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3 Travel Tips for Easier Flying with MS

May 23, 2017

Traveling can be a pain for someone with a handicap, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Writer Ed Tobias, an MS patient, mentions some of these struggles, such as security, aircraft seats and legroom. He thus gives his readers some flying tips from his past flying experiences:



Get Some Wheels

Tobias explains the hassle of huge airports. To compensate, he travels with a scooter that’s very light and can be folded like a baby stroller. He also uses it to carry his baggage. He suggests using a lightweight scooter, and if you are not disabled enough, arrange for a wheelchair. The airline will provide this from check-in to the gate and in reverse when you arrive, free of charge. Tobias says to request the chair when you make your reservation via the airline’s website or with an agent on the phone.

Join TSA Pre-Check

Pre-Check is the Transportation Security Administration’s program for speeding passengers through TSA security checks. Membership in the Pre-Check program requires you to fill out an online application and then appear for a 10-minute interview at a TSA location. A five year membership is $85 and in exchange, you’ll be entitled to use the (usually) faster pre-check security line at the airport and won’t be required to remove your shoes, belt or light jacket. You also won’t need to take your laptop or liquids out of your carryon bag. The contact information for TSA is:  (855) 787-2227 or TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov.

Pre-Select Your Seat Before Flying

Tobias suggests choosing your seat when you buy your ticket. This may allow you to get an aisle seat or one near a restroom. Many airlines now have two classes or coach seats: regular and premium. Premium costs a little bit more, but the seats give you extra legroom. However, premium coach seats are at the front of the coach section, which means that they are sometimes located far away from coach restrooms. They are only in the rear on some type of aircraft. With this in mind, Tobias recommends explaining to a flight attendant when you first board the plane that you have difficulty walking in the aisle. From his personal experiences, they are usually willing to allow him to use the higher-class restrooms up front on the other side of that blue “iron” curtain.