Wheels Walkie Talkie: My Checklist For Travelling Solo On A Plane!

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Strong-willed and confident, with a fierce passion for travel, our expert, Shama Noorani has learnt never to give up. Read on to know what she does before she heads out to conquer the world solo

Meet Shama Noorani

Meet Shama Noorani (right)

Over the years I have devised a list of ‘things to tick’ before flying, adding to it with every new experience! I first decide on my destination and then I begin ticking the boxes  as follows.

1) The airline I decide to fly with is based on the kind of treatment I received the last time I travelled with them.

2) Booking a flight without any stopovers means I don’t need to worry about my luggage or power chair being left behind.

3) Taking a night flight means that I arrive in the morning, simply because it is easier to get things done in the day if something goes wrong. A night flight also takes care of jet lag if one sleeps on a long haul flight.

4) Once booked, I ring up the airline’s customer service to inform them of the flight details, making sure they know that I am a disabled passenger.

5) I request the airline to make a note that I need help right from arrival to my seat, and that I require to be loaded as I cannot transfer by myself.

6) Lastly, they are made aware that I am going to be travelling with disability aids which could make my baggage heavy. It is a good thing to know that IATA has ensured that airlines cannot charge for excess baggage from a disabled passenger as we need our aids for our daily routine.

7) Around 10 days before flying out I get my power chair serviced thoroughly, getting the tyres etc., changed if necessary.

8) This also serves as a reminder for me to Google a repair services for power chairs in my destination, just in case I need help.  A good idea is to make a courtesy call and make contact for future use.

9) I always carry a couple of normal cushions, one to place on the aircraft seat to sit on and the other behind my back.

10) The MOST important item in my hand luggage is the power chair battery charger, which is the first thing I begin my packing with!

11) Once at the airport I make sure that the ground crew are made aware that I will be using my chair all the way to the aircraft door.

12) My luggage has to be hand loaded as ‘fragile’, so I  accompany the porter and make sure they handle it gently on to the conveyor belt.

13) Once all this is done, I spend a few stress-free hours browsing through the duty free lounge.

14) On boarding, I request the cabin crew to let me know when my chair has been loaded into the hold.

15) I also request them to send a message to the destination airport to inform them that I require my chair at the aircraft door.

16) Once all my boxes are ticked, I relax, shut my eyes and go to sleep!

Shama swears by this list! Do you have a checklist of your own? Do let us know in the comment section below! And just in case you don’t have one, don’t worry, Enable Travel will make your travel accessible because we take care of all your holiday needs! Visit enabletravel.com or call 1800 266 8002

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Shama Noorani

Passionate about accessible travelling for all. Shama Noorani strongly believes that 'There ain't no mountain high enough. There is always a way , never give up, believe in yourself and make your dream a reality'.

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