Helpful Flying Tips for the Disabled 

By  Enda

10 Flying Tips for Disabled People

travel tips for the disabled

In this article we wanted to offer some flying tips for those who may have a disability. As many of us will know, disabilities come in many different forms. These basic tips should however be helpful for almost all of those.

One things is certain, and that is that we all love to go on holiday. That is especially true when we are going abroad, or trying out a new holiday destination. However for some people flying can be very problematic, and will usually take more planning, to help avoid any of these problems.

If you have a disability, then you need to put a few more plans in place than an able bodied person. That will help take some of the hassle out of travelling. For a lot of people with a disability, long haul travelling can quickly become a nightmare. That again is especially true if you haven’t prepared correctly. Underneath you will find a few general travelling tips that should help you get your holiday off to a good start.

Flying Tip 1 - Bring Enough Medication

Make sure you have enough of your medication to last for the holiday plus an extra week. Never take the risk of not having enough of your own medication with you.

Remember there can always be flight delays. Trying to source your own specific medicine in many foreign countries can be very difficult and costly.

Flying Tip 2 - Keep Medication in Your Hand Luggage

Always put your medicine in your hand luggage. Don't ever let it go in the hold. As you will know it is always important to have it close to hand as and when required.

Flying Tip 3 - Check Legalities

The medication that you have been prescribed at home may not be legal in some countries. In some countries, such as the Middle East and Asia, medications that may be legal in the UK and Europe may not be legal there so check online. You can also check with your tour operator to be absolutely certain.

Some countries also require you to carry a doctor’s letter confirming your medications. As before you will need to check online with the countries medical requirements.

Flying Tip 4 - Ask for Assistance

All UK and Irish airports now offer assistance. It is however very important to let the airline know you are disabled. That way they can determine if you will require a wheelchair or other assistance.

The best time to do this is when you make your initial booking. If you haven’t done that, then phone them as soon as you can and they will make a note of it for you.

Flying Tip 5 - Meal Assistance

It is also worth asking about meals when on the plane. When you book, order a ‘special meal’ as this will mean you get your food before everyone else. Not all airlines offer this as a service, but many do.

The advantage is this is that you can finish first. In theory that should give you easier access to the toilets, otherwise you get big queues after the food has been served.

Flying Tip 6 - Consider an Airport Hotel Stay

Your holiday starts as soon as you leave the house and go to the airport. Make sure that you have suitable travel arrangements to the airport. If you plan on getting there by taxi, make sure that they can cater for your specific needs.

Also if you are disabled an early morning flight can cause problems. This is because some people will need time for medication to work and for joints to ease and loosen up.

It is worth considering staying in the airport hotel overnight. That way you get a little bit longer in bed and it only takes a few minutes to get to the check-in. As a result, you will arrive much more relaxed.

Flying Tip 7 - Check In Assistance

If you have informed them of your disability, then this should happen from check-in. If you have not already organised this, then at the check-in make sure that they order your wheelchair, or call for assistance to help you. This is free in the majority of UK & European airports.

Flying Tip 8 - Waiting At the Gate

You should arrive at your gate with plenty of time to spare. Do not worry or panic if the assistant has left you at a coffee shop in the airport, as they have not forgotten you. Those with any type of priority booking or special need's booking are always boarded first on to the aircraft.

Flying Tip 9 - Onboard the Aircraft

Normally the flight operator makes sure you have a suitable seat onboard. However if the flight is not full and you see a better seat, call for a flight attendant and ask if you can move. In most cases they will say yes.

Flying Tip 10 - Flight Changeover

If you need to change flights, an assistant will be there to help you, but you do need to wait for everyone else to leave the plane. Quite often you may need to do joining flights to get to particular destinations. The assistance will carry the whole way through your journey.

Remember that flying can be a pain in the backside for many people. Some people also love the whole travelling experience and chatting with new people. If you follow these tips then at least you will be a lot more relaxed and comfortable for the flight.


Hi, my name is Enda McLarnon and I love to travel. I travelled for many years with business, but these days it is thankfully all about holidays and enjoyment. Here I share everything I have learned about travel.

Enda McLarnon

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