Looking Down Airplane Aisle Toward Cockpit

Lots of Problems!

I have flown several times since receiving my spinal cord injury. I am paralyzed from the waist down. I have received bruises allowing airport personnel to take me to my seat on an aisle chair and I did not know it since I can not feel anything. Transfer flights require us to sit in aisle chairs which are not custom fit to reduce the chances of getting pressure sores which take a long time to heal and being confined to sit on hard airline seats for long periods of time due to delays puts us at risk of pressure sores. Long flights and no way to use the facilities even being stuck on the runway might make this more of an issue. Having all disabled people in one area of the plane would decrease our chances of getting off the plane in an emergency, too many people needing help in one area. We would be better off being spread out, others might be willing to help us off the plane. It would only take one disabled person to fall in the aisle to block the aisle for able bodied and disabled fliers alike. Broken arm rests make it difficult to next to impossible for a person needing the aisle wheelchair to transfer to the assigned seating. I have seen workers risk getting an injury because they have to pick up literally dead weight and have to move it over the arm rest, This transfer also makes it more dangerous for the person needing the assistance to get over the broken arm rest in the first place. One airline allows you to pick your own seat removing the problems I identified with assigned seating. Assigning seats makes others climb over us, once again making it more likely we will get injured. I have seen several people have their checked equipment damaged once it goes to the luggage handlers, loaders. Some of the equipment is quite expensive and some of it is absolutely necessary at the destination and not able to be replaced without ordering and without it life would really suck. I have been charged for checked medical necessities because it was not all in one bag. I am limited in how heavy a single bag can be but I can carry multiple lighter bags and be able to carry my stuff independently.

I do not want to injure someone so I can fly somewhere. I do not want to be injured by well meaning people. I do not want to be stepped on because I am forced to sit in a certain seat and have people climb over me. These are are very basic requests but not always afforded to people needing wheelchairs. God forbid something happens and in an emergency situation I die or have others die because I can not get out of the aisle or over a person with a disability blocking the aisle.

Arriving at a destination and knowing my equipment will arrive and not be damaged would remove lots of the stress of flying.

Mr. David Gifford, PA