Tips For Making Air Travel Easier When Temporarily Disabled Or Injured

Posted on: 19 May 2015

Traveling can be difficult under normal circumstances, but it is really taxing when you're injured. You may not be accustomed to working on crutches, temporarily in a wheelchair or simply in pain -- and you definitely won't want to linger around an airport terminal. With a little foresight and planning, you can make the entire situation much easier on yourself.

Make Sure You Bring Your Medical Documentation

Medical documentation should be carried with you both regarding your illness and any prescription medications you have. While you're not required to show your medical documentation to anyone, it can make the process of getting through a security check easier. For example, a written note stating that you have a temporary pin set in your leg that can throw off the metal detectors. Additionally, prescription medications should always be kept in their bottle.

Arrange for Transport in the Terminal

There are carts specifically made to help those who are injured or disabled navigate the terminals. After all, the terminals are always quite large and there's often a time crunch involved. Don't be afraid to ask those at any desk to call a cart for you; that's what they're there for. You may also want to tell the flight attendant that you will need a cart back when boarding, especially if you'll be in a rush after disembarking. 

Connect With the Airport Shuttle Service 

If you're going to need transportation either to or from the airport, you should contact the airport shuttle service or airport taxi service in advance. Make sure that you specify that you are going to need a vehicle that has access for those who are disabled -- this is especially true if you're currently using a wheelchair. Using an airport shuttle service or airport taxi service will make the entire process much simpler; if you call a ride service from outside the airport, you'll need to wait. 

Ask for More Leg Room

When you're injured, having more room almost always helps. This is obviously true if your leg has been injured, but it can also help you get comfortable if you have other injuries, too. Usually seats with more leg room will be placed by the bulkhead -- naturally you won't be able to sit in any exit rows. 

When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask someone nearby to help. Information desks, in particular, can usually get you to where you need to go. It's always best to plan ahead of time, as different airports will have different accommodations available.