Traveling to Singapore

Today I’m off to Singapore for a 3 day meeting. I haven’t braved international travel for a couple of years, so this is going to be interesting. I’m somewhat less able than I was 2 years ago. Still, I’ve prepared quite well, have a nurse coming morning and night to help, and have been doing intensive physio for 6 weeks, so I’ve given myself a better than even chance of coming through unscathed.

Whatever happens, you’ll read about it here.

One of the few times it’s an advantage to be a wheelchair user is getting through airports. This morning, I am flying to Singapore, and arrived at Sydney international terminal at 9.20am for my 11.20 flight. My colleague, Rob, met me at the taxi and together we went to the Singapore Airlines counter. Of course, it helps when you travel Business Class, but the whole process was incredibly smooth and efficient. We were in the lounge within 20 minutes of arriving. I always use the time in the lounge to stretch before the flight. No matter how large the seat, 8 hours in one place always makes me wish I’d stuck better to my stretching regime.

The Singapore Airlines lounge accessible bathroom is a beauty. The rail beside the shower runs the length of the room, encompassing a shower, with hand-held hose and a long shower seat. If, by some chance, I needed a shower before the flight, this is the place to need it.

They called us for boarding quite early — 40 minutes before departure. With Singapore, there’s no issue of them insisting I surrender my chair at check-in. In all the times I’ve flown with them, they’ve always let me take it to the gate. The one thing Singapore does that confuses me is they get me to transfer to an aisle chair at the gate when I’m seated in the front row. I can understand it if I need to make my way further back, but when I’m up front I’m sure it’s needless. I’ll push the issue on the flight home and see how I go.

The other area where Singapore is great is when I need lifting. There’s never been an issue. A few attendants step forward and off we go. I know many other airlines employ mechanical aids but Singapore is happy to lift, and I’m happy for them to do so.

Anyway, we’re an hour from landing now, so I’ll complete this post and return this evening.

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