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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

Thank you for the consideration you give people with obvious mobility disabilities by sitting near the rear restrooms.  A lot of people abuse Preboard to sit close to the front. As a person in a wheelchair who also has to use special undergarments, the front restroom is my only option. Often there are people who can walk unassisted preboarded before the wheelchair passengers,  I appreciate people like you who choose seating that meets your needs without infringing on the needs of others- I wish there were more like you.

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

I am cautiously optimistic that Southwest Personnel are well trained in aiding passengers with non visible disabilities! We will be traveling from BWI to San Diego this Friday and sincerely hope I will not have to shows unflattering scars, etc. to verify my need! Several unpleasant prior experiences make air travel unpleasant.

 

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

There are so many disabilities that no one is aware of.  I had a stroke but you might never know it.  Because of it I can't stand in long lines for a long period of time.  Also had knee replacement and foot surgery as well as several other health problems.  I do not use a wheelchair or other prosthetics.  But when I have to change planes at a very large airport, especially one I'm not familiar with, I ask for assistance f on gate to gate.  I always go to the desk and ask to preboard. I wish there was a way to put this into our record when we book our flights.  So far I haven't had any problems but I have gotten a sceptical look or two.

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

I generally carry my state issued handicap placard as "proof" because I also have an invisible disability and I carry it in plain sight of my fellow passengers as well as flight attendants. No problems

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

Active Member

@TamoraAFD wrote:

I generally carry my state issued handicap placard as "proof" because I also have an invisible disability and I carry it in plain sight of my fellow passengers as well as flight attendants. No problems


That's a GREAT idea, especially if you are taking the HC placard with you for use in a rental car.

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

Rising Star

Just remember, you have the right to privacy. 

 

Just remember: You are the reason this process was developed. 

 

Passengers at the gate should be saying to themselves, “what can I do to assist” this fellow passenger, not judging or diagnosing. 

 

 


SWA Passenger, Community Champion
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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

Top Contributor
Solution

To be clear: There is no such thing as the "proper paperwork" to prove a disability or request pre-boarding.

 

When requesting pre-boarding, the Southwest agent will ask you if you have a disability that causes you to require assistance boarding the plane, and/or a specific seat once onboard. 

 

If the answer is yes, you qualify to pre-board.

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

You need to remember, they are trying to weed out the "fake" handicapped people. Don't take it personal. There are so many people pretending to be handicapped hoping to board the plane first with absolutely no reguards to the "real" handicapped person. 

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

Mojoos & love4life and others, thank you for your detailed posts. I do not feel so alone now. I have severe osteoporosis, a leaking disc, and bladder issues yet I also do not always use a wheelchair. Everyday is different. I also try to sit near the bathroom. So, it is good to hear about the experiences of others as well as SW's staff. The information was useful.

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Re: Travelling with Invisible Disabilities

New Arrival

@mjoos1814 wrote:

Hi!

 

I've been travelling (exclusively) with SWA for years as a disabled person, and the only issue that I sometimes have is that one of my disabilities can sometimes be invisible (that is, I don't always need to use my cane or other assistive mobility devices).  When I check in and say I don't need a wheelchair, I'm told to get a pre-board ticket at the gate, which is fine.  When I get to the gate and ask, though; I'm often given the side-eye and reluctantly given the pre-board ticket because I don't look disabled.  I don't feel as if I should have to prove my disability to the gate agents, nor do I think I should have to use my assistive mobility devices on a rare day when I'm actually feeling well enough to not have to use them just to justify needing to pre-board.

 

You may ask why I need to pre-board if I'm feeling well, which is fair.  The way my disability works, it's basically an either/or situation - I can either walk around the airport or I can use my energy (my spoons, if one is familiar with The Spoon Theory) standing in line with my carry-ons, looking for a seat, etc.  By the time I've done all of that, I will most likely need a pre-board at my layover, so it's just easier to initiate the process from the beginning and save my spoons for the rest of the day.

 

Is there a way this can be addressed?

 

Thank you so much!


Our Agents ought to ask whether the Customer needs help to board and in the event that they require a particular seat installed to oblige an inability to decide whether a Customers meets all requirements for preboarding. Our Employees get preparing and ought to perceive that not all inabilities are promptly evident; in any case, I'm sad if your collaborations haven't been charming before.