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Old 02-20-2013, 06:06 AM   #1
luvsvacations
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Portable Wheelchair on Plane

We are taking a portable wheelchair to WDW this time instead of renting (should have done this a couple of years ago). Can anone tell me how to take this - do we check with luggage and if so how should I protect/wrap it. She does not need it for the airport just for long walks - like WDW!! It is what they call a transport chair. Thanks
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsvacations View Post
We are taking a portable wheelchair to WDW this time instead of renting (should have done this a couple of years ago). Can anone tell me how to take this - do we check with luggage and if so how should I protect/wrap it. She does not need it for the airport just for long walks - like WDW!! It is what they call a transport chair. Thanks

A transport wheelchair is basically a very ightweight wheelchair with small wheels, instead of the usual large wheels in the back.

You have 2 choices of how to handle it at the airport - check it with the baggage or gate check it. Whichever way you choose, you will need to fold it before you leave it and secure it in some way so that it does not unfold.
Remove anything that is not securely attached (like seat cushions) or things that were attached and stick out (like cup holders); put those in a checked by or carry them on with you.

Baggage check - you would check it in at the same time and place as you check your bags. If you choose to bag check it, I would advise protecting it because it will be going on all the conveyor belts and handling devices that luggage goes on. After your flight, you will pick it up at baggage claim.
Ways to protect it would include:
- putting it into a box (identify it as a wheelchair on the outside of the box).

- wrapping it in thick clear plastic (construction plastic wrap is large and thick, so works well) or bubble wrap. Secure it with packing tape and make sure it can still be seen as a wheelchair. That is one of the reasons you want to use clear plastic wrap.

Whatever you use, make sure you will have extra tape to secure it back up for your return flight. The airline MIGHT have stuff you can use, but it's better to bring wht you need so you are sure.

Gate check - there is more complete information in the last post on the disABILITIES FAQs thread. You can find that thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature.
At the gate, they will give you a gate check tag to put onto the wheelchair.
The basics are, you can bring the wheelchair all the way to the door of the plane and it will be delivered to your arrival gate just outside the door of the plane.
You still need to make sure it is securely folded and remove any attachments you are able to that are loose or stick out and could get broken off.
Even though it will not be going on the conveyor belts, it will be still in with other bags and can get damaged as things in the baggage compartment shift and move. So, it is less likely to get damaged, but damage can still occur.

Even though she may not need it for your home airport, the Orlando airport is very large and there is a lot of walking. I would still recommend gate checking it. If she needs it, you will have it nd, if she doesn't, she can put some of her carry on bags on it to move them without having to carry them.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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Thank you so very much for the thorough answer. I am thinking the gate check would be the best way to go. The foot rests were the only things we had to attach after we received the wheel chair. Again - thank you so much.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsvacations View Post
Thank you so very much for the thorough answer. I am thinking the gate check would be the best way to go. The foot rests were the only things we had to attach after we received the wheel chair. Again - thank you so much.
I wouldn't worry about those as long as they are clamped or bolted on.

The concern is more for things that are entirely loose or stick out like cup holders.
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Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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No - none of that stuff so we should be good to go. Thanks again
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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One or two of those stretchy bungee cords that can hook to the frame are good for keeping the chair compactly folded when it's put into the cargo hold at gate check. You can usually get them at a hardware store.
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