Air travel on its own is quite a nuisance but it becomes even more difficult for those people who are traveling with a disability. Disabled people often complain about not being treated right and not being provided the right facilities to accommodate their needs. Despite the fact that the EU law clearly specifies the accessibility features that airports should offer, not all airports are properly following them. So it’s best that you make some advance planning along with notifying the airline and the airport of the accommodations they will need to make for you. The following tips will help you efficiently plan your journey to avoid any hassles.
1. MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS IF YOU WANT TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT
Just telling your travel agent or airline that you have a particular disability will not be sufficient. You need to clearly explain to them the assistance you will need. It’s also important that you let them know if you are traveling with someone or you will be on your own. If you are traveling independently, you might want to request additional support, or simply notifying them will also be enough for them to know that they should be more vigilant towards a particular traveler.
2. ARRANGE FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE
The most important thing that you need to take care of prior to your journey is your travel insurance. Always make sure that you have enough travel insurance that can cover all your needs. If you are traveling within the European Union (EU) or Switzerland you are entitled to a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You should apply for it in advance by calling at 0845 606 2030, through their website by clicking here. or through the Post Office. For more detailed information on travel insurance, stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts.
3. GETTING YOUR MEDIF
It is also important that you check with your airline to see if you will need to show any medical clearance. If so, you will need to get a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) and have it signed by your doctor. For this form you will need to show your travel date and flight details. The benefit of getting this done is that the next time you are flying with the same airline you will not have to go through the whole ordeal again. The airline will save your details in their records and automatically make arrangements for you the next time you travel with them.
4. AVOID CONNECTING FLIGHTS:
Passengers that require a wheelchair to get off board are often made to wait until all the other passengers on board get off. This can be a really long wait especially on international flights boarding more passengers. If you want to avoid all the hassle and waiting, it’s best to book a straight flight to your destination.
On the other hand, some wheelchair passengers often find it really difficult to use aircraft lavatories. For that reason they prefer to board on several short flights rather than one long flight. If that’s the case, then make sure that time between your connecting flight is at least 90 minutes so you can comfortably reach the next gate.
We hope these tips will help you enjoy a more pleasant flight. For more detailed information on Travel Insurance, stay tuned for our upcoming blog post. If you have any other questions that might have been missed out in this blog, please let us know and we will do our best to answer your question.