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humancatapult4
04-27-2012, 08:29 AM
Hi

Have plenty of time for planning but wondering about renting a powerchair when we do go .

Cant fly with mine as it is to big and heavy.so will have my lightweight manual but dont fancy self propelling for 2 weeks

Prefer powerchair as people tend to see Scooter and think I cna hop of and Im used to a powerchair


Thank you

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 08:58 AM
Hi

Have plenty of time for planning but wondering about renting a powerchair when we do go .

Cant fly with mine as it is to big and heavy.so will have my lightweight manual but dont fancy self propelling for 2 weeks

First up; did you know that you are allowed to bring upto 2 mobility aids onboard free of charge since you will be departing your flight from probably London but at least the UK? (the EU has legislation about this, no airline can deny you this or charge you on any flight departing from, connecting in or arriving within the EU). Unless you are using a chair with a wetcell batery, it is no biggie at all to arrange this. Sure powerchairs are heavy and big, but that isn't something that unables you from flying with them if you want to. This does not count towards your luggage allowance.

Also you are flying to the USA, so besides the EU legislation, the ACAA (USA regulations) also applies. Under this you are also protected and allowed to bring them along with you free of charge and does not count towards your luggage. The ACAA goes even further (a lot!) then our EU stuff. So any questions about what can be arranged or not; go for it, find out, but many things are possible if need be.


Prefer powerchair as people tend to see Scooter and think I cna hop of and Im used to a powerchair


Worst possible decisions are those made based upon how others might react or think. That's their problem, don't make it yours. If a scooter doesn't best fit your needs, that's something else. But don't ever limit yourself from one if it is an option because of others.

As far as renting a powerchair goes; Sue has posted stickies on top of this disABILITIES part. The info includes info about both renting an ECV and a powerchair. Do keep in mind that rentals come with one huge limitation; they are geared towards a "general user public". If you rely on specific types of seating, specific adjustments and what not, it can become difficult if not totally impossible to ever get that in a rental chair.

An extra factor for those of us not from the US is having to deal with a different market. Each country has their own preferred brands, types and shapes of aids. Powerchairs are no exception. You might find that rental options are options that aren't something you are familiar with because of for instance not being used on the UK-market. In which case it can be impossible to know if something might work or not or to give a rental company the exact right sizes (some can depend per chair, depending on your individual needs).

If renting a powerchair is a good option; make sure you have all the info in writing about proper sizes and what not. Preferably confirm that through mail or fax so there can be no misunderstanding of saying one thing and the other hearing something else. Keep in mind that sometimes English words differ from the American ones that can cause miscommunication. If need be, draw the picture. (been there done that when needing a repair ;) ).


I'm Dutch myself and have always flown with my powerchair. Why? Too many downsides to renting. Not only can't I rent a chair even miles near what I need, the type of chair I've got isn't even available -yet- on the US market. The brand is, but the type isn't. So I simply make my powerchair travel ready, have special insurance for the chair (covers both damage in flight as while in the US), say a little prayer, have back up plans and contactinfo with me and go for it. Can be a bit stresfull at times of damage but in the end facts are that I've never lost more than 1,5 day of a vacation dealing with that. Damage is a given unfortunately with how sensitive my chair is -lot more than normal- and how rude they handle chairs at Schiphol. But in the end having my own chair there means I can do A LOT more, with a lot less pain and even permanent damage.

humancatapult4
04-27-2012, 09:07 AM
thank you

from the Uk theres aweight restrction on the powerchair that thy will lift and mine is very heavy ( its mainly outdoor use and since i live hilly area and we spend lot of time cmaping it has off road options)

Am fortunate that I do not need special seating so a jazzy style would work Ok though be a shock to the system to loose the speed .Do they ask for any proof that you are used to using one ?

Though looking the battery and distance range does not seem that big . 40amp batteries when they say 15 normaly means maybe 8 what are the chances of doing more than that in a day ( I have 110amp batteries and a 60 mile range at home )

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 09:15 AM
thank you

from the Uk theres aweight restrction on the powerchair that thy will lift and mine is very heavy ( its mainly outdoor use and since i live hilly area and we spend lot of time cmaping it has off road options)

If you want to know if you are allowed to fly -because most of the times you are and airlines are the one in the wrong*-, we could find this out. Which airline and what chair do you have?



Does make it easier indeed.

[quote]did read through and cna not see if theres a speed restrction

Speed restriction for what from whom/what?




* EU legislation about flying with a mobility disability simply covers about all powerchairs that don't have a wetcell. Unfortunately still too many airlines are either arrogantly trying to ignore it and scare customers off with incorrect information or are so dumb they haven't even heard of it and put illegal procedures into place. Air Ryan and EasyJet for instance are famous for their wrotten behaviour. They are actually a main reason we got this legislation in '07. ;) My experience with airlines of both types? If I need to fly them, I'll kindly and firmly remind them of the fact there is legislation they have to abide to. And voila; it will get solved as they do not like being this bluntly refusing passengers with a mobility disability and get the EU on their case.

