|08-13-2012, 01:22 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Flying and DME w/ ECV
My mom is finally getting herself a Hoverround. How does flying with that work? (We're flying Southwest if that matters). How does DME work - do we just tell them we have a powerchair for them to accommodate?
Me (Stephanie) DH (Sam) DD6 (Elizabeth) DD2 (Natalie)
LOTS of trips before!
CP CM - Summer 1999
FT CM - May 2000-Dec 2001 (AKL, BC, Poly)
ASMo 11/03 ASMo 11/06 AS Sp/Mo 8/08 ASMo 1/9 ASMu 8/09 ASMu 8/11 ASMu 1/13
CM - Dec 2000-Feb 2001 (Grand Opening of DCA)
Magic Eastern Caribbean 1/29/11
|08-13-2012, 01:47 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hartsdale, ny
Bring back Walter on the podcast we miss him
|08-13-2012, 03:00 PM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2011
You will also want to let your airline know. Hopefully someone else will chime in as to whether the ECV is checked downstairs with checked bags or gate-checked. They likely will have her transfer to an airport wheelchair in order to check the ECV (it will NOT count towards your free baggage). She'll be given priority boarding - likely with 1 other person to provide her with assistance, so the rest of your party will need to plan their regular boarding assuming you have another adult with you to remain with the children. She'll take the wheelchair down the gateway to the door of the plane, and assuming she can walk a few steps you can assist her to a seat near the front. The wheelchair will be left behind and the ECV should be waiting for you when you get off the plane at MCO.
As another poster said, let DME know you'll have an ECV with your party so they have the correct bus available.
Enjoy your vacation!
|08-13-2012, 04:54 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Poinciana, FL (20 miles to WDW)
If you have a Hoveround you will "Gate Check" it. You will get a special pink luggage tag at the Podium at the boarding gate and actually drive it down the ramp to the door of the plane. They will then take it from you go back up the ramp and to an elevator and it will be loaded in the aircraft's baggage compartment. If you need it (and cannot walk to your seat) they will provide you with an aisle chair to get to your seat.
Upon arrival depending on your abilities you will have two choices. One is to stay in your seat until they bring your chair to the aircraft entrance. The other, which is what I do, is walk out of the plane and up the ramp and stay in a seat next to the gate until they bring my ECV up.
If you have to change planes you have two choices. Again, this depends on connection times. If your time between flights is short they will meet you at the door to the plane with a wheelchair and take you directly to the other flight and will transfer the power chair directly to the second flight. If you have plenty of time, and want to wander the airport, you can have them bring up your chair and re-check it for the second flight.
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A few very helpful links which are on DisBoards:
Everything About WDW Tickets and this one disABILITIES FAQs
|08-13-2012, 11:06 PM||#5|
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Besides what was already posted, there is some information about air travel with a wheelchair/ECV/disability in the last post on page 1 of the disABILITIES FAQs.
You can find that thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature.
The travel thread also has pictures of the aisle chair that Cheshire Figment mentioned.
The first post on page 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs has information about travel on DME buses with a wheelchair or ECV.
Just to clarify - Hoverround makes both ECVs and power wheelchairs.
ECVs are usually light in weight and could possibly be put in the luggage compartment of the DME bus ( depending on how heavy it is). So, if she has a Hoverround ECV, she would have the choice of using the lift or having the ECV placed under the bus if she is able to climb the steps to get into the bus.
A power wheelchair would need to be loaded into the seating area using the lift because the are generally heavier ( has she thought about getting it to the airport - I know someone who got a power wheelchair and then realized she had no ramp to get into and out of her house (two steps to get into the house) and no way to get it into her vehicle.
Many ECVs can be taken apart into smaller pieces to load into a vehicle.
It sound to me like she may not have gotten it yet since you written she is finally getting one?
If she has not gotten it yet, I have a couple of suggestions:
1) ask the service/delivery person if they have any suggestns for preparing it for air travel. For example, we talked with the wheelchair tech for my DD's power wheelchair about travel and he showed us how to remove the joystick and pack it for travel. It is the most fragile piece, so protecting it is quite important.
2) check if she got the transport option. This is a set of permanently installed heavy metal loops that are meant for attaching the tiedown hooks that attach wheelchairs to the buses. If she does not have that option, check with the delivery person to find good spots to attach the tiedown hooks. My DD's power wheelchair has the transport option - this makes it faster and safer to tie the wheelchair down in the bus. Her manual wheelchair does not have that option, so we marked the safe tiedown spots with flourescent green duct tape.
3) have her practice, practice, practice. It takes a longer time and more practice to learn to drive a power wheelchair than an ECV. Whichever she has, she will wants to get comfortable driving it forward, backing up, turning in both directions and parallel parking it for getting it into place in the bus.
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread
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|08-14-2012, 12:07 AM||#6|
Friendly Neighborhood Disney Fanatic!
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
One other thing I would suggest is to ask them NOT to leave the ECV on the tarmac too long before putting it on the plane. They can do this by leaving it indoors until ready to load. An agent suggested that to me for future trips after mine got left on the tarmac for almost an hour and melted the battery.
Other than that, it's all very easy. I was allowed to drive mine to the gate, then transfer to a manual chair to get to the plane.
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