Motorized Wheelchair Help : ]

  • Motorized Wheelchair Help : ]

    Posted by hannahstreet on August 11, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Hi all — I use an electric wheelchair [Permobil] and am currently planning a 2-3 week trip to Japan very soon. I am no stranger to flying with a very expensive/heavy wheelchair within the US, but am a little worried about the International flight [I will be doing non-stop via Delta to Haneda, and I plan to translate directions for handling the chair in English and Japanese]. But, I am curious if I will have trouble traveling with my wheelchair charger [ex; getting through security, making sure the outlets work, etc]. Also, if anyone has experience traveling to Japan with a motorized wheelchair I’d love to talk more. Thank you!

    Deb replied 9 months, 3 weeks ago 7 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • schroth-sensei

    Member
    August 11, 2023 at 11:58 am

    Hello Hannahstreet,

    I don’t know exactly where you’re coming from but I’ll assume somewhere in the US. Well, you are in luck as I literally JUST did almost the exact trip to Japan as you’ve described (I flew out on Aug. 2 to Japan). My flight was also Delta, non-stop from ATL => HND, and yes, even my wheelchair is a Permobil (F3)! I definitely recommend filling out Delta’s official Wheelchair handling information sheet ahead of time and printing it, found here:

    https://www.delta.com/contactus/wheelchair

    I would also attach some pictures, I created a second page and laminated it to the back of the information page. I don’t believe a Japanese translation will be necessary, nevertheless if you want to be thorough it shouldn’t hurt to have both.

    You’re probably aware, but you’ll take off all the removable parts and bring them on board before the chair is stowed. We (with my caregiver) did take an extra step and detached the joystick from the arm rest (bolts only, not the cord) and put it in a hard-foam cushion we made, this was then tied to the back, tucked away from potential damage. The last part could be extra cautious, but I didn’t want to take a chance. Nonetheless, the chair made it with no damage, and I’ve been happily rolling around Japan for more than a week now!

    I also have good news about your charger situation. I actually brought 2-chargers, my regular charger was in my checked-in baggage, and a smaller travel-size/emergency charger was in my carry-on (in case my baggage was lost). Both made it through without an issue, and I didn’t even have to take the charger out of my carry-on for them to scan it, so you shouldn’t have a problem at the airport with that.

    As for outlets, Japan uses outlets like the US except 2-prong-only, both of my chargers are 2-prong (I have a feeling yours will be too). I have recharged over night twice now in Japan, no problems, just like home. If your charger is 3-prong, then you’ll need a converter or contact your wheelchair supplier and see if you can get one with 2-prongs (I’d recommend the latter just out of extra caution).

    Getting around is easy too! I recommend a Japanese Rail pass (bought ahead of time), or a Suica card instead of buying train tickets. At each station you’ll find attendants that can help you get to your train, and have a small ramp for getting in the train AND someone waiting at the exit station with one. It’s wonderfully easy and enjoyable to travel here.

    If you haven’t, check out TabiFolks’ sister site, go here for more info: https://www.accessible-japan.com/wheelchair-accessible-trains-and-subways-in-japan/

    If you want to know more just ask, otherwise I hope that helps,

    -Justin

    • hannahstreet

      Member
      August 12, 2023 at 10:35 am

      Hi Justin! Thanks so much for your thorough response! I actually do have a few other questions.. Can we message somehow?

  • Deb

    Member
    August 11, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    Hi – we are working through this with Japan airlines with the same type of chair but it apparently over the max weight – even though, like you, we have travelled internationally with this chair and this is the first time that this issue has come up.

    Here’s hoping!

    We are on a 12 day cruise so am looking to see what kinds of accessible excursion there are to accommodate the Permobil. 300 but it’s not looking too good – but we are working through it!

    Do you usually fly Delta internationally?

    I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting!

    Deb

    • rao

      Member
      August 26, 2023 at 9:52 am

      did you resolve problem with JAL? i need to take a domestic flight with them with a permobil too

    • Deb

      Member
      August 26, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Sadly, they would not budge over what they post as their max weight – even when I had West Jet speak with them 1:1 on my behalf so I switched to KLM

      Hope that helps

      Deb

  • schroth-sensei

    Member
    August 11, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    I know for Delta, flying from the States, weren’t phased by the 425lb. (193kg) weight of my chair, all they did was prepare by notify the loading staff ahead of time when I checked in my baggage. A higher weight limit could be a US mandated requirement as well, so JAL may have to make an exception for a wheelchair weight limit if it is flying to/from the US, but I’m not 100% certain. Nevertheless, Deb I hope JAL works with you, most companies here have been very accommodating.

  • Xanthe Miyako

    Member
    August 11, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Hi,

    I can’t seem to start a discussion thread of my own, so if someone could help me that would be great.

    I am trying to find out the width of the disabled ticket barriers at subway station in Kyoto. my wheelchair is a Meyra Orbit, which is large. If anyone could help, I am booking my flights soon for travel in March 2024 and need tor ely on the subway for getting about.

    Thanks in advance

    Xanthe

    • schroth-sensei

      Member
      August 12, 2023 at 9:56 am

      Xanthe,

      I’ll inquire about the posting issue, I was able to create a new discussion but that doesn’t necessarily mean something isn’t working for you.

      Nevertheless, do you know a specific station you’re looking for more information about?

      -Justin

    • TabiFolk

      Organizer
      August 12, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Hi Xanthe

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble posting. The posts weren’t stuck in spam, so it must be something else. Will send you a message so we can work through this.

      Thank you for your patience.

    • Xanthe Miyako

      Member
      August 12, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      Hi,

      I have a list of accessible subway stations I just need to know the standard width of a disabled ticket barrier. I just need to make sure my wheelchair will fit through it.

    • schroth-sensei

      Member
      August 12, 2023 at 8:37 pm

      Xanthe,

      From what I can find online your chair is between 60-68cm width, my chair is actually bigger than that by a little bit due to the tray I use. I have fit through many train, subway, and metro gates (turnstiles) and have plenty of extra room to spare. Gates are pretty standard across Japan so I don’t think you’ll have any issues unless you go to a very rural area. Attached is a picture of Kyoto Subway Gate (by Google street view), the red arrow is pointing to a typical accessible gate (the arms fold inside and out of the way). These gates are almost always next to the manned ticket/information desk (seen to the right) where you can get help entering/exiting trains.

      I hope that helps,

      -Justin

    • Xanthe Miyako

      Member
      August 13, 2023 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you so much!

      My wheelchair is wider than the Internet measurement as I have a wider seat but as per your photo and description, I won’t have any problems at all. thats really made my day!

      Any other tips are gratefully received as I am travelling solo.

    • schroth-sensei

      Member
      August 13, 2023 at 6:48 pm

      Glad I could help!

      I also recommended checking out our Sister site Accessible Japan if you haven’t already. It is full of helpful information about Japan and many accessible sightseeing locations.

    • tabita

      Member
      August 14, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you for the information.

  • Xanthe Miyako

    Member
    August 12, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Could you send me a screenshot of where the start new discussion is?

    Thanks.

  • Xanthe Miyako

    Member
    August 12, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you. I appreciate it.

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