With Daisy Fae’s recent posts in mind, and Dolce’s post from this morning, I thought I would add a list of the problems encountered traveling while disabled. I know that travel these days, especially air travel is a pain in the patootie for everyone. But it seems moreso if you are disabled. So here are a few things I have observed:
- The airlines will always break or lose something on your adaptive equipment. Thus far in the last five years they have lost the basket to my scooter, lost the cord to my scooter, broken the brakes on my walker, and broken the handle of the basket on my walker. Considering that I travel once a year or less, that’s pretty impressive.
- Flight delays are horrendous if you have a service dog. It makes for a long day behind security lines. And the thought of going out and going through security again…too much. We haven’t had any accidents yet, but have come close. Picture me yanking on Friday’s leash and yelling “NO” at baggage claim, trying to get out the door, because I see her trying to “assume the position.” Dog owners will understand.
- The settings on the metal detectors are different in every airport. Most airports I can just walk through the scanner, no problem. But in others the plates and screws that hold my left arm together will set it off. This almost inevitably happens in Denver.
- Sea-Tac’s layout sucks. If you want a cup of coffee, you have to go through security. The airport I’ve been to that I like best is San Jose, because the dining parts, etc. are before you go through security. There, you don’t have to go through security until the last damned minute. Much better for those of us traveling with dogs.
- Friday needs her own suitcase. I have to pack her dishes, dish mat, food. toys, and her doggy-bed that rolls up and goes in a stuff sack like a sleeping bag.
- Carry-ons are a pain. I usually have to carry on one bag and my CPAP machine, because you don’t want the airline to lose something that keeps you from dying in your sleep. This time I’m trying to figure out how to carry on my camera case, too. I also don’t want them to lose/break that. Last time, The Boyo went with me, and took the camera bag as his second carryon. Decisions, decisions.
And so it is that in a couple of weeks, I will pack a couple of suitcases, and be off on another adventure. Hopefully I will be tweeting and blogging from the road, but I may be incommunicado. Depends what kind of computer access I can come up with.