How Do You Fly With Crutches?

How do I fly with crutches? Should you have had an injury or illness for a short or long while, you are likely to  ask yourself this question. Are you in pain and using crutches to manage it? If so, it can be challenging to establish what you need to know if you want to experience a pleasant flight. 

I had a difficult time the first flight I went on when I needed to use crutches to aid my mobility. After some research, I came across a few helpful tips that saved me time and further injury. In this article, I will willingly share with you useful tips. These tips allowed me to travel with crutches on an airplane.

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    Why You Should Review Your Itinerary Before You Decide to Travel With Crutches

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    Travelling can be exhausting at the best of times. This is especially true when you have an injury or illness that requires crutches. Before accepting your travel plans that involve flying, you should review your itinerary.

    If you don’t look through the flight itinerary, you can later learn you won’t be able to cope with what’s planned.

    Some flights will also need you to wait in long lines. This can be an issue if you can’t sit and need to rely on your crutches to stay upright.

    Additionally, suppose you are flying from a small airport. In that case, your itinerary might have you dropped off or laid over at a large airport. When this happens, you could find it challenging to navigate where you need to be.

    By learning your itinerary, you can prevent yourself from struggling or stressing.

    10 Tips on How to Successfully Fly On an Airplane with Crutches

    Below are ten of the best tips you need to know. I have sourced and compiled them to make your flight travel plans easier if you need to fly with crutches.

    1.Don't Be Afraid When You Have Decided To Take a Plane

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    When you have decided to travel on a plane, and you are aware that you need to use your crutches, don’t be afraid. Every day thousands of injured people fly on local airlines. Plane personnel know how to help you safely. They are trained to assist those who have mobility problems due to illness or injury. 

    If you allow yourself to be afraid and anxious, you risk worsening your injury or illness. Remember to breathe and remain calm, as the less scared you are, the easier it will be for you to fly with crutches.

    2.Don't Pack More Than You Can Handle by Yourself

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    Whether you are traveling alone or are getting help, you should pack only what you can handle by yourself. Walking with crutches and trying to check in your luggage or stow it away on the plane is hard. You could likely have some difficulty maneuvering if you have packed too much.

    Often you will need to lift bags into the cargo holding area physically. If you’re holding onto crutches, this is an almost impossible task. Only pack what you need and what you think you can manage when you are using crutches to board a plane. Travel light or only use checked-in baggage.

    3.Prepare Medication and Other Medicinal Supplies

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    You likely want to be comfortable when traveling via plane. If you are using crutches, you are bound to be in some form of pain. That’s why it’s crucial to take all medications with you. Pack medicine such as your pain medicine or muscle relaxers that you need during the flight. 

    Additionally, think of the other medicinal supplies you might need. When you are using crutches, you might have noticed that you go through many rubber knots. These knots are not easy to find, so make sure you always pack extra in your luggage. 

    Another handy medical supply to have with you when flying with crutches is a rubber paste. You can use this paste to coat the bottom of your crutches. This paste will stop you from falling when boarding or walking around the cockpit.

    4.Check the Airlines Carry On Baggage Regulations Before You Buy a Ticket

    Before you book your flight ticket, it’s essential to learn what carry-on baggage rules are in place. You can do this by calling the airline or checking on their website. Some airlines are strict with the type of luggage you can bring on board. Unfortunately, they might not allow you to use your crutches on the flight. 

    If you don’t check, you could end up not being able to leave your seat. Additionally, you may have to cancel your ticket. This would be a waste of time and money. I now always check the airline’s baggage rules before I book a ticket to avoid these issues.

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    5.Ensure You Have Lots of Time to Check in By Taking Advantage of an Airlines Early Check-In System

    When you are traveling via plane with crutches, it can slow you down. Transporting yourself to the airport and making your way to the check-in location takes longer when using crutches. 

    That’s why you must consider utilizing the airlines’ early check-in system. Whenever I make use of this service, I don’t have any issues boarding. If you arrive earlier and check-in earlier, you won’t have to worry about being late or missing your flight.

    6.Try To Book a More Spacious Seat or Book a Disabled Passenger Seat

    You don’t want to be cramped when you are injured or suffering an illness while flying. Surely you want to be more comfortable for the duration of your flight? Having easy access to and from your seat when using crutches will allow you to be more comfortable. The best way to get this need is to consider booking a more spacious chair.

    Some airlines have roomier seats that offer passengers more legroom. If a more spacious seat isn’t available, you can look into hiring a disabled passenger seat. Disabled passenger seats are often better for those suffering from severe mobility issues.

    7.Consider Asking For a Wheelchair Service

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    Whenever I use crutches, I get fatigued fast. Do you tire quickly or have trouble walking long distances in an airport with your crutches? If so, you should consider making use of the airline’s wheelchair service. 

    If you phone ahead and arrange with the airport, you can book yourself a wheelchair. You can then use it while waiting for your flight and reduce the strain you feel from using crutches.

    When using the wheelchair service, ensure the person pushing you is an employee from special services. Special services airport employees know how to operate a wheelchair and how to get you to where you need to be.

    8.Prepare For Airport Security

    Many people traveling with an airline who are using crutches forget about airport security. Most airport security staff will have to do extra security checks on you if you are using crutches. 

    It would be best to contact your airline before your flight. That way, you can find out what security will need you to do if you are using crutches. Not phoning ahead risks you losing time to complicated airport security inspections. You don’t want to place yourself in a position where you are unaware of the security procedures if you can avoid it.

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    9.Consider Requesting Priority Boarding and Ask For Help Storing Your Crutches

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    When you are using crutches, you should consider requesting priority boarding. I found that priority boarding saved me a lot of time as I had help with both boarding and disembarking.

    It’s not difficult to request priority boarding as all you need to do is speak to a gate attendant. Yet, you will need to arrive earlier. Arriving earlier will allow you to talk with them without any obstacles. 

    Once you are on board, you should speak with a flight attendant about stowing your crutches. Sometimes you will need to have them placed in a special cupboard. Other times, you can store them in your overhead storage compartment.

    A flight attendant can get you seated and help you put the crutches away for safekeeping. They can also help retrieve them.

    10.Get Dropped Off At The Curbside And Take A Companion

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    Traveling to the airport can be as tricky as maneuvering around inside an airport. Instead of using a shuttle service, take a cab or get a friend to drop you off near the entrance. This way, you will cut much of the mobility-induced stress you could face.

    Additionally, if you can manage it, you should consider taking a traveling companion. If you catch a flight with someone, you trust you will likely have a better experience flying with crutches. A companion can help you with your luggage and keep you company while you hobble along on crutches.

    Final Words

    Flying with crutches can be a challenging and intimidating experience. You don’t need to be apprehensive, or shy when flying with an injury or illness that requires you to use crutches. If you follow these tips, I have mentioned you shouldn’t have any issue the next time you fly.

    Additionally, if you know your limits, these tips will help you enjoy your experience. They will also act as a guide that tells you what to do to ensure you have a safe and comfortable flight.