Travel 101

So you’re planning your first trip.

You are probably trying to think of all the possible complications you should prepare for and arrangements you should make. Its overwhelming and before you know it a vacation in your bed sounds more appealing than figuring out how to make the vacation of your dreams a reality.

Be prepared! There are resources out there to help you figure it out so you don’t have to think of everything yourself. And lucky for you, I’ve found all the best air travel resources for you!

4. Do I have to take off my shoes?
Everyday you hear horror stories about airport security. They demand more and more from passengers and have gone so far as to require the use of an I-Can-See-You-Naked Machine. Luckily TSA Cares. No really. TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Get the scoop on how much your friendly neighborhood Transportation Security Administration cares here.

3. Smoking or non-smoking?
Check out the US Department of State tips for Traveling with Disabilities here. Its a great overview. Here are some gems:

  • Contact airlines, hotels, etc. and clearly state what accommodations you may require. Ask that your needs and requests be documented as part of the reservation, ask for the confirmation number, and take down the name of the agent.
  • Links to some clear and comprehensive, all-in-one sites: Flying with a Disability and DOT Info for Travelers with Disabilities.

2. Have a Complaint?
GimpOnTheGo has excellent tips on the Department of Transportation (DOT) Disabled Air Traveler’s Hotline: Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838.

Each carrier must have at least one Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) available at each airport during times of scheduled carrier operations. The CRO can be made available by telephone.
Any passenger having a complaint of alleged violations of the Air Carrier Access rules is entitled to communicate with a CRO, who has authority to resolve complaints on behalf of the carrier.

And finally, the World Travaillers #1 Resource: miusa.org
This is the best sole resource for disabled travelers. It covers a broad range of disabilities as well as information for both the USA and the European Union. Here are my favorite help hints from their site.  

  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) toll-free hotline is available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, to provide assistance on the spot or for upcoming trips and can be a great resource if and when difficulties arise.    Voice  (800) 778-4838;  TTY (800) 455-9880.
  • The limit of one carry-on bag and one personal bag (purse or briefcase) does not apply to medical supplies and/or assistive devices (including service animals and their equipment)
  • When possible, carry copies of the specific airline policy to support requests in interactions with airline staff.  Contact the Customer or “Special Services” department of each airline to request copies of policies on the rights of passengers with disabilities.

Additional Resources

-Summary of your rights under the Air Carrier Access Act: here.
-FAQs for Air Travelers with Disabilities: here. Check out question #4 for a free upgrade in flight seating!
-Wayyy in depth info for air travel by the Department of Transportation: here.

Sorry for the dull post. I wanted put together a list of resources so you can quickly answer any technical questions you may have in your planning process. It’ll get better 😉 Happy Travels!

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