- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Ana Maria.
January 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm #6203Ana MariaParticipantJanuary 17, 2020 at 5:20 am #6204Schroth.SenseiParticipant
Although slim, there is always a risk of damage to wheelchairs during international flights, and chances of this can vary depending on where you are flight from, what plane you’re flying on, and more. Chances of damage may be even lower leaving Japan, as they typically are very attentive of guests with disabilities and their wheelchairs. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to help further minimize this chance, here are a few tips:
- Take off any removable parts and bring them on board to store in an overhead compartment if possible (e.g. take off the seat cushion if it’s just held on by Velcro, take off leg rests if they are the removal type, etc.)
- Airlines usually won’t use the controls to drive the chair, so it’s important provide clear instructions on how to switch the chair between manual mode, drive mode, and any wheel locks (consider putting printed instructions in a clear plastic bag attached to chair)
- If the chair is collapsible (such as a manual, hybrid manual-electric wheelchair, or even just a fold-down backrest) provide clear instructions on how to properly operate it (consider putting printed instructions in a clear plastic bag attached to chair)
- If parts can be easily disassembled (such as backrest), include necessary tools with clear instructions on how to do remove/attach parts (consider putting printed instructions in a clear plastic bag attached to chair)
- Contact your airline (or travel agent) and discuss with them the storage of your chair in the cargo hold of your particular plane (some flights have been known to store chairs on their side in the past, this is not acceptable and bad for batteries!), also provide them with detailed information about your chair (battery type, brand, model, etc.)
Chances of damage are still low, so do what you can to prepare, and try not to worry too much otherwise. So, enjoy your trip to Japan and please share your experiences with us at Accessible Japan afterward, we’d love to hear about it!
I hope that helps,
-JustinJanuary 17, 2020 at 8:02 am #6205
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