Flying today is the kind of mobility that allows everyone to travel long distances and discover countries that would otherwise be far too far away.
Healthy and disabled people alike have the dream to travel to faraway countries and get to know other cultures. But it is not only for private reasons that you often have to get on a plane.
Business flights are the order of the day for every airline, because domestic flights and European short-haul flights also make a fast-moving professional life easier and more effective. So there are many good reasons why people have to or want to get on a plane every day.
People with disabilities should pay attention to certain things
Unfortunately, people with disabilities quickly reach certain limits in such projects. This does not necessarily have to be their own, but often leads to unpleasant and above all unnecessary situations because airport staff are not sufficiently trained in dealing with disabled people.
People with amputations, wheelchairs or other mobility impairments must pay attention to certain things when flying so that their stay in the aircraft is as pleasant as possible.
No seat at the emergency exit
In principle, it is prohibited for people with reduced mobility to be allowed to sit at the emergency exit or in an aisle seat. In an emergency, the emergency exit must of course be quick to open and it is therefore advisable not to place people with disabilities there.
But as a handicapped person, you should also think about placing them on an aisle seat beforehand. At first it may seem useful for you, because you can get up without having to pass your seat neighbours. But it is also more than likely that the persons on the middle and window seat want to or have to stand up more often and this can then be more than stressful for a person with restricted mobility on the aisle seat. If you know that it is very difficult to stand up frequently, it is advisable to point out at check-in that you are not allowed to sit in the aisle.
Unfortunately, the employees at check-in rarely pay attention to these regulations on their own.
Tell the staff directly what to look out for
Once you have successfully passed the check-in, every passenger has to pass the security check.
If, for example, a disabled person is particularly sensitive to pain in certain parts of the body, it is important to inform the staff of this during the security check. People sitting in a wheelchair are best advised to state directly at check-in that they are unable to pass through the security checks regularly. Perhaps you can find a good compromise that both sides can live with. If you inform the staff of your individual situation in a way that makes sense, you will certainly find more understanding and help than you often think.
Special codes for each handicap for information transmission
Codes that are used and understood by all international airlines are helpful for all involved. These codes contain all the necessary details about the disabled passenger. The airport personnel thus receive all important information on the extent to which the disabled person needs help in the airport building and then in the aircraft. This includes which aids must be used and also if the passenger is blind, deaf or even deaf-mute, for example.
There are also fixed codes for the guest’s wheelchair that make handling clear. For safety reasons, airlines cannot transport electric wheelchairs with leak-proof wet batteries. In principle, private wheelchairs are accommodated in the cargo hold, and if you want or need to have the wheelchair handed over directly at the aircraft exit, this should also be clarified at check-in.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any disabled toilets in aircraft.
Once you have arrived safely in the aircraft cabin, it should be noted that the WC on board, for example, is usually not tailored to the standards for disabled people. Only very few aircraft types have enlarged WC areas for disabled passengers at all. However, these do not comply with the standard for public toilets for the disabled.
Private wheelchair usually on the plane
Wheelchair users usually receive their wheelchair on the plane and are also brought to the plane in their own wheelchair. This applies internationally. Only in exceptional cases – should it not be possible for the destination airport to hand over the private wheelchair directly at the aircraft exit for individual reasons – will the airline provide the passenger with reduced mobility with a wheelchair until he or she is able to collect his or her own at the baggage carousel.
Fremec-Card for passengers and their handicap
In order to make this whole procedure easier for frequent flyers among disabled people in particular, Lufthansa has launched the so-called Fremec Card in cooperation with other airlines.
This card contains all the important details about the passenger and their handicap, making complete flight handling much easier. For this purpose, a form has to be filled in by the attending physician, sent away and then one receives the Fremec-Card for one year. An innovative idea that makes life much easier for airline employees and disabled passengers.