And you are flying to the US. The ACAA goes even a lot further. The airline can think they are, but they hardly are god. They have to follow it, period. Sure in theory they can refuse and perhaps might, but have still to find the EU carrier that flies to the US that dares to do this. I'ld be beyond surprised to find a powerchair would legally be denied because of weight.

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 09:22 AM
Though looking the battery and distance range does not seem that big . 40amp batteries when they say 15 normaly means maybe 8 what are the chances of doing more than that in a day ( I have 110amp batteries and a 60 mile range at home )

Ah, I was taking too long. I don't do that much distance, but on average people will cover 8 or miles within no time in a park day. So you'll want something that can handle some. Overnight charging isn't that big of a thing when needing to charge 8 hours.

Batteries are one thing to keep in mind. I'ld be looking for experiences with this if I'ld be looking into rentals. We all know how poor handling can hugely decrease battery capacity, so knowing if a rental company makes sure batteries are up to par is very important.

Expecting anything like 60 miles isn't a realistic expectations if you ask me. That is a HUGE radius and not the norm in many of the countries I know when it comes to being able to get such a radius as part of the (partial) covered costs. My action radius is about 25 miles and is pretty common here. Have run into enough folks abroad that don't even get that as a standard radius. Having said that, still more than plenty to hit a park commando style and charge overnight.


If you do end up bringing your own chair; remember to check if the charger can handle the 110V norm of the US. I didn't even think about it on my first trip. Stupid! :rolleyes1 My Disney resort front desk ended up saving the day -or actually trip- and I've learned since. ;) My charger doesn't work on the 110V and buying one that does is way too expensive, IMHO. Our Dutch importer of Permobil (brand of chair I use) gets a call once a year from me to reserve one of their rental US chargers. If available, you can loan them for free. Something they do free of charge in many countries and I know of other brands that have a same service. Might be very well worth looking into if your charger can't charge on 110.

humancatapult4
04-27-2012, 09:25 AM
i have a meyra optimus 2 I get a good 45-50 on the hills and a bit less when im driving at full speed 15km more i the flat .Not sure who be flying with could be Virgin I suspect. Am bit wary of flying in case gets damged . hmm never thought about the charger good point /It handles the uk uk 240V but not like the lower voltage will check with the company that makes them

In uk 4mph is a restriction on most powerchairs .If anything faster you have to have a pavement switch which i do use .Well ok unless is quiet

But to be fair on this sort of Holiday dont think i need that speed extra

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 09:39 AM
i have a meyra optimus 2 .Not sure who be flying with could be Virgin I suspect. Am bit wary of flying in case gets damged .

Reading about 4 mph, I think you've got the 115 type? Worst case scenario the Optimus 2 has a "empty weight" of 150 kilos without batteries and before adjustments. I'm sorry to tell you but Virgin would be telling you something illegal if they'ld want to refuse you entry on grounds of the weight. Not a proper reason. Grin, it's a pretty lightweight chair when talking European powerchairs. ;)

To give you an idea; my chair is 250 kilos.


Damage is a risk, which you'ld have to weigh against renting. Both pros and cons, which outweights the other for you?

You can make your chair travelsafer. Remove all removable and sensitive options like the controler (carry on baggage). The more you can make your chair into a "box shape", the lower the risk of damage. With many chairs there now even is a general advice how to transport that chair safest. Meyra will be able to give you more info about this chair, apart from general experience-based tips we can give you. My track record is bad because of my chair and airport, but most of the times the damage won't be that horrible and I'll get back on my way soon enough. I have seen others fly lots of time without any damage or anything worth getting worked up about like a loose bolt. Travelling with your own toolkit will also help out with little things.

In uk 4mph is a restriction on most powerchairs .If anything faster you have to have a pavement switch which i do use .Well ok unless is quiet

Grin, so many countries so many laws. Never even heard of this! Obviously that isn't the case with us. We will have a restriction but that's not an issue as it is way above what is the norm in powerchair options. We tend to standardly get a chair that can do 10 km/h (about 6.3 mph) and in very specific cases some might get one that does up to 15 km/h. Obviously we have "common logic" as no speeding in pedestrian locations or use walkers like bowling pins. ;)

But to be fair on this sort of Holiday dont think i need that speed extra

Honestly 4 mph would put me to sleep as my own speed already does at some moments, but may I ask why? I mean when it comes to parks and stuff I find I will use speedoption 3 out of 5 the most in open areas and 2 in lines -but many times not to full push- and 5 really totally isn't safe. Option 5 would be those 6.3 mph.

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 09:49 AM
As far as flying goes; no experience with Virgin. I've learned that how an airline rates on general stuff and disability stuff are two different things. So while you can get a very good idea about the first on the UK boards, the 2nd might be another thing.

