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Flying with a Prosthetic Leg?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by mrburden, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. mrburden

    mrburden Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I had my right leg amputated below the knee in April and yesterday I took delivery of my first prosthetic leg. Although I have travelled to the US many times as a diabetic, we are planning a trip for next year which will be the first time I have had to take a prosthetic on a flight and a cruise liner.
    I'm fine about travelling with all the needles, insulin and other general diabetes stuff, but I could do with some advice from anyone who has travelled with an extra "leg". I've already informed the airline and the holiday company about it but I would appreciate any practical suggestions.
    Many thanks,
     
  2. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any personal experience, but my boss commutes between London and New York every other week with a prosthetic leg (his is a very expensive high-tech actuated one).

    The only time I can see it being an issue, is on the way through security, but I guess that it's just a one-on-one security check. I've seen lots of people on planes and airside at airports with prosthetic legs, so I can't believe it is really much of an issue.

    My son has a electronic prosthetic arm, and every time we've just put it through the x-ray machine with the laptops and iPads. Airport security people get to see a lot, and they don't even blink (although we always enjoy the comedy value of me "accidently" yanking his arm off in front of strangers).

    I don't know if you have to wear it in flight, to demonstrate your mobility in the event of an crash landing, but you might be able to make yourself some more leg room by stowing it in the overhead locker.

    Let us know how you get on.
     
  3. mrburden

    mrburden Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi thanks for the reply. I already 'enjoy' the security experience, as I use a wheelchair and that seems to be an invite to poke their swab stick in every place they can think of!!
    I will need to wear the leg throughout the flight, so that my stump doesn't swell and prevent me putting it back on. Now I've started weraing it I have found that I can't bend my leg under as far as I can with my good one, so leg space looks as if it may be an issue. The seats with more leg room are (as I understand) only for able-bodied passengers. I have poor eyesight too so those seats might not be suitable for me.
    I will keep a bit of a 'travel diasry' and let you know how things pan out.
     
  4. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    I have no expeience of this problem, but I would check with the airlines and Diabetes UK
    Hana
     
  5. bonzodog

    bonzodog · Member

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    Am an amputee (nothing to do with diabetes) and a few quick points:

    1) Slip your leg off (even if its just slide it down yr trousers. The cabin air pressure together with being immobilised can cause fluid build up

    2) Although the extra leg room by the doors would be nice, you won't get it. Airlines will want to evacuate planes PDQ and they won't plonk someone who they perceive as a hindrance to be by the emergency exits ..... :(

    3) Tell the security people that you have a prosthetic leg .... it just eases things when you go through the scanner....

    4) Get up and move around during the flight ... (should be true for every one!)
     
  6. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It depends which cabin you're flying with, but there are usually bulkhead seats at the front of a section that have extra legroom.

    On proper airlines (like BA) these are likely to be reserved for Elites or people with babies. However, if you call the airline and tell them about your special requirements then you might be able to bag one of those seats. Not sure that it works with Ryanair or Easy Jet though.
     
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