Traveling to and from the airport can be a stressful ordeal for anyone. It can often feel like the luck of the draw from the time you arrive, to the time you are actually sitting in your seat on the airplane whether or not you encounter a hiccup or delay. Now incorporate the catalyst of a wheelchair into the mix and your experience can get a lot more complicated.
Flying commercial with a wheelchair can triple the amount of preparations you need to make ahead of your travel departure and arrival. Whether you fly with your own personal mobility device or you choose to use an airport wheelchair and porter at either end of your journey, the whole process can be laborious, time consuming, unpredictable and tricky.
We chatted with our founder, Ken Simons, about his experiences flying commercial before he had access to a VeloChair. He detailed for us how challenging it could be to depend on the airport staff or “porter” to help him once he arrived at the airport where he would sometimes wait up to 30 minutes curbside before someone came to help him. Eventually, after someone did arrive and helped him through security, he would sometimes be left unattended at his gate well before his flight was set to depart.
After developing the VeloChair, Ken found he was much more self-reliant. He could navigate the twists and turns of the airport with relative ease and at his own pace.
“With the VeloChair, I was able to unload the chair from the car and get right into it. I pedaled myself through the airport, found the elevator and made my way to security. I didn’t have to wait for a porter and I was on my own. I pedaled through security to the gate and I had time to wander around to shops and restaurants until my flight was ready to board.”
The beauty of the Velochair is the flexibility and independence it allows you to have. Ken was able to pedal straight down the jetway once his flight was called. Since the VeloChair is collapsible, Ken was able to leave the VeloChair with baggage collection before boarding the plane. To fold the Velochair for airplane travel you simply pop out both of the steering tillers and leave them on the seat of the chair. You then fold the seat back on top of the steering tillers to keep them in place making the VeloChair easy for airplane staff to move to the baggage hold. Adding a strap to make sure the seat back stays folded during the ground crew handling of the Velochair.
Similarly, in reverse, as soon as the plane landed at Ken’s destination, the VeloChair would be waiting on the jetway at the door of the plane. No need for additional assistance from any airport staff.
“The nicest thing about the VeloChair experience was that I didn’t need to depend on another person.”
The airport isn’t the only place that VeloChair has helped people with all kinds of mobility challenges to find a more enjoyable experience. It can be taken to any store, mall, movie theater, school, office that is ADA compliant for wheelchair access. The possibilities are endless.
A constant comment that our users hear most when they are out and about is how the VeloChair could help someone’s friend, family member, coworker or someone struggling with a mobility challenge. People are always curious to learn more.
If you yourself are curious about learning more, you can reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft: Blog Post 2: Ambulatory Wheelchair Users
Ambulatory wheelchair users are individuals who use wheelchairs for mobility but are still able to walk short distances. While wheelchairs provide mobility, they can also be limiting for those who still have the ability to walk. Ambulatory wheelchairs are designed to provide support for individuals who can walk but need assistance for longer distances, or for those who may experience difficulty walking due to physical conditions.
Ambulatory wheelchairs come in a variety of styles and sizes to accommodate different needs. It’s important to take into account the user’s daily routine when choosing an ambulatory wheelchair. For example, individuals who frequently travel may benefit from wheelchairs that are lightweight and easily collapsible, while individuals who frequently go outdoors may require wheelchairs with larger wheels and a more rugged design.
In conclusion, ambulatory wheelchairs provide support and independence for individuals who still have the ability to walk but need assistance for longer distances. When choosing an ambulatory wheelchair, it’s important to consider the user’s physical condition, daily routine, and other factors to ensure that the user has the right equipment to meet their needs.
Are you getting ready for spring and summer travel plans? Then you have to explore the newest mobility device in hybrid wheelchair design. Meet VeloChair, a pedal powered quadricycle that requires only one arm to steer and one leg to pedal. The VeloChair is ADA compliant, can fit in the back of a standard SUV and weighs 45 pounds. It is lightweight and great for exercising both indoors and out. The VeloChair has helped hundreds of users find their independence again. Want to learn more about VeloChair? Visit our website at www.velochair.com or give us a follow on Instagram at @velochair
Notes from Ken
Prior to life in the Velochair, if we were going to fly commercial I had to arrange for a wheelchair at the airport and the wheelchairs at the airport are traditional that require someone to push you. They are not designed for the individual to maneuver them on their own.
When you drive up to the drop off you have to wait for a wheelchair porter which can take a few minutes to a half hour. The porter then pushes you through the airport to security. Since I can’t walk through the scanner they have to wand you while seated in the wheelchair. Taking the belt off, shoes, etc is always a pain.
Then the porter will push you to the gate. If you’re there ahead of the flight the porter will leave you. Then you’re left sitting there without anywhere to go. When it’s time to board they push you down the jet way to the door of the plane. You either have to manipulate yourself to get to your seat. When you get to your destination the porter will meet you on the other end. Then they push you through the airport and you’re generally the last off the plane so you don’t block other people.
When I did with the Velochair we unload the chair from the car, I got right into it, I pedaled myself through the airport, found the elevator and made my way to security. I didn’t have to wait for a porter and I was on my own. I pedaled through security to the gate and I was on my own to wander around until my flight was ready to board.
When it was time to board, I was part of the pre boarding process. Got to the door of the airplane. I took the steering tillers out of the velocahir and rested them on the seat. Collapsed the seat on top of them so they would be protected. The ground crew took the velochair below. When we got to the destination, I waited to be the last off the plane and when I came out the velochair was sitting there waiting for me. Put the steering tillers back and away we went. Went to baggage claim under own independent power.
The nicest thing about the Velochair experience was that I didn’t need to depend on another person.