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Air travel – long-distance flights for the disabled

For those of us who are lucky enough to travel to distant places on our planet, whether for business or pleasure, flying can be a nightmare, especially if you suffer from a disability. With more aircraft designed to fly further, such as the 777ER (extended range), and Boeing, developing an aircraft that can fly so far that there will be no need for a hub, so without changing aircraft, our flight time in the same narrow seat extends.

Obviously, some people have the money to fly in business class or first class, which gives you more comfort, but for most passengers with disabilities we are packed like freight in the economy.

So what can you do to improve your trip?

You can start from the moment you book your flight. Most long-distance operators will not allow you to book seats in advance, so you can end up sitting anywhere on the day of your flight. The best thing to do here is as soon as your flight is confirmed, to search the airlines’ website for an internal seat plan for the aircraft you will be on, and to note the reference numbers for those seats that are. only double as they tend to have the most legroom and are usually located close to the toilet.

After doing this, contact the relevant company, informing them that you are disabled, indicate what your disabilities are and tell them that it would be extremely helpful to your health if they could keep the places you marked earlier. In most cases, they will do this.

Another useful tip when contacting the airline is to ask them for a “special” meal. All airlines already do this and range from unsalted to meat, fish only to carbohydrates, etc. You will usually find a list of them on the airlines’ website, so check first if you can’t find it, just ask them for the list. This service has additional costs.

The reason you do this is that these “special meals” are handed out before a normal meal, so you finish before everyone else and don’t have to stand in line for the toilet, as most other passengers eat.

If you are looking for better service on the plane, treat the stewards with respect. I always hand them a few boxes of chocolates as soon as we reach cruising altitude, this usually ensures that I get preferential treatment.

Above all, enjoy your flight and your journey.