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Information Flying with a disability


100+ Posts
I recently had surgery on my right leg that has me on crutches. We just returned from a roundtrip from Napoli to Albuquerque with 2 stops each way. We went through airports at Napoli, Munich, Houston (IAH), O’Hare and Albuquerque.

Our flights were booked via United and all flights except the NAP – MUC (Lufthansa) were United flights. I notified United before our flights of my need for mobility assistance. We had help at each airport getting from gate to gate, however, the assistance at Napoli was by far the best. Houston was the worst.
Napoli took me from the ticketing area through the back to a special truck with a lift that loaded me at the plane door. Munich also took me from plane door to plane door either by electric cart or special truck. Munich had a special customs counter just for the disability service.

The service in the US was not equal to here in Europe. In Houston we were given a wheelchair but left to get ourselves through customs and to the next gate until we flagged down a mobility assistance employee who took charge and got us to our gate as the flight was boarding. O’Hare was better with a wheelchair and attendant from gate to gate. The problem in the US is the distance you must travel between domestic and international flights and no customs accommodation for disabilities.


I will say that at Houston I saw the most people requesting assistance and many who did not appear to have a disability, but I don’t know their story. This taxed the number of available mobility assistants.

We would not have been able to make any of our connections without this mobility assistance. If you have the need for these services be sure to ask in advance.
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Forums Admin
Great photo - I made it larger! Thanks for the details. Interesting in the difference between Europe and the US. Hope your leg is better soon. And happy that you got to do that trip!

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