Spinal Cord Injury Community

Video: Air Travel with a Spinal Cord Injury

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/02/17  12:34 PM PST

Aaron Baker – Shield HealthCare’s Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist – takes on his trip, from the airport check in to his bulkhead seat! Get some great tips from Aaron, who has been using a wheelchair for over 17 years, about how to travel with a disability.

You can find a written article about air travel with a spinal cord injury here.

Aaron gives tips on:

  • What to pack and how to pack it (bring two carry-on bags: one to wear and one that rolls)
  • When to arrive at the airport and how to get around once there
  • Using the Priority Access Line and going through security
  • Arriving at the gate and asking for assistance
  • Removing items from your chair and transferring to the aisle chair
  • How to communicate to the airline assistants and the flight attendants regarding your condition and any flight connections you may have

For more information, see related articles and resources below:

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  1. Eric Albert
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm PST

    I have a similar experience that you had going through the airport, meaning the security checkpoints. But when it came to getting into that Isle transfer chair that’s when things become difficult for me. I am a quadriplegic level C-5, C-6. The problem is my feet don’t fit on the bottom bar and are constantly falling off as we roll down the isles. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. Aaron Baker
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 9:35 am PST

    Hi Eric, it is great to know that you are out and about traveling despite your injury. I do not have the same issue as you, however I can recommend keeping a small velcro strap, tape or belt in your carry-on luggage for quick and easy access. You can instruct the flight attendants to assist you in wrapping your feet together and securely strap them to the chair. I own an adaptive gym in California and a few of our clients have used this technique. Wishing you safe and fun travels. Cheers! -Aaron

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