the best way to protect your assistive device from damage (short of staying home) is to keep it out of the cargo bin. Let’s look at things realistically. When you relinquish your wheelchair to the baggage handler, it really is a crap shoot. Face it: Nobody is going to take the same care with your wheelchair that you do, and most certainly not some baggage handler who has a schedule to keep. So where does that leave you? Some people have a choice in these matters, so the first step is to learn what can be carried in the passenger compartment and what must go in the cargo bin. You can take canes and crutches on board most aircraft. You have to stow these items for takeoff and landing (for safety reasons), but you can get a flight attendant to retrieve them after you are airborne. You should make it a point to get your assistive device back after takeoff, as you will most likely need it if you want to move about the cabin. Additionally, if an emergency occurs, it would be a good idea to have it with you. Walkers can sometimes be carried in the passenger compartment, depending on the dimensions of the walker and the availability of an onboard closet. Here’s where knowing the dimensions of the onboard closet comes in handy because you will then be able to determine if your walker will fit. Frankly, walkers don’t fare very well in the cargo bin, so it’s a good idea to invest in a folding walker that fits in the onboard closet. Some manual wheelchairs will also fit in the onboard closet, depending on the size of the wheelchair and the dimensions of the onboard closet. Remember to take advantage of the pre-boarding privilege, as your assistive device gets priority space in the onboard closet only if you preboard the aircraft. Additionally, remember that the onboard closet is not large enough for two wheelchairs, so if you travel with another Wheeler, one wheelchair will end up in the cargo bin. Another solution is to invest in a folding power wheelchair or scooter. This is not really a good option for full-time wheelchair- or scooter-users, as the products on the market today lack the pep that wheelers are used to. However, if you only need a wheelchair for distance, this may be a good solution. Amigo Mobility manufactures a lightweight folding scooter, the Travel Mate, which weighs only 58 pounds including the battery pack. This travel scooter is best suited for slow walkers rather than full-time wheelchair-users. Additionally, when you take any assistive device on board an aircraft, remember it is not counted as carry-on luggage. To protect your wheelchair from damage, you can use the older one. Some family uses this trick to keep their wheelchair good. You can also keep your wheelchair in your home and rent one at your destination. obviously, this solution is possible only for people who use a scooter or wheelchair for distance, but it is something to consider. Care Vacations and Scoot Around North America can arrange for the rental of assistive devices throughout the United States and on most cruise ships. A premium fee is charged for this type of rental because these companies act as agents. Alternatively, a more economical solution is to make the rental arrangements directly with a medical supply company at your destination.