Flying with crutches can present unique challenges, whether a temporary injury or a long-term mobility aid. This article will guide you through essential tips to make air travel with crutches a breeze.
Air travel can be daunting for individuals who rely on crutches or other mobility devices due to a foot injury or surgery.
However, with proper planning and preparation, flying with crutches can be as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Preparing to Fly With Crutches
Before booking your flight, contact the airline or visit their website to learn about their policies regarding passengers traveling with crutches or other mobility devices like knee walkers.
Some airlines may require advance notice of your needs, while others might have restrictions on certain types of mobility aids.
1. Request Special Assistance in Advance
If you need help at the airport, such as wheelchair assistance or a ground floor seat during boarding, inform the airline beforehand.
Ask about pre-boarding to guarantee enough time to get comfortable in your seat.
2. Choosing the Right Seat When Flying With Crutches
When purchasing your ticket with crutches (or any other mobility device), consider the space you will have.
- Economy Plus: These seats typically offer additional legroom compared to standard economy seating.
- Bulkhead Seats: Located directly behind dividing walls within each cabin class, these seats provide extra space since there is no row immediately ahead.
- Aisle Seats: Easier access when boarding/disembarking from aircraft; allows greater freedom of movement throughout flight duration without disturbing fellow passengers seated nearby.
Boarding the Plane With Crutches
Flying with crutches may seem challenging, but knowing how to board a plane safely and efficiently can make your journey much more comfortable.
Here are some tips for boarding an airplane while using crutches.
1. Request Early Boarding if You Have Mobility Issues
Contact your airline ahead of time to request early boarding or pre-boarding assistance.
Most airlines offer this service for passengers who need extra time or help to get onto the plane due to mobility issues. This will give you plenty of time to settle in without feeling rushed.
2. Use a Knee Walker if Possible
If you have a foot injury that allows for it, consider using a knee walker instead of crutches when navigating through the airport and boarding the plane.
A knee walker is easier to maneuver and provides better stability than traditional crutches.
3. Talk to Flight Attendant About Your Mobility Needs
Tell your flight attendant about your mobility needs and any special considerations they should know.
They will likely guide you on where to store your crutches during the flight and assist with any other concerns you might have.
In-Flight Considerations for Crutch Users
Planning and understanding in-flight procedures can ensure a safe and comfortable journey for crutch users. Here are some things to keep in mind while on board.
1. Managing Pain and Swelling With Foot Injury
Long flights can exacerbate pain and swelling, especially if you have a foot injury.
To minimize discomfort during your flight, consider the following tips:
- Elevate your injured foot using pillows or blankets provided by the airline.
- Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation (ask a flight attendant for assistance).
- Apply cold compresses to alleviate swelling, as per your physician’s instructions.
2. Using Mobility Devices Onboard
Before flying, check with your airline about their policies for using mobility devices such as knee walkers during the flight.
Some airlines permit passengers to use mobility devices while in-flight, but others require you to store them like other luggage.
Tips for Traveling with a Knee Walker
- Contact the airline ahead of time to inquire about their specific policy on knee walkers.
- Familiarize yourself with how to fold and store your knee walker compactly for easy transport during boarding/disembarking.
Disembarking From the Plane With Crutches
Your airline may include wheelchair service or assistance from airport personnel trained to handle passengers with mobility devices such as crutches or knee walkers. Inform them of your needs ahead of time.
1. Waiting for Other Passengers to Disembark
To avoid any potential accidents or delays getting off the plane, you should wait until most passengers have left the aircraft before attempting to exit. This will allow you to move through tight spaces without feeling rushed by other passengers.
2. Collecting Your Mobility Device at Baggage Claim
If you have checked in a mobility device like a knee walker or wheelchair during boarding, remember to collect it from baggage claim upon arrival at your destination airport.
It’s essential to track where these items are stored to quickly retrieve them once off the plane – especially if they’re necessary for navigating an unfamiliar airport environment.
Flying With Crutches Is Not as Bad as You Might Think
Flying with crutches can be daunting, yet it is achievable if you plan and familiarize yourself with airline regulations.
For more tips on traveling with mobility devices, visit SeniorSupported.com.