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Preparation Key For Travelers With Special Needs

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After an airline recently told a man with cerebral palsy that he was “too disabled to fly,” advocates are recommending that travelers with disabilities plan ahead and know their rights heading into the holiday travel season.

Last month, self-advocate Johnnie Tuitel went public after representatives of US Airways removed him from a flight before it left Palm Beach, Fla. for Kansas City, Mo. Tuitel, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, says he was told that for safety reasons he needed a companion in order to fly. Never mind that Tuitel had flown to Florida just two days earlier on his own.

While experts say experiences like Tuitel’s are the exception, they emphasize that proper planning is key. In Tuitel’s case, disability advocates say the gate attendant should have called what is known as a complaint resolution official to help settle the situation. And while the airline can insist on a travel companion, the company must provide and pay for the assistant.

In general, advocates say it’s a good idea to call ahead to hotels, cruise lines and other travel providers to ensure that your needs will be met, reports MSNBC. To read more click here.

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