When travelling with special requirements, such as oxygen or mobility aids, it may be wise to make your arrangements through a travel agent. This would provide you with assistance in the event of any problems such as schedule changes.
When making your reservation, be sure to tell the agent the type of accommodation you require, and to what extent. If travelling with a wheelchair or scooter, let the agent know what type you use (manual, electric, wet cell, dry cell) and explain how much assistance you will need with boarding and disembarking.
Regardless of how you choose to travel, it is important that you take steps to ensure that your trip is a safe and enjoyable one.
It is also helpful to know your rights as a traveller with special needs.
In 1986, US Congress passed the Air Carrier Access Act, requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop new regulations, which ensure that persons with disabilities will be treated without discrimination in a way consistent with the safe carriage of all passengers.
These regulations explain the responsibilities of the traveller and all domestic carriers, airport operators, and contractors involved in the airline industry who meet certain requirements, (such as passenger capacity).
Please note that foreign airlines are not required to comply with these regulations, although U.S. carriers on international flights must.
Australia has similar laws protecting the rights of disabled people who wish to travel. Nican is a national information service providing information on recreation, tourism, sport and the arts for people with disabilities.
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