So, yesterday, my boy, Scott, and I got into a convo about crip traveling, specifically on planes. Now, it’s gotten for anybody to travel by plane after 9/11 with check in and everything, and if you’re going out of the States, damn.
Our convo dates before 9/11 with Scott, and afterwards, I’ll throw a story in. In our , I touched some of the feelings. Scott let me see outside myself to let me know we’re not alone. I hope this does the same for you guys.
He started by telling me about his recent trip to Nashville. Apparently, he met another crip that had bad probs with people, albeit, doing their jobs, but treating chairs like random equipment instead of extension of us:
“I also wanted to let you know I was on my way back from Nashville. Saul Herrera was on my flight from Dallas back to Midland I said hi to him when he got on the flight and he went to sleep so I didn't get to talk to him. I'm following him on Facebook He had gone to DC and NYC and Southwest damaged his wheelchair putting in the belly of the plane He had a repairman in his hotel room fixing his chair and then they broke it on the flight I was on with him when he got it in Midland he couldn't get his seat out of reclining mode and had to get it fixed in Midland, I hope southwest pays for all his chair repairs.
I have never had a problem with my manual wheelchair because the cushion velcros out and I take the footrests and put them all in an overhead bin and then chair folds up you pull up on the seat. We were coming back from Orlando after my wish 25 years ago and they gave us a hard time about the scooter batteries of course they were gel batteries. Yes, even though that scooter problem I had happen 25 years ago It’s like you said in my gym blog it’s all about adapting to situations and if you can’t adapt your screwed.”
OK, it’s sad that Scott FEELS like he HAS to take his manual chair on planes, because attendants gave him a hard time about his batteries. I understand about cabin pressure and whatnot, but we did a lot of trips to Dallas to go to Scottish Rite growing up, and we never had an issue with batteries overflowing or anything like that in-flight.
HOWEVER, the part I left out of the New York piece was when we got off the plane, they'd taken my batteries out of my chair, so, when we got to the other side, it wasn't the same people, who took out my batteries. When I went to drive off, my batteries dropped! We had to wait while they screwed with my batteries until they got them right...and, of course, a crowd of crew gathered as they played around. I thought I did pretty good attitude-wise all things considered.
Guys, sometimes flying’s the best way to get where you’re going. Hopefully, you won’t have issues as far as attendants mishandling your chair, but if you do, try to keep your cool. I completely understand it’s hard sometimes…especially when we take care of our chairs like they’re our kids. Educate, not agitate.
Be good to each other.