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DBT Corporate Travel Information - Travel Guide

Travelling for the disabled

In South Australia, The Disability Information & Resource Centre, http://www.dircsa.org.au/pub/docs/access.htm has a resource area with information on different issues and aspects of travel for people with disabilities. The Disability Information & Resource Centre also has a Travel Access database providing information on accessible accommodation in Australia.

When making airline reservations

* Make your reservation as far in advance as possible.

* Tell the representative that you will be travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Volunteer information on the type of wheelchair (transit or self propelling, manual or electric, wet or dry cell).

* Tell them if you need assistance when boarding (eg an aisle chair to get to your seat).

* You can request “assistance” from check-in to boarding your flight or cruise vessel, or you can request assistance from “immigration” or just from the “gate”. Be sure to advise your DBT or Cruisescene consultant at the time of booking if you desire this assistance.

* If it's a long flight and you can't use a standard plane toilet but can walk to the toilet, ask that they make an aisle chair available to you during the flight.

* Always confirm that they have a record of your requests 48 hours before departure.

When you get to the airport

* Arrive early

* Always check your wheelchair or mobility scooter at the boarding gate and request it be brought back to you at the gate when you arrive.

* You can request that your collapsible or fold up wheelchair be stowed in the onboard coat space. (Note: there is usually only room for one wheelchair and it is available on a first-come basis, so you should arrive early to make your request).

* Make sure your name and address is on your equipment and that it has a gate delivery tag if it is being stowed below.

* Tape clear instructions on mobility scooters or power chairs on how the batteries are disconnected and for any other disassembly or preparation for transport. (Remember, the crew at the other end didn't see how it came apart.)

* If you need assistance transferring to the plane seat, take responsibility for yourself and tell the staff how to help you or pick you up, etc. Yes, they should be trained, but you are always safer never assuming anything.

* Before landing remind the flight attendant that you will need your equipment brought to the gate so they can radio ahead to make the arrangements.

* If you are travelling with a scooter or power chair, make sure you arrange transport that can accommodate your equipment on arrival.

* If you need to travel with oxygen, either ask for or take enough tubing (plus connectors) with you so that if you need to use the toilet, the tubing will be long enough to reach. Don't take chances removing the oxygen long enough to go to the toilet and get back. It could easily cause fainting.

* If you are taking injection medication (diabetic, interferon, etc.) and have to travel, you can avoid a lot of embarrassment at airport bag checks.

* Get a letter from your doctor stating you require syringes for a medical condition.

* Purchase a small thermal insulated lunch bag to keep your medications cool. Take a plastic jar with a screw-on lid (such as an empty peanut butter jar) to dispose of your used syringes. Never toss in the rubbish - always turn in used items at a hospital or clinic during your trip.

* Always carry your medication vials, syringes, swabs, etc. in your cabin baggage.

* When booking an airline reservation through a travel agent, make sure the agent contacts the airlines to let them know your needs.