Traveling during the holiday season can be a stressful experience for everyone, but particularly challenging if you have a disability. It requires additional time and effort to ensure that you have everything you need before embarking on your travels.
To make sure your journey runs as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together some helpful tips for traveling this holiday season.
Know your rights when flying
Like all passengers, you have rights when traveling. The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 ensures that you can travel via air and prohibit discrimination against passengers with disabilities by air carriers in the United States. If requested, the airline must provide the following:
- Assistance with emplaning and deplaning. The delivering carrier shall be responsible for helping in making flight connections and transportation between gates.
- Preboarding to those passengers with disabilities.
- Airlines are required to provide free and safe transportation for the personal wheelchairs and mobility devices of passengers with disabilities, as well as for checking wheelchairs at baggage claim.
Airlines cannot leave you unattended in a ground wheelchair, boarding wheelchair, or other devices in which the passenger is not independently mobile for more than 30 minutes.
Of course, this is a partial list of all the rules and regulations, so be sure to do your research. At Delta Center, our information and referral department can help guide you to the information you need.
Have extra medication on hand
Traveling over the holidays can be exciting, but it can also come with stressors surrounding access to healthcare. It’s not always easy to access pharmacies on the road or in far-away destinations, so making sure you have extra medication on hand is an incredibly important safety measure. Talk to your doctor about your needs and any concerns you may have. Please make sure all medication is clearly labeled and in its original packaging.
Request a medical statement from your doctor
When planning any travel or stay, having a medical statement from your doctor that outlines your medical needs can be beneficial. Having this documentation on-hand is beneficial for many reasons. It can help airline staff provide better assistance when traveling and ensure hotel staff is aware of any medical equipment or services you may need during your stay. It could also offer insight if medical attention is necessary during either experience.
Whether for peace of mind or providing medical professionals with greater detail about your medical needs, having a medical statement is a great thing to keep on hand.