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Permobil Blog / June 26, 2018

Wheelchair Travel Checklist


Disclaimer: The following travel tips are for informational reference only. Permobil does not make any clinical, operational or warranty claims about any product, feature or service mentioned below. 


Traveling can be downright stressful, but with our Travel Checklist we hope to make the process a little less painful. We're splitting out checklist into four categories: before you go, traveling by car, traveling by plane, and if something happens to your chair. Let's begin!


Before You Go

  • Fully charge your batteries
  • Pack your charger. If you are traveling abroad, check that your charger is compatible.
  • Make sure your chair has been recently serviced.
  • Located a Permobil authorized dealer where you will be traveling.
  • Write down you serial number and keep it with you.


Traveling by Car

  • If you are traveling with your chair outside of the vehicle, make sure that the chair is protected with a waterproof cover.
  • Ensure that your chair is properly secured to the vehicle.
  • Consider using safety lock if you plan on leaving your chair unattended with your vehicle.


Traveling by Plane

  • Contact your airline ahead of time to plan for the transport of your chair. Make sure to describe the type of chair you use and consider the airplane size to make sure it fits your needs.
  • Be aware that some airlines may ask you to sign a waiver regarding their responsibility for your chair during transport.
  • Write down the type of batteries installed on your chair and how much your chair weighs, some airlines may ask for this information.
  • Take photos of your chair's condition prior to checking in at the airport.
  • Contact disability services when you are 5 to 10 minutes away so that they can meet you upon arrival.
  • Make sure to inform the check-in attendant of any medical equipment you have, that way they can mark as fragile.
  • Request that your chair travels upright in a stable position.
  • Remove the top portion of the backrest shell and lay it in the seat to decreased the height of your chair and allow it to be loaded/unloaded more easily.
  • Position your joystick to the inside of the armrest to further protect it during transit.
  • Put the chair's drive motors into freewheel mode and switch off the chair's circuit breaker to allow airline personnel to move your chair without driving it.
  • Make sure your chair's seating system is shrink wrapped prior to loading in order to keep the backrest and other chair components together during transit.
  • Use bubble wrap when needed for more protection, such as headrests, omni displays, or other accessories.
  • Attach a tag to your chair and any removable parts with your contact information. 

  • When you get to your gate, ask the gate attendant if you can talk with the ramp supervisor. You can give them the checklist and explain how to take care of your chair.

  • Take your cushion with you on the plane for increased comfort while you travel.

  • Remember, make sure to advocate for yourself. Because what works for others may not work for you.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation has a toll-free hotline for air travelers with disabilities: 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY)


If Something Happens to Your Wheelchair

  • Remain calm. Remember, having the right attitude can do a lot of help resolve an otherwise stressful situation.
  • File a claim with the airline or other travel provider before you leave the airport. 
  • Contact a Permobil authorized dealer in your area or the local Permobil representative. They will do whatever possible to help you get back up and running. 


Please refer to your owner’s manual for additional safety tips and transportation guidelines. If you have any questions please call 800-736-0925 or email us at info@permobil.com


We hope you've enjoyed our short series on tips for wheelchair traveling. As summer begins, we wish you safe and stress-free travels!


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Categories: Complex Rehab, Power, End Users

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