Tip on plane reservations
Note: this is not an advertisement for Southwest, nor am I affiliated in any way with them. I have had good experiences with Southwest Airlines and I wish to share them.
Traveling when partially sighted can be challenging at times – finding the right gate, getting checked in and retrieving your baggage when you land can be all anxiety-inducing prospects. This tip focuses on getting you checked in and to the proper gate with as little hassle as possible. Whenever possible, I try to fly with providers that are proactive about meeting the needs to their disabled customers. Southwest Airlines is an excellent example of a company who goes the extra mile when dealing with their passengers who need extra help. When booking your flight, there are buttons you can check if you are an ADA customer. The menu will walk you through determining your disability, and what services Southwest can offer. In my case, with low vision, there are options to assist me getting to the gate, getting through check-in and (I don’t have one but if I did…) alerting the crew that I will be bringing a guide dog aboard with me. Communication is key in a successful trip when visually impaired, letting the staff know of your inability to see will undoubtedly make your trip smoother.
This is not to say that Southwest is the only airline who provide additional services for their ADA customers. I have had excellent results traveling on other providers such as American, Delta and United as well, but because their ticketing system doesn’t presently include adding ADA information, an additional step is required to ask for assistance. Not a big deal. In the event that their other carriers update their ticketing system to provide for ADA information I will update this post.
You can follow me @nedskee on Twitter and @nedskee on Instagram. Don’t let your lack of vision hold you back from doing new and exciting things! Take a trip, make it someplace you haven’t been before, and have an adventure.