As a young newly wed couple, we were following our dreams of travelling around the world together, sampling foreign cuisines, hiking through countrysides and driving on open roads throughout the world. We had plans to travel to the UK and surrounding European countries over Christmas last year. These plans came to a grounding halt when Nathan’s injury happened. We cancelled previously booked flights, we stopped looking at travel destinations and focused on his health and recovery. Travelling overseas was out of the picture. Travelling around the city was an obstacle in itself.
We’ve had to put our dreams on hold for an undetermined period. It’s not for forever, but it’s hard to put a date on when exactly we’ll be able to get back into travelling overseas. After a stroke, or any type of disability, detailed planning and preparation is required for travelling. There are medical conditions to take into consider, which medical equipment might be needed, what transport to take, medications, additional clothing and how to transport it all whilst pushing a wheelchair.
We have travelled domestically with Qantas so we’re familiar with how they operate. Researching for flights for stroke survivors or those with any sort of disability, we found that Qantas has provided a lot of helpful information on their website. They also offer a carer concession card for individuals who require assistance during the flight. You can apply for one here. Qantas allow those with special needs to call up and speak to someone directly to book flights, allowing us to comfortably explain our situation and requirements and in our experience they have been more than accommodating e.g. requesting aisle seat, wheelchair requirements etc.
The whole process from arriving at Adelaide airport to getting picked up from Sydney airport went very smoothly. I can’t thank the Qantas staff enough for their attention to detail and service. They assisted us with check in, boarding the plane, seating and exiting the aircraft. The small things made all the difference, such as checking up on Nathan throughout the flight and getting his wheelchair delivered to the aircraft door . They made our first flight a worry free affair.