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mazingerz88's avatar

Do airlines accommodate wheelchair bound disabled people who can't use the toilet during flight?

Asked by mazingerz88 (25284points) August 8th, 2015 from iPhone

Someone I know is thinking of traveling to Italy but discouraged not knowing what he will do if he needs to have a bowel movement during flight. He can travel with one companion. He has multiple sclerosis and most of the day, his arms are too weak to move.

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7 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Call the airline. My guess is the companion will be able to help him. Most international flights have larger bathrooms on board than what you typically experience on a domestic flight, especially business and first class. Not that he has to sit in business or first class, but he can use the larger bathroom probably.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Here is a response to the question from a friend who trained as a flight attendant in the UK:

If he let’s the airline know well in advance, they can arrange an assisted service where someone at each end will take him to and from the plane and get him settled. As for using washroom during the flight, major airlines do have accessible toilets, while smaller airlines do not. The cabin crew do help passengers who need assistance to and from their seats to the washroom door but for hygiene reasons are not allowed in the washroom to assist further. He would perhaps have to give the airline a call and speak to their special assistance department, but unfortunately airlines are not required to provide this sort of service!

Jillybean's avatar

I have MS as well but I am still able to travel. I find the airlines are very accommodating and will definitely do what they can for you when they know in advance so their regular routine doesn’t have a last-minute surprise thrown into it. Have a good trip :)

snowberry's avatar

I had a friend who was in a wheelchair and flew cross country (not outside the USA). Her biggest problem was not with the airline, but with the jerks who ran the airport. They dumped her with her luggage inside the terminal doors near the baggage claim. She was supposed to get her stuff out the door by herself, because her friend was not allowed to stop her car long enough to pick it up.

In retrospect her friend should have parked and come inside to get her friend and the luggage, but they had assumed there’d be someone to help because after all, she was extremely frail and in a wheelchair.

gorillapaws's avatar

@snowberry I worked for a major airline at one point as part of the ground crew. I helped many passengers in wheelchairs. I can’t imagine ever abandoning someone like that. That’s horrible. I aways helped them get their bags and made sure that whoever was there to pick them up was there before I left.

snowberry's avatar

@gorillapaws it was at Philly a few years ago. I haven’t been impressed with that airport for a long time.

And that’s where I saw TSA “lose” a few customer’s laptops for them. See, the method is, keep them occupied while their stuff sits on the belt. Then, after they’re finally cleared to go, their stuff is mistakenly picked up by someone else, or outright stolen. Regardless, they blame the customer, ‘cuz the TSA NEVER does anything wrong!

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