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Out of the Chair and Into the Air!

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Airport Tour Shows Clients How to Travel By Air in a Wheelchair


These days, flying anywhere is a hassle for anyone. But air travel can be especially challenging for wheelchair users. One way Special Tree is helping clients and their families prepare for future air travel is taking them to Detroit Metro Airport for a behind the scenes tour of the disability services available through Delta Airlines.

Recreational Therapists Kristin Claerhout and Courtney Fankhauser recently organized a TR outing where representatives from Delta Airlines Disabilities Support staff went with clients and their families through every phase of the airport experience. Delta reps took clients through TSA security and onto a gate where they boarded a plane and transferred to a seat using a special aisle wheelchair. Clients also went down to the tarmac to see how their wheelchairs were loaded onto the aircraft.

“The tour was very helpful for one client and his wife as they are flying to Florida in July for a family reunion,” said Kristin. “The other client was also excited by the possibility of going somewhere one day!”

Kristin and Courtney do the field trip a few times a year. “The Delta Airlines staff do a great job educating our clients and families on traveling with disabilities.”