We recently took our first few flights since Craig became a paraplegic. We flew with easyJet on each occasion.
Here's our experience of flying with a wheelchair and using easyJet's special assistance:
Booking special assistance with Easyjet was easy and can be done at the time of booking. Simply select the special assistance option under the passenger details section of the booking form. You then just go through the options to select the specific type of special assistance you need. For us, we only needed assistance getting on and off the plane. We've also booked another set of flights which we are yet to take with Easyjet through their mobile app. Here, there was no option to add special assistance at the time of booking. To select this, you have to do it through the manage booking section on the Easyjet website. You do not have to request your special assistance at the time of booking. But, you must tell Easyjet at least 48 hours before you fly otherwise they cannot guarantee to help you.
We took a manual wheelchair and a freewheel attachment with us. The wheelchair was taken to the hold once Craig was on the plane. We were able to take the freewheel onboard and keep it in the overhead lockers during the flight. easyJet's policy states that 2 items of mobility equipment can be taken in the hold free of charge.
This will depend on the type of special assistance you need and will also vary from airport to airport. Normally you must alert the special assistance staff that you are at the airport. Some airports have a special assistance desk in the departure area, in others, you must check in with easyJet themselves. You can make your our own way through the airport or the special assistance staff can escort you through.
This will depend upon whether there are steps up to the plane or a tunnel. We have experienced both as it varies by airport. When there were steps there was a special vehicle which took us to the plane. It then lifted up to the height of the aircraft door so that you could wheel straight onto the plane. If the plane has a tunnel onto you can board directly via the tunnel.
If your wheelchair is small enough to fit down the aisle, you could transfer straight from your wheelchair to the plane seat. In our case, the wheelchair was too wide so Craig had to transfer into a narrow chair to get down the aisle and then again onto the plane seat. The wheelchair was then taken down to the hold and was waiting for us on the other side.
The seating will depend on the type of plane you're on. Craig has been given the window seat on all flights, presumably so that nobody would have to climb over him. When our flights had empty rows near the front the flight attendants offered us these seats to make it easier to get on and off. If you are taking a busier flight you may have to sit in the rear. We have been seated together on all flights without having to book seats together.
We kept the wheelchair until we boarded the plane. When boarding we took off all the loose attachments such as the cushion and stored them in the overhead lockers. The wheelchair itself was then taken into the hold for the flight.
Getting off the plane was very similar to getting on. We always had to wait until all the other passengers had left the plane. The special assistance crew then appeared with the narrow aisle chair. The wheelchair would be waiting at the door of the plane for us. If there is a tunnel you can make your own way out of the airport from there. For planes with steps, you go back down in the special vehicle which then drives you to the terminal.
Overall, our experience with easyJet has been great. The staff have all been very helpful and willing to go the extra mile to assist us. We found the booking process was very simple and obvious and haven't had any issues to date. We are definitely likely to travel with easyJet again.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay when you land check out our articles on how to book accessible accommodation using Booking.com:
or using Airbnb: