Flying with a walker/rollator

Old Jan 2nd, 2021, 04:54 PM
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Flying with a walker/rollator

Hi all - help needed. Husband last winter tore a muscle or two in his hip, so is currently using a walker (rollator). In the past he only needed a cane to deal with an old spinal cord injury. The cane folded up and wasn't a problem flying.

We hope to fly a few times in 2021. Kids and grand kids live in the opposite corner of the lower 48. We're ready to see them! So my question. For those of you who use a walker (the rolling kind). What do you do when flying? Hand it over at boarding and hope the airline won't destroy it? Put in some sort of protective bag and hand it over? OR????

We're looking for suggestions. We have had several suitcases destroyed by baggage handling, so are a bit reluctant to just hand over a $$$ walker that will be needed immediately on landing to navigate.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2021, 06:17 PM
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This site has lots of good info / descriptions of the options. https://walkerforseniors.com/flying-with-a-rollator/

When my mom was using a walker/rollator she did option #2 from that site. Or actually I did because it was the easiest for me accompanying her. She gave up the walker just as entering the plane and it would always be waiting either in the air bridge or just inside the terminal as we deplaned.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2021, 02:30 AM
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Bag for Drive Nitro (Euro style) walker?

janisj,
Thanks for the link! It was helpful for sorting out our options. It does sound like gate checking is a lot safer than checking the walker in with baggage at check-in.

Question. Has anyone found a travel bag that fits a Drive Nitro (Euro style) walker? It sounds like the most common disaster when flying is having one of the wheels bent or broken. Bagging the walker should minimize the chances a wheel would get caught on something in luggage hold and get bent.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2021, 04:40 AM
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I think checking it with the flight attendant on entry to the cabin is really pretty good.. It's done often with children's strollers and it always seems to be the first thing there when getting off the plane.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2021, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for posting this, am probably going to travel with my rollator this May and will gate check it. My flight is a nonstop so it will be nice to know it will be waiting for me on the jetway when I deplane, since I was planning on using wheelchair assist to retrieve it. I may also buy a folding cane to take onboard to use if I need to use the restroom or just want to walk around and stretch my legs.
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 05:08 AM
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Bag for Drive Nitro walker?

Gretchen,

That is our basic plan. Take it to the plane and then hand it over for storage on-board (IF we are lucky) or gate check it. My concern is possible damage. The most common problem reported is a broken or bent wheel. Either would put the walker out of commission, likely permanently or at least until a part arrived. No walker? DH is too big to carry... In a big city we should be able to buy an $$$ replacement, but that doesn't get him from airport to hotel. Or from bed to bathroom...

We're hoping to find a bag for the walker, similar to the ones parents sometimes use to protect a stroller when they gate-check it. Figure if it's bagged, the wheels and hand brakes are less likely to get snagged on other luggage. Our problem is the Nitro is slightly longer than most of the bags I have seen on-line. It MAY fit - they do also have "sides" that add a bit. Or the bags may just be too small. I'm hoping for a recommendation from someone who has a bag that fits the Nitro.

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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 01:15 PM
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Wendy I can't help with the bag for the walker, but have you considered renting a replacement if yours gets damaged and needs to be repaired?
I will be traveling to and staying in the Tulum, Mexico area (2 hours south of Cancun) in May hopefully and already know where I can rent a replacement rollator in Playa Del Carmen, what the cost would be, etc. Surely if you are in the US this might be an option?
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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If it is checked at the plane entry I don't think a bag would be needed honestly. If it's damaged you'll get it repaired on their dime. Gate checking won't let you use it on the jetway. Sometimes a bag/protection is just invitation to abuse whatever it is!! LOL
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 03:20 PM
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Amazon carries travel covers for the Nitro walker......
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 07:53 PM
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Quick Google search found this one that looks like it would work for you
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Old Jan 5th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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If you are going to get a bag then I suggest you check it with baggage and ask for a wheelchair to get you to the gate--which is REALLY a great way to get there IME!! Walk through bringing/carrying the bag with you as you walk through the terminal and the checkpoints all the way to the plane. Then supervising putting the rollator in the bag--it's "possible" with the need to get a plane off in time they will just put the bag with the rollator and not bag it. Just some more room for thought.
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Old Jan 5th, 2021, 05:30 AM
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Travel bag for Drive Nitro rolling walker

jamie99 - Thanks for rental backup suggestion. Great idea! I will find a rental option before our trip. Unfortunately, our direct flights arrive late at night, so we presumably will not be able to get a rental until the next day. Hmm - maybe borrow a luggage cart to use overnight?

Seamus - thanks for the link. That is the type of bag we are looking for. Unfortunately the bag's height is 26 inches. The Drive Nitro is almost 27.75 inches. Most of the rollator bags appear to be 26-27 inches tall. They might fit - or they may be too small to zip up. I posted the question hoping someone could recommend a bag before ordering on-line. (The length doesn't appear to be a problem - with the arms down the Drive Nitro is a bit under 34 inches).

Gretchen - We travel a lot. We have had several suitcases damaged, most repaired on the airline's dime. One airline actually sent the repair person to our B&B to fix a broken zipper on the spot! In this case, DH needs a working rolling walker to get out of the airport. And to get from bed to bathroom... The most common damage seems to be bent or broken wheels. Bagging the rollator will hopefully reduce the chance a wheel gets caught on surrounding luggage. In this case, reducing the risk is worth a bit of extra effort.
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Old Jan 5th, 2021, 07:16 PM
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Ah, I see, wendy. How about
this one on Amazon this one on Amazon
?
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Old Jan 6th, 2021, 03:10 AM
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Travel Bag for Drive Nitro walker

Seamus,

THANKS! I had missed the Explore Land bag when I checked Amazon over the weekend. This bag should fit. And L+W+D is 79 inches - 1 inch less than the airline's 80 inch max for oversized luggage. Perfect.

Gretchen,

The large travel bags I've seen on line all look pretty flimsy. Not sturdy enough to use for airline checked luggage. Hopefully it will be good enough to survive being tossed on top of other luggage after gate checking. Fortunately "flimsy" appears to also mean the bags fold up into something that is easy to carry.

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