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Walking (or not) in airports
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Walking (or not) in airports

I am a bit at a loss about this and am hoping someone out there can help me. I am planning to fly somewhere in the near future. I haven't flown in almost a year so I'm not sure how this is going to go.

I can walk, but not fast and not far so I am worried about getting to the gate and even more about making the connection. Even a cane doesn't speed me up that much. (I am also a little worried about whether my legs will still want to move after a couple hours on a plane, but I don't think the airline can help with that one).

What should I (or can I) be asking the airline for in the way of assistance? I feel silly asking for a wheelchair, but maybe that's what I need. Anybody know how reliable the airlines' services are on these kinds of things? Or anything else I should know.

sho
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382218_tn?1341185087
I think you ought to ask for whatever you think will help, and try not to feel sheepish about it.  Thought not necessarily visibly disabled, you are aware of your own limits and can relate to your ambivalence given you haven't travelled in a while.  Perhaps call the airline, explain your situation, and ask what they have available to accommodate you.  

I just returned from a trip to NYC and the bloody walk from the first gate, to Customs, back through security, and to the next gate took forever, not to mention the long line ups.  I did OK but would have had a tougher time of it had I been travelling alone.  When I saw how short the lineup was at security for the disabled/elderly, I joked to my spouse re: playing the MS card might come in handy right now.  He rolled his eyes and reminded me that the day before we had walked from 57th St as far south as one can possibly go in Manhattan.  To which I replied, even more of a reason why should be in the short line, I'm exhausted!  I said if I have to cut corners somewhere, it will be in airport lineups and not sightseeing.  Long story short I sucked it up and stayed in the long line.  But I really wouldn't hesitate to ask for help if I had real concerns about my abilities or was feeling especially like cr*p and had a tight timeline for a connection.
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738075_tn?1330579444
Ask for the wheelchair!  It's worth it!  Carry a collapsible cane or hiking staff with you, too!

Just my $.02

Guitar_grrrl
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293157_tn?1285877039
when I travelled this summer I flew to the US and let the Airlines know I needed a wheelchair...they said No Problem.. I used my cane till I got to the gate and a wheelchair was waiting for me.  They pushed me right to the security gate and then the plane...one was waiting for me on the other end as well..and they pushed me back down to the baggage place.. I asked for one to be ready when the plane landed too.

they do this all the time as far as I know.. anyone that needs help will have one.

take care
wobbly
dx
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147426_tn?1317269232
wheelchair, wheelchair, wheechair.  That is what they are there for.  Airports are mandated to be accessible and walking a concourse should not make someone collapse.  Do allow extra time.  Sometimes the runners (pushers) are tied up and you wait 10 min or so.

Yeah, I feel funny, too, but I do it.

Quix
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739070_tn?1338607002
Sho,.

The airlines can and will accomodate you with the help of a wheelchair as well as a person to push it. In the Atlanta airport they have "trams" for lack of the proper name that transport you to different gates, etc. They can be requested on the spot without prior notice. My daughter had them call one for me when I was taking my son to Shriners and I was unable to walk anymore (14hr in the airport waiting for a flight). I didn't "look" sick and they still did not hestiate to summon one for me to use.

I was embarassed to ride on it as they beep the horn contiously and people always look. My kids (young adults actually) thought it was cool and said everyone would just think that we were famous or important. Anyway, I had no choice in the matter and I had plenty of assistance by the airline as well by letting me board first as well.

Just ask and you shall recieve.

Good luck,

Ren
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Avatar_f_tn
If you are booking your tickets online or over the phone either one, you can request assistance at that time. If you already have them, you can still call them for assistance. They can even meet you curbside with a wheelchair if necessary. Do not be embarrassed at all. Any time I am flying by myself I request one, at each leg of the flight. They always have one ready for me and help me get to my next terminal. They have even held up a full plane load of people for the attendant to get me there! Usually I plan on plenty of time between legs of flight, but in case of a later arrival due to weather, etc. They have never let me miss a conection yet. Knock on wood, LOL, flying  from Portland, Or to Florida in Feb.. Generally they will even take you to the baggage claim area and to taxi or shuttle area. After all, with flying as costly as it is these days, they should make it as painless as possible. Enjoy your trip!  Going somewhere fun?
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611606_tn?1315521367
Sorry, But why in the world would you feel silly asking for a wheel chair? You don't want to miss your flight do you? Why would you want to waste energy, ??? Sorry but I think it would service you well to change your thinking. (Your husband was wrong this time.)

Sweetie, I don't mean to sound harsh, but I hate to think about you trying to get through the air port walking when with each step you feel weaker and weaker. I think you are wasting energy, you can little afford to waste. I just want you to be willing to take better care of yourself and not worry about what others might be thinking  or not. Why care, "They" aren't more important "YOU ARE" ! Some times the people closest to us, are the Last To GET IT.

You can call ahead to any Air Port and request that They have a Chair waiting for you at the curb, they will have some one walk you through the Air Port, and you also get to Board the Plane first, No standing in a long line,  See It Is All good... and so much easier.
This is what I call giving yourself a hug or being kind to yourself, just because you are so Worth it !

So won't you please be willing to do this for yourself.. It is kind of like Taking Charge of your life, isn't it.

Sending you lots of TLC, Hugs and keeping you in my Prayers Daily
{{{{{{~!~}}}}} DJ
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572651_tn?1333939396
Sho,
lots of good answers here.  And one other thing, when booking those tickets be sure and request the bulkhead seats reserved for people with disabilities.  They have extra leg room and easier access toward the front of the plane rather than being stuck toward the rear.

good luck traveling!  

I love to go!!!!
Lulu
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333672_tn?1273796389
Thanks, everybody! I called the airline and a very nice woman booked a wheelchair for me. They are also giving me a seat near the front of the plane. I'm sure I'll feel foolish, but I'll regret not doing it even more.

There is more info on air travel with disabilities in the US from http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/rules.htm (rules and FAQ) and http://www.dotcr.ost.dot.gov/documents/acc/horizons.pdf (info for air travelers with disabilities.

Guitar_grrrl: My folding cane is my new security blanket!

DJ: It's not my husband. He thinks I should get over my stupid pride. It's me. Thanks for reminding me that I have to save my energy for the important battles.

My husband does think I should use the cane more even if I don't think I need it in order to protect other people by alerting them to my problems walking and by preventing me from unexpectedly veering so much. After some idiot almost ran me over in a crosswalk by trying to turn left by cutting in front of oncoming traffic at a very sharp angle and apparently anticipating that I should be moving faster than I was, I have to concede that he has a point. :-(

sho
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611606_tn?1315521367
I m so proud of you for being willing to re think this and than do some thing about it. WAY TO GO  YOU ROCK
Now you won't be so sore and tired when you get to where you are going.. Have a wonderful trip and stay safe.. We all love & Care about you.
{{{{~!~}}}} DJ
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429700_tn?1308011423
Call the airport ahead of time and see if the airport can get you to the next gate with one of those golf cart thingies.
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Avatar_f_tn
Does anyone have any experience of UK airports for this issue.

My big worry is that I will probably be flying soon for the first time in years, I now use a cane (only for the last few weeks) - will this be a problem to take on the aircraft? - Security etc. Also at my local airport the only way to get onto the plane is by steps, I will be ok going up but not coming down.

Mand
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