Traveling for the holidays when you are disabled goes smoother if you take the proper steps. The first and most important is to contact your airline and ask for assistance, as well as making preparations such as packing sufficient medicine, properly transporting your wheelchair, and making reservations for adequate accommodations at your destination.

Traveling for the holidays when you’re disabled does require a certain amount of “homework” and preparation. However, airlines and airports have decades of experience providing help to people in your exact situation.

Here’s a look at some issues involving travel for the holidays if you’re disabled.

Contact the Airline

Airlines and airports are mandated by federal law to accommodate the needs of those traveling while disabled, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Air Carrier Access Act protects the rights of all disabled air travelers on flights in, to and from the United States.

This applies to those with chronic conditions or injuries. The support can come in many ways. By contacting the airport and letting them know your needs, you can get the following types of help.

  • Assistance moving from the terminal entrance through check-in, security, and reaching the gate
  • Early boarding on the airplane, and support in reaching your seat
  • Airplane seating accommodations that meet disabled passenger needs
  • Assistance with loading and stowing any devices or equipment you must bring on the flight
  • Accommodations for service animals (this includes emotional support animals)

Your first, best move, is to contact the airline you are flying on and the airports you are traveling to and from.


It’s possible to take your own wheelchair with you to your destination. Typically, you will be transferred before boarding the plane into a special wheelchair designed to fit in the narrow aisle of the airplane. Your own wheelchair is securely stowed away for the flight. Attendants will have it there for you when you arrive at the gate at your destination airport.


It’s important to take stock of your medications and determine how much you will need to take with you to last throughout your trip. Another approach is to take enough medication for the first few days of your trip and have a prescription that can be filled when you reach your destination. If you are leaving the United States, it’s important to do the research on laws and regulations covering medication.

This is an area where many can benefit from a medical transport company that handles all the details of your trip, including making arrangements to have a nurse fly with you who will monitor your health and managing all the equipment and medication you need during your flight.

Best Accommodations When Traveling For The Holidays

Most major cities around the world have accommodations for those traveling for the holidays while disabled. This requires thorough research on your part. Features to look for include wheelchair accessibility, wheel-in showers, grab rails, shower chairs, and electric beds. For those who may need oxygen, it’s important to see if that is available. This is another area where a full-service medical transport company can provide help.

These are some of the issues that can make traveling for the holidays while disabled as comfortable as possible. Keep them in mind as you make your preparations. The bottom line is that the holidays are a time to gather with friends and family – something that should be available for everyone, even those who have disabilities.

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