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First time traveling with rollator/walker


DRS/NC
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Hi, All!

I'm cruising to the Caribbean next month & to Norway in June. I'll be taking my new rollator/walker for the first time.

 

My question: how best to transport the rollator on the airplane?

* Should I check it as I do my larger suitcase?

* Or should I wait & check it at the gate, as is done with a child's stroller?

It folds somewhat & I'll secure it with zip ties (or such). Should I also give it a wrap of bubble wrap?

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Hi, All!

 

I'm cruising to the Caribbean next month & to Norway in June. I'll be taking my new rollator/walker for the first time.

 

 

 

My question: how best to transport the rollator on the airplane?

 

* Should I check it as I do my larger suitcase?

 

* Or should I wait & check it at the gate, as is done with a child's stroller?

 

It folds somewhat & I'll secure it with zip ties (or such). Should I also give it a wrap of bubble wrap?

 

 

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

We’ve gate checked my wife’s walker many times.

Only Spirit airlines once banged it up good. We didn’t secure anything. I would think bubble wrap would make it difficult for the flight attendant to put it on the plane and take it off. I would think checking it will destroy it!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Thanks! I've seen rollators checked w/baggage & thought it looked very risky.

 

I'll insist on "at the gate".

 

I'll experiment w/the bubble wrap first.

 

You don't have to " insist " on gate check. It's SOP .

Wrapping in bubble wrap isn't necessary either. In fact it's more likely to confuse matters when gate checking as you risk it being off loaded as regular bagage rather than returned to the jetway at your destination. Been traveling with mine for over 10 year and never once bubble wrapped it nor had to insist on gate check . Know you're nervous but don't other think this.

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i walk onto plane with mine and have them fold and put in closet incase i need to go to washroom (DELTA )

 

I do this with my wheelchair on widebody planes (never seen a narrow with a big enough cupboard though?) - no help with getting to the loo in my case, more for peace of mind after one very scary incident watching my chair get dropped when unloading (thankfully chair was okay other than some minor scratches....my nerves were less so!)

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  • 5 weeks later...
Ok, I'll skip the bubble wrap! One less thing to do!

 

The rollator doesn't lock in place when "closed" (upright & folded). Should I zip tie the legs so that it doesn't open (to seating position)?

 

I do with mine, I use bungees.

 

As another poster said, don't overthink this. Knowing it's your first time, here's a quickie primer:

 

If you can, check your luggage curbside. Then use your rollator to go through the airport. How nice that you can put your extraneous/carry-on stuff on the seat as you go!

 

When you get to the security line, TSA will wave you to a separate location. You'll put your extra stuff through the scanner as usual and an officer will ask if you can manage without the rollator for a few minutes. If the answer is yes, they take it from you and you walk through the scanner, pick up your belongings from the conveyor and wait while they examine and "wand" your rollator. There are convenient seats for you to use while you wait. If the answer is no, they guide you to the side where you can walk through with no scanner. They hand-wand you and the rollator and then have someone do a body check... it's handsy but I have never felt uncomfortable while it was being done. Someone in the meantime has gathered your extras for you and will either bring them over or you walk to the conveyor and get them. Put your shoes on and you're good to go.

 

When you get to your gate, go to the counter and let the gate agent know you have a "gate check" item. They will usually let you board in the first group. When you get to the door of the plane either use your zip-ties or bungees (you don't have to but I think it helps minimize damage... why can't they be made to lock???) and leave the rollator right there. Someone will come up the outside stairs and collect it (and the sundry strollers, walkers and even scooters that are left there). They are the last things to go into the hold and should be the first things out. I did have one time when I had to wait about 10 minutes and nearly passed out in pain and lack of balance... there was nothing to sit on and nothing to hold onto. It only happened once though and if it happens again I wouldn't wait so long to ask the flight crew for help (they called down for me).

 

I remember when I got my rollator, about 12 years ago. I thought I could FLY! It made all the difference in the world and allowed me to actually move and explore (I have since graduated to a scooter for any distance over about 40' but am luckily still ambulatory.) The only thing is that I pray that you got one with eight-inch wheels because the cobbles in the Caribbean and in Norway are killer.

 

Good luck and enjoy your new wheels!

 

Jana

.

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  • 2 months later...

Just returned from 7 day land/5 day land in Alaska and took Rollator. No problems on planes. I gate checked the Rollator but had wheelchair help through airports. DH pushed the Rollator and followed along the mostly long distance in the airports. Rollator was not damaged. Very pleased with procedure - no problems with airlines at any airport!

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I had always checked my rollator with my bags and relied on wheelchair assistance - for boarding/unboarding the aircraft and the cruise ship.

