The five of us flew from Logan to Salt Lake City on a direct flight with Delta late afternoon both on the way to UT and the way home to MA. The flight out was a little longer, at 5.5 hours (note: it’s two hours earlier in UT than MA). Last year we had a horrendous experience on the way home with Delta (see Rants), but this year things went more smoothly. It helped that Peter has Sky Priority miles with Delta, so we were able to use the shorter lines when checking in and when going through security. Still, if you request assistance from the airline in advance, as we did last year (see: www.delta.com and search for “special-travel-needs/disabilities”), the security process is faster than it is for most other travelers.
Both this year and last, and in both airports, I found the security staff to be courteous and respectful when searching Marianne’s wheelchair. They were also thorough (I think, although not being in security, it’s hard to know for sure), which I appreciate.
We boarded early on both flights and were able to get settled before the other passengers boarded. Marianne was transferred to an aisle chair at the plane door, and Delta staff took her wheelchair (now on manual mode) to the tarmac. It was a little unnerving to look from the plane window at the chair sitting on the pavement all by itself, and I had visions of them forgetting to load it (I’ve read somewhere this has actually happened). The airline attendant was great when I relayed this story and had the pilot radio down to make sure it got on the conveyor belt. This YouTube clip shows the chair being unloaded from the plane in Salt Lake City:
Note on airplane seats: we paid extra for economy-plus size seats so that we would have some wiggle room when doing Marianne’s catheter on the plane. Not sure we needed them, but it was nice to have extra leg room.