Can you stay in your chair on a plane?

From a community member:

Hi, I am trying to help my nephew travel to California from PA. He does not want to leave his chair and I cannot seem to find clear information online if that is possible or not. Are there airlines that have this service ?

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As far as I have seen you must transfer to a normal airline seat.

Unfortunately, if he is going to fly he will have to transfer out of his chair into an airline seat. You may want to try asking Amtrak. Perhaps they have an option that will allow him to stay in his chair although I don’t know how expensive or inconvenient that might be. Good Luck!

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Hasn’t been changed yet,. you must transfer.

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Amtrak is the only transportation service at present that will allow you to stay in your chair. It is about $275.00 one way give or take $100.00

You can stay in your chair until they transfer you to a narrow “aisle” chair on the gateway to roll you in to take your seat. Your chair gets gate checked and has something like a 3% chance of being damaged. They broke the axle on mine once. They did have a loaner available immediately and paid for the repairs.

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Amtrak has accessible Pullman sleeper cars. They have a lower and upper bed and the bathroom is accessible. Meals can be brought to your room. There is a call button for any other service such as drinks etc. you can look out your window and watch the world go by.

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Unfortunately there is no way at present to fly without getting out of your wheelchair. If it is of any consolation to your nephew I use a wheelchair full time and have flown hundreds of times and have not had major problems.

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My husband uses a motorized scooter and we always take it with us. Most airlines let us take it right to the door of the airplane. After we land, it is brought up to the door of the plane for us. It doesn’t cost anything to travel with your own equipment, whether it be a scooter or wheelchair. Sometimes you have to check it at the ticket counter and they will use their own wheelchair to the gate. Then you have to get it at baggage claim on the other end. Call the special needs dept.at your particular airline and they will have the answers for you.

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And you have had no issues with damage to motorized chairs on the plane? And no battery issues?

We’ve been traveling with the scooter for 12 years between one and three times a year. We had one issue with damage, but the airline gave us a loaner until ours was repaired and brought it to our home. We had one issue when we checked it through from JFK to SEA on to Fairbanks. The airline did not get it on the plane from Seattle to Fairbanks, but they were very apologetic and gave us a wheelchair until our scooter arrived on the next flight. It was delivered to our hotel with two $300 vouchers with a very apologetic note.

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