Wanting your own wheelchair

By | Category: Travel rumblings
one wheelchair is not like another

one wheelchair is not like another

The announcement by EasyJet and Medaire recently that Medaire has sourced and supplied wheelchairs for use with EasyJet flights reminded me how personal, how important and how upsetting it can be not to have your own wheelchair available to you all the time.

Although the chair selected, the Air+Chair, was chosen due to it being the most complaint chair on the market currently being used by airlines and airports in relation to the DPTAC (Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee) specification, seems appropriate it isn’t the same as having your won. The problem is that anyone with a motorised wheelchair will find it too wide for airline aisles. They also aren’t flexible to do the tight turns to cross the aisles. It also means that your own wheelchair, the piece of equipment that almost becomes part of you is left behind for the length of your holidays. To lose that for seven or fourteen days can seem an eternity; to lose it for a weekend is bad enough. I’ve seen incidents where people taken from their own chairs have something close to panic attacks. They know and trust their own chair; an unfamiliar one takes a while to get used to.

Looking forward, I can’t see a solution. No airline is ever going to relinquish all the space needed to park your own chair. Look at the space taken up when it is placed on a bus or train. It occupies the space of two or three seats so unless disabled fares are three times the normal airline fare I think chair users will have to grin and bear it.

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