Flying on a Commercial Airline as a C6 quadriplegic paralyzed from the chest down —
I wish I could sugarcoat this for this for wheelchair users out there who have significant mobility impairments, but I struggle to. Traveling in a wheelchair is no joke.
It takes a lot of preparation, a dark sense of humor, the ability to go with the flow, and most importantly, being able to vocalize exactly how you want to be handled.
Having a team is great and so important because most commercial airline attendants and ground staff do not know how to work with so many of us with different disabilities. I do believe it is on us use our words to tell people how we need to be handled.
Now, I’m not specifically talking about our wheelchairs, which is a completely different legislative matter. Am talking about us. Our human bodies. No two disabilities are like, but I wanted to share with you my experience transferring and moving from wheelchair to plane chair as a C6 quadriplegic paralyzed from the chest down from a spinal cord injury in 2010.
Honestly, it is undignified and it can be very embarrassing for many. I have a very dark sense of humor, so I go with the flow, but I appreciate this is no joke to thousands of us. You have dozens of people staring at you as you go down these tiny aisles. If you are overweight you are in a lot of trouble being able to squeeze down the aisles or fit into the airline chair. We need airline reform than many of us are working on this.
In the meantime, thought I would give you a sneak the behind the scenes of my recent flight to Costa Rica in April 2023.