How the Disabled Prepare for Holiday Airplane Travel

How the Disabled Prepare for Holiday Airplane Travel

It is hard to believe, but the holiday season is rapidly approaching. This year will be different from last year in many ways. Families across western North Carolina put a hold on their typical Christmas and Thanksgiving Day traditions. 

Many opted instead for small gatherings with those who live within their households. They made difficult decisions in the interest of safety and in the hope that they were just postponing those gatherings for a year.

The long year is finally almost over. Although we may not be entirely out of the woods, it appears travel is more possible than it was twelve months ago. Some families will be making up for lost time, jet-setting all over the world for the holidays.

If you are a senior or use a wheelchair, travel for you is a little more challenging. This is before throwing in the bustle of the holidays, and trying to avoid getting sick along the way. 

In this article, we are helping seniors and the disabled prepare for holiday travel. 


Six Tips for Flying With Your Wheelchair During the Holidays 

These six tips should help you travel with less stress, so you can focus on the people you love the most during this special season:

1) Reverse Engineer Your Travel Planning

Think about where you are staying and work backward to make sure you have everything you need. Planning should include:

  • If you require certain medical equipment, medicines, and other items that will not be available where you are lodging, make sure you pack those items.
  • If you are staying with family, make sure they know to allow you to stay on the first floor. Your own bathroom might be preferable as well.
  • If you are booking a hotel or other lodging, book far enough in advance to ensure you get an accessible room. 
  • If there are prescriptions your doctor can send ahead, make sure you know what pharmacy is closest to you. 

By planning ahead in this manner, you can avoid a lot of stress. 

2) Avoid Traveling on the Busiest Days

Fortunately, during the holidays, the busiest travel days are often predictable:

  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving
  • The Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday is not necessarily the worst, but it can be challenging near shopping centers. 
  • The Saturday before Christmas
  • The Saturday and Sunday after Christmas 

These days will be the busiest travel days on the road and in the airport. You can get around much easier if you avoid being out and about on these days. 

3) Arrive at the Airport Even Earlier Than You Think You Should

Conventional wisdom about airport arrival times has been gone since the beginning of the global pandemic. For domestic flights, you should arrive at least an hour earlier and two hours early for international flights. 

For seniors and the disabled, go ahead and add thirty to forty-five minutes to those times, to account for navigating a potentially crowded airport. 

4) Get the Weather Forecast 

It is not enough to check the weather of your own town when traveling during the holidays. You need to check the weather in your destination city as well. 

A significant delay or travel cancelations can leave you stranded in a strange place. Added to the typical complications of navigating with a wheelchair, weather delays could add a lot of stress to your holiday travel. We like to check

5) Protect Yourself from Sickness

Airports are known for being a place that transfers sickness, even in the best of times. We are not entirely free of the global pandemic that has shaped our lives in the last eighteen months. Some tips to stay safe include:

  • Wearing a mask as you are able
  • Keeping a bottle of airline-approved, travel-sized sanitizer with you
  • Washing your hands with soap and water frequently
  • Washing your clothes and cleaning your luggage regularly
  • Avoiding eating and drinking after people, even relatives

As a bonus, washing your clothes after you unpack at your destination and when you return home will help decrease the chance of taking home bed bugs

6) Book Your Transportation 

While you may have relatives and friends who want to offer rides to and from the airport if you are traveling to or from Asheville, wouldn’t it be easier to arrange luxurious, wheelchair-friendly transportation?

With Loyal Lifts Transportation, pick-ups can be scheduled ahead of time, and we provide a variety of transportation options. You can hire us for an entire day of sightseeing, or for pick-up and drop-off at certain locations throughout your journey. 

If you’re flying into the area, Loyal Lift Transportation provides rides to and from Asheville Regional Airport and can assist in arranging transportation to and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport or Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, making getting to Asheville a breeze.

For wheelchair-accessible transportation in the Asheville area, look no further than Loyal Lifts. We provide the most comfortable airport shuttles in western North Carolina. Contact us to arrange a ride for yourself or a loved one