Hi Alex, I’m Pinky; one of the Forum Moderator’s. I was hoping I could be of some assistance for you and your upcoming flight to Barcelona?
First, I don’t want you to worry about the Bathroom for your flight; there are several options for you. First, make sure you contact the special services department for the airline your flying regarding your need for an “in-cabin wheelchair”. Sometimes the airlines have a form you fill out online and sometimes you have to just send them an email with your needs. If this is for an international trip, its best to make sure to reach them at least 1 week ahead of flight and no later than 72 hours prior to departure(gives you time to verify that has been noted on your flight record; or contact them to correct). Then when you arrive at the airport to check-in, make sure to remind your check-in agent about making sure they have the in-cabin wheelchair on board. They can usually pull it off with a couple hours before the flight and since you have to check in so early for international flights; this leaves enough time for them to still get a chair if they forgot. You can also request any chair services you may need for inside the airports there as well (the airline will make sure to contact the arrival airport for matching services).
Once on board the plane, just let your flight attendant know that you are the one who will need that requested chair and that you will need help throughout the flight. (This also gives them one last-minute attempt to make sure its on the plane before the long flight). The chair cannot get all the way into the bathroom (95% airlines); but can get you in front of; so you must be able to make the transfer on your own. Flight attendants can not help you inside the bathroom.
Ok, backup options. (Please pardon my bluntness, but I want to share with some of the options that worked for me when I have not been able to get to the planes bathroom)
1.) (Only recommend this if you are only traveling next to people who know you and your situation)
Travel with a Urine canister (available at all drug stores, big box stores, Amazon, etc) and a small blanket. When you need to go, throw the blanket over your lap and lean forward. Then when done, have the person traveling with you, use a shopping bag to carry it to the Lavatory to empty.
2.) External Catheter. (If traveling alone or uncomfortable using wheelchair) I know this one sounds extreme, but those aren’t that complicated to use and your doctor can write a script and have the insurance pay for them. Then you want to get a larger Urine collection bag that straps to ankle and either empty when you land.
I apologize if that was a little too much, but wanted you to know you have options and that you are not alone in this struggle. In fact, its the same fear that keeps most with mobility issues from even leaving their home. Want to make sure you get to Barcelona without being dehydrated and without any accidents. Let me know if you can’t find your airlines Special Services page and I will get for you.
Otherwise have a fabulous time in Barcelona and let us know if there anything else we can help with?
Have a safe trip and come back and tell us everything you found to do,