Wheelchairs and aeroplanes

Hi all i will be flying from Johannesburg to London Heathrow end of September. I have booked assistance. Virgin Atlantic tell me i can take my wheelchair up to the plane door this end , it will then be put in the hold. When i get to London Heathrow i have to collect my chair from baggage collection, its a security thing. A question for all of you that have traveled with a chair. Did your chair arrive in one piece the other end, or am i worrying for nothing. Linda.

I recently flew from Boise ID to Spokane WA and back with my power chair, and it arrived at both places in perfect condition. I must confess I was worried, as it was the first time I had flown with the chair, but it was easy and problem-free. Hope that your trip will be trouble free as well!

When an item goes to the hold, it is the same as when you give your suitcase in only it goes in last so usually comes out first, so in that respect I would not worry about it too much. It stands the same chance of being damaged as a suitcase. Yes, you will be concerned being apart from it, but I dont think you have to think it will be damaged,

Dear Linda, I am flying several times a year from LA to Germany with different airlines. I just can tell you that traveling with a wheel chair is the best experience you can have. Everybody is wonderful and I have never had any trouble with the chair being damaged. Stop worrying and enjoy!


I fly reguraly and use my own chair up to the plane door,, it is then put in the hold, and just before landing at destination, the cabin crew will ask/ confirm that my chair will be brought up to the plane door, for me.

Usually mobility assistance will "load" you first and on arrival at destination you will have to wait for the "normies" to get off first

Alan Thomas

Ataxia South Wales

Dear Linda,

I have flown with my manuel wheelchair. Like they say they take you to the plane door and put the chair in the hold. When arriving at my destination abroad and home airport, they usually bring my chair in one piece back to the plane door. I panic every time I fly with my chair, but it has always come back in one piece. I also ring the company I am flying with and book my seat. The cost is, I'm free, my husband who is my carer has to pay, (it's about £25) but well worth it to be able to sit at the front of the plane.

Have a lovely and relaxing trip,

Good luck, Carol.

Hi, I've flew a few times in the past I've never has a problem with my chair being damaged I always take my own chair to the gate at the airport where I am then transferred to an aisle chair which is used to takew me onto the plane. When I arrive at my destination the aisle chair is used again to transfer me off the plane and my own wheelchair is always waiting when I get out of the plane. Although I've never had to make a claim, I always get insurance for my chair, for peace of mind!

Just to echo the others, I have flown several times. I have never had a single problem, and since I was alone the airport person pushed me to my connecting flight so I didn’t have to worry about getting lost and missing my flight! Relax and have fun, everything will be fine!

Thank you all for your positive replies. I am going over to the UK for four months and have booked to go to the Ataxian conference in October. If anyone else is going to the conference it would be really nice to meet up and chat. I am looking forward to my trip it's going to be a wonderful time spent with family and friends. Linda.

I dont use wheelchair or aeroplanes but will be very pleased to see you Linda. x


August 2011 I flew England to Russia (return) and November 2011 I flew England to Cyprus (return). No problems at all with my wheelchair. Also my wife flew Russia to Cyprus (return) and Russia to England (one way) she had no problems at all with her wheelchair either.

The wheelchair assistance workers are excellent at there job and there is always an assistant with you to help with everything you need.

You have nothing to worry about Linda.

Looking forward to you coming to the UK (and attending the AUK conference, in Stansted)

and hearing from our ASW / South Africa correspondent http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ataxia-South-Africa-ataxiafriendsagmailcom/165483150143163?v=wall


Ataxia South Wales