I traveled by plane to Minneapolis with members of the MUSC spinal cord injury research team. We flew Friday morning from Charleston to Charlotte, then to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.
We were on a smaller plane leaving Charleston, which made it difficult to get my Permobil wheelchair into the cargo section. While my chair is getting loaded with all the luggage, I’m strapped to an aisle chair that is narrow enough to take me to my seat on the plane.
Our stay in Minneapolis went well. We rented a rampvan to get around the city, and the hotel room at the Hyatt was accessible. The bed height wasn’t too high for people in wheelchairs and there weren’t any bed frames or other obstructions around the bed that limited transferring from my wheelchair.
While visiting at the Mall of America, we stopped for dinner and went through the amusement park at the mall. Our return flight Monday afternoon from Minneapolis to Charlotte went well; however, a few of us missed the connecting flight!
We thought we had more time for the layover, but, apparently, we didn’t. The crazy part was that my chair made the flight without me. The chair was sent directly to the connecting flight. It’s usually faster to send my chair to the next plane via the cargo handlers. Fortunately, we were able to get the next flight home!
To ease the stress of missing the flight, we had one of the best skycaps, named Alisha, when we landed in Charleston. Alisha assisted with the entire process from getting me off the plane to reuniting me with my power chair that was waiting at baggage claim.
Even though there were some difficult moments on this trip, I couldn’t have done it without the people who traveled with me. A special thanks to Corey, Kristian, D’Andra, Melinda and Renee.