Last year I flew Aer Lingus and have to say; first airline ever so far to have gotten my powerchair to MCO without any damage beyond a bent break on my manual chair that we could put back into place within 1 minute ourselves. Not so lucky on the way back, but that damage was caused while unloading on Schiphol airport. AE was also the first ever airline within the EU that offered my powerchair to me at the gate at Dublin on the way back. Had it checked through (gate delivery/check is not on option at AMS for powerchairs) but they brought it up anyway thinking it might be more comfy. Almost fall to the floor seeing it standing right outside the aircraft door when getting of the plane. Talk about fast! They did take their time with refunding the repair costs, mostly due to having to go through a second company the use in Amsterdam that has to then sent it to headoffices in Dublin. Took about 2.5 months after filing versus around 4 weeks I'm used to with most airlines or 2 work days with Continental (but cheating a bit by using someone I know there). Actually will be flying them again this fall, seeing how I loved the ease of Dublin airport and preclearing US customs, AE product in business class was superior to others I've flown and they are loads cheaper than others in BC -which unfortunately I now need to fly because of my disability-.

Both EU legislation and ACAA makes sure you shouldn't worry and should be allowed on any and all airlines for this trip with both chairs. Very few are ones that you'ld want to avoid for this, if any. Some are better than others, but it also depends on specific needs, wishes etc. I'ld personally never shy away from a for me new airline when it comes to a flight from EU to the US. Sometimes takes a bit more polite but firm talking, but it gets taken care off. Those chairs are coming along.

goofieslonglostsis
04-27-2012, 10:00 AM
Here I am again. :scared: This is the EU legislation in English; http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:204:0001:01:EN:HTML

If you'ld prefer, I can also link a PDF file. When even just calling out the legislation number I've found airline disabilities desk agents crinch, put me on hold, yell help (wait til I'm on hold to yell that :rotfl2:), have a crash meeting about it, calling me back the next day and saying "you're right, we are wrong, sorry, sorry, yadiya". It's like magic most of the times, let alone when needing to cite the actual text.

I always have a copy on me, just in case I might need it. Great thing is, the EU supplies it online to us in all languages used within the EU so you can print out any language you might come across on route.


More info from Virgin about this, for instance see; http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/special-assistance/mobility-impaired/powered-wheelchairs-batteries.html I'm surprised they don't mention the ACAA applies to US-bound and US-departing flights, most EU airlines by now do. (yet nothing about our own stuff.........)

Besides, can't find any weight limitation on there. If being told so by anyone on phone; don't believe even a letter of it. It was wrong and unfortunately many times it is. Call the speficied number for special assistance (sometimes still make stupid mistakes, but a lot less than the general number folks) for this stuff. Works a lot better. If ANY worry at all; mail and ask for reply per mail. That way you could print it out and bring it along as a "safety blanket". Weight shouldn't come up as a limiting factor (it DOES come up because they'll need to know to know how to handle) and in that worst fear you could grab the mail and go "but you guys yourselves OK-ed it!".

humancatapult4
04-27-2012, 10:09 AM
Thank you will have a good read and also contact some hire companies to talk batterys

yes it would me normally send me to sleep at 4mph but then figure that my daughter would need to run very fast to keep up otherwise

at home I do tend to charge about more .Though some days I could be tempted to put a scorecard on the back at people that dot see me and fall over me even at slow speed

Cheshire Figment
04-27-2012, 12:30 PM
This month I flew Delta Orlando to Paris (via JFK in New York) and Air France Paris direct to Orlando. I brought my ECV along, which weighs about 85 Kg, and had no problem either way. Both times on arrival I was met with a wheelchair to take me to baggage claim where I was able to get my ECV.

And my charging unit showed a range of 110-240 volts; all I needed was an adapter for the different socket type.

SueM in MN
04-27-2012, 05:27 PM
I found some information on line about your model of power wheelchair and it gave dimensions of 116 cm in length, which converted to about 46 inches long, and a width of 68 cm, which converted to about 27 inches wide. I am not positive if that is the length of the chair itself or includes footrests plus anything protruding from the chair.

If that is the total length, it is within the length and width for fitting on buses, in lines, etc (48 inches long and 30 inches wide).

My DDs power wheelchair is an Invacare tdx and we have not brought it to WDW because we are concerned about damage during travel. We did look into renting a power wheelchair for her, but because she has too many special needs in her chair, we were not able to. First, her chair is vey narrow, with the seat being only 14 inches wide. But, she has long legs, so the seat needs to be 17-18 inches deep. With those dimensions, it is not possible to rent a chair for her. Plus she had other needs like footstraps, etc.

If you choose not to bring your chair, you wont have to provide proof that you use one at home, but they will ask you some specifics about how it is set up, so that they can personalize it to you. They wont rent one to someone without experience because of the greater amount of practice needed to control a power wheelchair compared to an ECV.