How to protect your wheelchair when flying

Most airline companies do appear to be working harder at making  travel more accessible – although you still do hear of some horror stories! Everybody enjoys holidays, trips to see family or even need to travel with work – air travel has become a lot easier and isn’t quite as stressful, but when traveling with additional, expensive and valuable equipment you want peace of mind when you arrive at your destination that it arrives in one piece and not damaged.

We’ve put together some tips and advice to help protect the Trike that we have found work when flying…

For various reasons we have taken the Mountain Trike on many flights – internal UK flights, abroad to the many mobility shows we attend and to visit our worldwide distributors.  We haven’t experience any issues apart from once when flying to Germany and the Trike was damaged by the airline – the airline paid for the damage after we logged a claim and this was settled with no problems.  We do know of one customer who flew to Spain and his Trike was damaged by the airline and the airline did all they could to worm their way out of paying for the damage.  We would recommend insuring your Mountain Trike as a back up, a company we know who have insured customers Trikes is Fish Insurancethey specialize in disability insurance and offer very competitive pricing – it is worth checking they cover foreign travel though.

We’ve traveled on a couple of long haul flights to the US which has included transfers and it has always gone smoothly.  Most airlines allow up to two wheelchairs free of charge.  I tend to ride the Trike straight through security and up to the plane where staff then take the Trike down to the hold – they then assist you onto the plane.

In terms of protecting the Trike, we’ve found that staff prefer you to fold the Trike up.  In order to protect the rear steering unit, strap a thick piece of card to it before folding it up (so it doesn’t drag on the floor).  Also secure the drive levers in their folded down position to stop them bouncing around using some velcro straps.  And raise the footrest as high as possible in the frame so it sticks out less.

These are simple but effective ways to ensure protection of your Mountain Trike.

If you have any other top tips to add then please contact us and we’ll add them here for advice for other Trike travelers.

Below are pictures which show how to protect the Trike’s rear steering unit.