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Traveling With A Disability: Arranging Airport Access And Transportation

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Traveling to a new city for work or for a vacation can be exciting, but it also presents some challenges for people with physical disabilities. To ensure you are able to get to and from the airport and hotel, use these travel tips to help plan your journey.

Know The Airport Layout And Amenities

Many major airports offer maps of their terminals online, which include the locations for handicap accessible restrooms and exits as well as other amenities designed for people with disabilities. Locating these areas of the airport ahead of time can be particularly beneficial if you are running late for a flight. Take special note of where taxi cab stands and shuttle bus locations are throughout the airport. If you have a service animal, look for doggy parks within the airport grounds that give you the chance to relieve your animal before you board your plane and after you arrive at your destination. 

Contact Your Hotel Ahead Of Time

If your hotel offers shuttle service, call ahead to make sure that they offer handicap-accessible vans or buses. The concierge may be able to make special arrangements to have an accessible vehicle at the airport when your flight arrives. If your hotel does not offer shuttle service, ask the concierge to locate an airport taxi service with an accessible vehicle for you. Let the concierge know if you need help with your luggage, wheelchair or service animal so the proper arrangements can be made. You may also be able to request an accessible taxi at the airport's taxi stand.

Ask About The Airport's Shuttle Service

Many airports offer shuttle service to hotels, public transportation hubs and other local destinations. You may be able to arrange for an airport shuttle van with a wheelchair lift to transport you to your desired destination free of charge. The driver should also be able to help you with your luggage and any service animal you have with you. You can typically reserve the van by calling the shuttle service number ahead of time. If you choose this option, be sure to call before your flight, as this can prevent delays in your transportation.

Traveling with a physical disability can be complicated, particularly when you are at the airport. Luggage, a wheelchair and other personal items can make getting around more difficult. By using the available options for transportation, you can save yourself some time and a few headaches while ensuring you get to your final destination.