Cancer Patient Denied Boarding — Could it Happen to You?

Elizabeth Sedway was having a nice family vacation in Hawaii — that is until she attempted to board her Alaska Airlines flight home to California.

You see, Sedway has multiple myeloma, and like many other people who have compromised immune systems, she wears a surgical mask in crowded public places, like airports. She also opted to preboard the flight, and according to her recollection of the incident, she told the gate agent that she felt “weak”. Both of these actions are perfectly normal under the circumstances, but they also set off a chain of events that eventually got the Sedway family unceremoniously booted from their flight. Continue reading

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What’s a Writer to Do?

As I was checking the final edits in my next book, Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, I encountered an unexpected ethical dilemma. Let’s just chalk it all up to bad timing, as Indiana’s governor had also just signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Continue reading

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A Denied Boarding at LAX

Although we don’t have very many denied boardings to disabled travelers these days, they do happen. And since it happened to a friend at LAX yesterday, I thought it might be a good time to go over what you should do if it happens to you. Continue reading

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Why You Should Bother to File an ADA Complaint

I get a lot of feedback from my readers, and a good chunk of it pertains to what I call “access shortfalls”. In most cases the incident usually involves a hotel or other travel related business that failed to provide appropriate access. And although the degree of severity varies from case to case, my advice is usually the same; “File a complaint with the Depart of Justice (DOJ) for a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Unfortunately that sage advice is usually met with a deafening silence. Continue reading

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Adaptive Kayaking in Baja California

If you like to kayak, or maybe just think you’d like to give it a shot, then have I ever got a trip for you. Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) just announced their 2015 schedule, which kicks off with a cool week-long kayaking trip in Baja California. And the folks at ETC are the experts in adaptive paddling, so you couldn’t be in better hands. Continue reading

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Flying with a Child Who Lacks Trunk Support

OK, here’s a riddle for you.

You have a child who lacks trunk support and is unable to sit up in an airplane seat on her own. She is too big for a car seat and can’t sit on your lap. What do you do? Continue reading

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My Favorite 2014 Accessible Travel Memory

Accessible Huttopia Tent

Well, it’s that time of the year again, when we look back on 2014 and pick our favorite this or that in blogland. And since I write about accessible travel, I’ll share my favorite accessible travel memory of the year. Continue reading

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My Year of Giving

My year of giving all started with a random drawing. I don’t enter these things often, but this one really appealed to me. In addition to receiving a Tiffany’s gift certificate, the winners also got to designate a $100 donation to the charity of their choice. Jewelry and charity — it sounded like a winning combination to me!

And lo and behold I won. I bought a beautiful silver heart necklace, and the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative received a $100 donation on my behalf. I chose that charity because my friend Echo supports it. It’s a great organization — they help kids who are homeless, in foster care, or who are living in high poverty prepare for college.

And then the little wheels in my head began to turn. I reasoned that since I easily waste $100 a month, that money could be put to much better use if I donated it to a worthy cause. But how do I find these causes? And then it hit me — I’ll let my friends choose them. And that’s exactly what I did. Over the course of 2014, I donated $100 every month to an organization or cause that one of my friends supported or benefited from. In the end I think it worked out great.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this to toot my own horn. Instead I’m sharing my story in hopes that some of my friends will do the same thing next year. Granted it doesn’t have to be $100 — give whatever you can afford. Or if you can’t afford to give cash, give of your time — everybody needs volunteers. And if you can’t give, then simply share my story, so others will be encouraged to give.

In any case, here’s how my donations played out on a month-by-month basis. I’m going to do the same thing in 2015, and I invite everyone to join me. We can make a difference — one person at a time. Continue reading

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Porky Denied Boarding

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the November 26th US Airways flight from Bradley International Airport. That was until one passenger walked down the aisle with what has been described as a very smelly a pig. According to passenger Jonathan Skolnik, the woman then proceeded to take her seat and tether the 50-70 pound animal to the armrest. Continue reading

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DOT Addresses Accessible Lavatories, Service Animals and Oxygen on Airplanes

Earlier this month the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a new timeline for proposed changes to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). That announcement stemmed from their request for public comments on certain access issues in 2010. At that time the DOT asked for input on the following questions:

1.Should air carriers be required to provide non-emergency medical oxygen?

2. Should 48 hours notice and medical documentation still be required for emotional support animals?

3. Should air carriers be required to provide accessible lavatories on single aisle aircraft?

4. Should airlines be required to report the number of requests they get for disability assistance to the DOT?

5. Should the scope be broadened for the types of passengers that are required to be given seats with extra leg room, and should these seats be available in all classes of service.? Continue reading

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