Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:22 am

SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Wed May 18, 2011 10:13 am

Hi there,

I am flying to Auckland in August for Bledisloe Cup game. I booked my flights online few months ago by using Webjet website because I can pick the times that I wanted to leave and it suited me fine. So the flight over to Auckland will be with Lan Chile (A340) and the flight back to Sydney will be with Emirates (A380). I don’t know what to expect from these airlines as I haven’t flown with them. I would like to fly with Qantas return to/from Auckland but my electric chair wouldn’t fit in cargo in B737-800 in all Qantas Sydney to Auckland flights in August '11. The only aircraft that takes my electric chair are A320, B747-400 and B767 so far but I never flew with A340 & A380. So I am looking forward of flying with them so if any of you, your friends or family members flew with Lan Chile and Emirates while in the wheelchair – please share with me.

Seeing that I am in wheelchair, Qantas is the best airline for me because they look after me very well and also, while flying domestic sector – Sydney to Melbourne, one of my booked flight was B737-400 told by check in lady then the man approached me at the gate where my flight was leaving and he saw my electric chair got a tag on and he told me that sorry that your electric chair wouldn’t fit in cargo in B737-400 so he organised with other staff at Qantas to be moved to next flight would be on B767 for free of charge. That’s why I love Qantas. Also, Virgin Blue is worst airline as they don’t look after me very well because they nearly refused me on their flight from Melbourne to Sydney as they asked me that can I put a life jacket on by my own and I said no and I got upset with them and my carer from Melbourne has a yarn with them then they finally agreed to put me on that flight seeing it was at night time and I wanted to get back to Sydney for work. Also, they can store my electric chair in their B737-700 and B737-800 cargo hold as my chair to be folded down and I don't like it. Both Qantas & Virgin Blue have a different policies of handling wheelchairs in cargo hold.

Please share it with me about you, your family members or friends who had problems with their wheelchairs fit in cargo hold.

Thank you


PS I love flying so much and my favourite aircraft are B747-400 then B767 then A320.
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:26 am

RE: SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Wed May 18, 2011 10:50 am

The staff at Qantas sound great.

Some staff at other airlines/customs can really be a pain in the a#$.

I once traveled with a blind man from the Netherlands to Romania and back. The trip to Romania was great but on the return trip I had some trouble getting out of the country. Apparently they don't see that many blind people from Sri Lanka. Anyway after 20 minutes at the customs desk they let us through. When the FA caught wind of what had happened she actually came by to apologize for the inconvenience while she had nothing to do with it. Not that I am complaining in the end it got me a visit to the cockpit of a 737-400.  

A niece of mine is actually in the Dutch national basketball team for disabled people. They fly all over Europe in their wheelchairs and they are actually very good. One time I joined them on a trip and her sense of humor is to die for. On this trip her luggage was 1.7KG over the weight limit. When the check in lady told her she had to pay extra she looked up and said "I am bringing my own chair to sit in so a small discount should be in order." The check in lady cracked a smile and sent the suitcase down the line free of charge.

After reading your story I do have one small curiosity question: Did you book a seat on the upper deck of the A380?
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:26 pm

RE: SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Wed May 18, 2011 12:16 pm

For your flight with Emirates you are advised to contact the Emirates Office regarding travelling with your own electric chair. Info provided on the EK website states:

If you travel with a battery-powered wheelchair or other mobility aid, certain safeguards must be taken before you travel. Please provide us with at least 48 hours advance notice of your requirement and advise us of the dimensions and weight, and the type of battery used for your equipment. Also, be sure to check in at the airport at least one hour ahead of scheduled check-in time so that we can ensure that your equipment is transported in accordance with all dangerous goods handling requirements.

When necessary, we will disassemble and reassemble wheelchairs or assistive devices for customers when they travel. If we do need to disassemble your wheelchair, our employees will need instructions: please bring the manufacturer’s instructions with you to the airport. You will be asked to check the wheelchair at the check-in area and you will need to be present during the disassembly/reassembly of the device.

There is a lot more information in their FAQs but the following page may assist: http://www.emirates.com/au/english/p...ial_information/special_needs.aspx

I recently travelled with my mother who required assistance but was able to walk to her seat once on the aircraft. The crew were very helpful. Hope you have a great flight.
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Wed May 18, 2011 2:22 pm

Hello Wheelie,

The contact centre telephone number for LAN Chile in Australia is 1 800 701 992. I would like to suggest that you contact both LAN and Emirates sooner rather than later, in order to log your special needs with the respective carriers.

It is so much nicer knowing beforehand that everything is taken care of. Just as an extra "insurance policy", take the names of the specific airline staff members you make the arrangements with.

Enjoy the rugby in New Zealand!  


When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:22 am

RE: SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Sun May 22, 2011 9:51 pm

Quoting bj87 (Reply 1):

After reading your story I do have one small curiosity question: Did you book a seat on the upper deck of the A380?

I will be going to see a person in Emirates office in Sydney in few weeks to give my measurements of my electric chair as I cant hear on the phone as I am deaf/hearing impaired. While I am there, i will ask them if I can get a seat on upper desk,

Do anyone know about Lan Chile policy of handling electric chairs?

thank you


Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:06 am

RE: SYD To AKL Return Flights - I Am In Wheelchair

Mon May 23, 2011 7:05 am

You are aware that the upper deck on an Emirates A380 is entirely business class and First class?

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