 

 

 

I would have had problems if I used the rollator for those long distance walks to the plane gates and up/down the ship's gangway.

 

 

For comparative short distances i.e. plane gates etc, I rely on my cane.

 

 

So far no damage to my rollator - maybe four-five trips. The baggage people at the airports would usually wrap the rollaor in plastic. Would put the rollator on my lap from baggage claim at the airport while being transported on wheelchair. Son or BW would roll it along if I had their carry-on on my lap/airline supplied wheelchair. On a cruise, the baggage handler took it and it ended up in the cabin.

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My rollator has been on 7 cruises since 2011, including 7 in Europe where we fly from NY to theport. It is always best to check your rollator at the gate. We use it to transport our carry on’s And then we leave it outside the airplane door. Most of the time it is brought right to the cabin door, but in Southampton and Stockholm they brought it to the baggage claim area and took us there by wheelchair.

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Gate check always. It's much harder for it to be lost or misdirected.

 

We've never secured travel chairs or rollators. They seem to come through the experience very cold, but in good condition.

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I have taken my rollator all around the world, if flying Emirates they take it from you and put it into a very large plastic bag, only ever had problems twice when returning to Manchester Airport where it came off damaged funny only ever at Manchester and so have received a Brand New one from their insurers. I always use Wheelchair assistance at both ends of journeys.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If I read it correctly, a post said cobblestones are ok if your rollator has 8 inch wheels. I've never traveled with mine as it's pretty new. I usually do wheelchair in airports, but am hoping to be ok with my rollator. I can stop and sit if I have to.

I'm mostly worried about British Isles shore exes, as there will be more cobblestones and less mobility challenged friendly places. I'm hoping for the best.

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Interesting thread - my Mother travels with a wheelchair and a rollator. So far, we have checked the rollator and gate checked the wheelchair. We have not had a problem but after reading this information wondering if we should gate check the rollator in the future. But she also needs the wheelchair so we would have to gate check the wheelchair and the rollator. Has anyone had experience checking both items at the gate?

 

Thanks.

 

Jill

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My wife and I have just returned from first time travel with her hybrid rollator / transit chair ("Ellie"). We were on 20 day HAL Alaska & Yukon Cruise & Land Tour. Overall the experience was very satisfactory. Airports, airlines, HAL, train and bus operators all handled Ellie well.

 

Ellie was especially useful for the distances in airports, and for off-ship excursions in ports of call. Generally it was not needed on board, or for short stops on tour, but it provided the comfort of never feeling constrained in what we might do.

 

As airport use was one of our prime concerns (somewhat like a child's stroller), we never put Ellie in checked luggage. I would be very doubtful in any event about checking it due to the possibility of rough handling and damage from conveyor belts. We had a folding bag to protect Ellie when gate checking it (and this also kept the removable footrests with the chair).

 

So, Ellie was a success in letting us do more than we otherwise could, and was not a difficulty or burden. Keep her close!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been using a rollator (knee scooter) since Christmas, and have taken 2 cruises (one in the Med) and a couple dozen domestic flights.

 

Agree with the advice above with a little more detail:

* Use the scooter through the airport.

* At TSA, put any 'saddle bags' through the xRay machine. The scooter itself goes around the tunnel, and usually gets swabbed (along with my orthopedic boot!)

* Get a PINK gate tag. Some airlines write your name/destination, others are just pink. This signals the luggage team to send it to the jet bridge.

* Put a luggage tag of some sort on it with your name and phone number.

* At planeside, remove any soft seat covers (I have a sheepskin fluffy one, and don't want it to get dirty or stinky in the luggage bay). First time I forgot, it smelled like jet fuel for days.

* Lower/fold the handlebars... I never zip-tied or bungie'd mine, because I want to be able to raise the handlebars, engage the clamp, and get rolling. If I had to dig out a cutter of some sort, wrestle with the ties, etc. I'd get trampled by other passengers.

 

Note that if it does NOT have a pink/red tag, security rules say it has to be delivered to baggage claim, since they can't be sure it went through TSA screening.

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  • 3 years later...
On 2/25/2018 at 12:13 PM, DRS/NC said:

Hi, All!

I'm cruising to the Caribbean next month & to Norway in June. I'll be taking my new rollator/walker for the first time.

 

My question: how best to transport the rollator on the airplane?

* Should I check it as I do my larger suitcase?

* Or should I wait & check it at the gate, as is done with a child's stroller?

It folds somewhat & I'll secure it with zip ties (or such). Should I also give it a wrap of bubble wrap?

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

It depends on how mobile you are and how long you’ll be in the airport. Check it if you can use just a cane. I keep mine with me and gate-check it, so I can use it to get to the restroom.

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