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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Jane K

Perks of gimp hood & travel

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Hi All,

I was very lucky to be able to get out of New England and venture to a warmer climate for 10 days. While I have had no issues wearing my leg full time I still brought along my wheel chair in addition to my crutches. Security blanket yes but it is also a great way to carry bags through airports. After all the gate you need to get to is always on the other side of the airport. Hefting a well stuffed carry on isn't great for balance when walking and it makes it difficult to carry a drink.

To those who haven't gone through an airport since gimpification a couple a pointers:

- the airport self check-in machines won't allow you to exclude crutches, wheelchairs etc from being charged.

- going through the "special needs" line will allow this equipment to put through at no charge

- even if you wait in the regular line you will probably be told to step aside so you various parts can be checked out

- porters want to help you out getting to your gate and on your plane.

- well worth a good tip when Boston traffic jams make your arrive at the airport way to close to the departure time.

- you won't be required to take off your shoes like everyone else

- the line is usually very short

-you get to hear all sorts of bells and whistles despite your telling them you have extra metal to declare

- one checked bag with leg stuff (liners, socks, water cover etc) will not be charged - at least in my experience with American Airlines who charge for everything

Becoming gimpified in order to get these perks is a bit extreme but why not. I'm very stubborn in showing independence but as a friend put it to me "what part of being a gimp isn't clear to me"?

Happy traveling to all.

Jane

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You're also allowed to carry on an extra bag if it is carrying only "leg" and parts. Don't use it to stash a coat, shirt, or anything else. It is considered "medical" on any airline and there is no charge for that.

I do want to mention that there is a lot of discussion on checking a bag that has "amp gear" in or just carrying it on board the plane. Lots of different stories too. I guess it depends on how trusting and lucky you are. I have traveled both ways. With my leg in a bag that was checked, and as a carry on. After not having a bag arrive at the destination when I did, I haven't checked my leg bag again. And that was in the USA. I know I wouldn't be checking it if I were going to another country. It goes with me from now on. I also have travel crutches. Those, I will put in a bag to be checked. If I loose them, they are much cheaper than my amp gear.

It's a choice you have to make yourself. Please think on it everyone.

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Good to know about being able to carry on a bag with medical supplies without charge. I have travelled a lot and always put my leg stuff in my checked baggage but would prefer to have it with me. The difficulty is then carrying the 2 bags as I am not known for packing light. I guess that is where the wheelchair comes in but I don't usually travel with mine. Just a walker and shower chair. I also take advantage of all the handicap line and usually board early as well. As you say, there should be some advantages to gimpdom.

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Well, by not taking your wheelchair, you could use one at the airport. Let the skycap take you to your gate..Easier to carry things. I don't travel with a chair either, never have.

If you get a duffle or a bag with a shoulder strap, it helps. I found a back pack that has wheels and a lift handle like the luggage has. It works great.

You can have your CP give you a lesson in how to take your foot off of the leg, if you need to so that it will fit in the bag. Even a small carry on suitcase works well for all of the leg stuff, that way.

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Hi Higgy,

Your point about not checking in what you really need with leg stuff - or anything else - is very true. I always carry on board my second liner, one sock, meds, in addition to a book, ect. The more you really need what is put into checked bags the higher chances it will end up where you are not. Telling the airlines you need them to provide specific leg components while they locate your luggage would be a huge lesson in frustration. Funny to watch their reactions perhaps but ultimately not worth the chuckle.

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