003 – Travel and Mobility

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Travel is freedom.  On the surface disability seems to limit that freedom.  But it’s not limited, just different. However you need the right mindset to overcome obstacles.  Join us as we share a conversation about what informs our approach to travel.

As a follow up to this episode, the next one will feature reactions and stories from our listeners plus our own stories of horror and hilarity from our travel experiences.  Please leave your comment below and we will feature some listener feedback on our next episode.

9 Comments on “003 – Travel and Mobility

  1. Regarding the “Pat down”
    I just recently flew Southwest, with wheel chair assist. I had taken a pain pull before leaving for the airport. During the scan of my palms something odd showed up and I was thoroughly checked out. I asked the attendant and she said yes, a pill could leave stuff on your hand so WASH your hands before you go through security!!

  2. There’s actually some bonuses…like skipping to the head of the line for security, getting to preboard and picking seat of your choice(Southwest airlines), which is great ifyou like to pick a seat upfront, like me!

  3. Recently travelled to Paris, London, and Spain… Definitely take pain meds because there is barely any consideration for “pat downs” although some countries were better than others. I have severe pain in my back and limbs, so touching my back was very painful, but required for their search. I was allowed to leave my shoes on, and did ask for a chair to sit in, however taking care of & gathering my belongings from the conveyor belt after the pat down would’ve been extremely difficult if I didn’t have a travel companion. There was also a lot less care re medical privacy as I find out when interrogated in front of anyone within hearing distance about what medicines I use, what for and when because I had a bag full to get me through 2 weeks. Scheduling airport assistance did help get through many of the security checkpoints & airports much faster which I highly recommend. Ensuring the location & space adequacy of the seat you are in on the airplane is another factor to contend wias i was ina middle seat with barely room to breathe on the way over which added to the pain in my limbs, but asked for special accommodations in the way back which i received thankfully. There should be handicapped seating in planes just like anywhere else!!! When in the countries, Spain was not accommodating or kind as a disabled person traveling their narrow streets nor were many of the attractions adapted for access which limited what I could do. In London they were much friendlier and hospitable about holding doors and assisting when it looked like I needed assistance vs how rudely and looked down upon I felt I was treated in Sevilla Spain. At one point I was yelled at to move off a narrow curb or a narrow street so a woman with a stroller could get by . Catching cabs was a whole other project while abroad.I found out the hard way that one must really plan in advance when faced with additional challenges such as limited walking.

  4. Also… I was allowed in some airports to keep my water past security checkpoint when telling them it was for my medicine. I also took my handicapped placard & card with me to prove I was handicapped if asked which happened twice in Spain. Again, no respect for medical privacy as they wanted to know what ailments I suffered from and to what percentage.

  5. In terms of air travel, I don’t see a whole lot to be gained from signing up for TSA pre-check as individuals in wheelchairs go to the front of lines anyway. I have had it a few times listed on my boarding pass for whatever reason and I have been told at the airport that it doesn’t buy me or my companion any time. I also don’t know, but doubt, that pre-check ensures greater availability of pat-down personnel. Airlines seem to have improved their care of stowed wheelchairs, but I had repeated terrible experiences with my set of wheels on airplanes 9 or 10 years ago. So, I bought a ~$90 travel wheelchair which is certainly not built for independence or comfort but can be collapsed easily and banged around. I don’t care much how it looks when I get off the plane as long as the wheels still turn. It’s been a great, low-stress air travel solution for me. However, that usually doesn’t suffice for the destination. I have had tremendous experiences with Scoot-a-round, which rents mobility equipment and delivers to a hotel/destination of my choosing. Lastly, I recommend checking out Marriott hotel chains–I’ve found their commitment to accessibility truly impressive and unparalleled!

    1. That’s a good call Joanna. I got precheck a few weeks ago and there were a few benefits. I don’t count the quick line as a benefit because we get that anyway! My perceived benefits: 1. Did not have to take my computer out of the case and did not have to take my shoes off. 2. They skipped the pat down and just swabbed my chair which saved time and saved me from the actual pat down. I still had to wait for the availability of someone to do the swab but it was a bit simpler. I hope these things hold true when I actually get TSA precheck! Thank you for the suggestion of the travel wheelchair and scoot-a-round. – Kyle

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