a small pull along case for the weekends away was just about ok but difficult finding hotels that were ok for me (1 wasn't really) as they all seem to assume disabled people are in a wheelchair and have someone with them to push and sort out cases.

    Generally I found people helpful everywhere it was just me personal limitations that caused me problems.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • bevt2017bevt2017 Member Posts: 353 Pioneering
    Hi @Chloe_Scope

    Great advice, thank you.

    I've been writing down everyone's advice, ready for when I do book.

    I will deffenatly let you know how I get on.

    Thanks 😊

    Hi @Topkitten

    Sounds like you had a nightmare of a time.

    My husband and maybe my 2 eldest sons will go too? So I will have plenty of help.

    I've had lots of awesome advice from the community, so I know what I need to do now.

    Thanks 
  • axwy62axwy62 Member Posts: 140 Pioneering
    Hi,
    I've had both really good and really bad experiences flying with my wheelchair. When things go well, the airlines and airports cannot be faulted, but you must bear in mind that if they go wrong, it can be verging on disastrous. I fly regularly and rarely have a problem, but on both occasions when things did go wrong it was fairly horrendous.
    Wheelchairs can and do go missing or get damaged - how would you manage if your chair comes off the plane unusable? Quite a few people advocate hiring a wheelchair so you've still got your own at home if the worst happens, particularly if it's an expensive chair.
    As mentioned by someone else, dealing with your luggage is an issue - I can just about manage a back pack hanging on the back of my chair and a hand luggage size case by myself. If I need more than that, I have to take someone with me.
    Plan ahead. Don't just find out where the nearest hospital is, also check if you can hire a replacement wheelchair if necessary - lots of the Spanish resorts are particularly good in that respect as they cater for British OAPs. Bear in mind that a lot of European countries are way behind the UK when it comes to accessibility - in Cyprus the pavements are too narrow for wheelchairs even if you can find a dropped kerb to get up there, in France don't expect much outside the main cities, in Amsterdam I was sold a wheelchair accessible room in an hotel with 4 steps down to the door. 
    Finally, what will you do if one of your flights is cancelled? If it's the outward flight, the airline should look after you and worst case you can go home, but what will you do if it's the return flight? Unfortunately my first solo trip ended like that - the only assistance the airline gave me was a taxi voucher and a room in an hotel with no lift and no accessible rooms. It was sorted out eventually, but it was incredibly stressful at the time, not least because an accessible taxi in Spain apparently involves being shoved in the boot (literally, the foot plate was folded up and my knees were rammed against the back seats) with no restraints whatsoever whilst some lunatic driver swerves through rush hour traffic at 70 mph. Scary.
    That said, I still do it. I haven't tried travelling unaccompanied since the Spain thing, but I'm not about to give up altogether. If you can do it safely, go for it.
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    Great advice folk. 
    Written all that down
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