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Are We There Yet? Deciding to Fly with Special Needs

My son is a HUGE Disney fan and has recently taken an interest in visiting Disneyland in California. This would be quite the road trip for us. Already, driving to Disney World in Florida results in the infamous question - "Are we there yet?" - on repeat. I can only imagine how many times I might hear this same question on the trek to California. To provide some perspective, Anaheim is about 1900 miles one-way and Orlando about 600.

So we started contemplating flying to California. Here's the information I've gathered so far. Let me know if you have any other suggestions or insights or stories to share about traveling the friendly skies.

Know Before You Geaux

Searching for Flights

* If you have a layover, allow at least 90 minutes between connecting flights.

* Look for an airline with a good customer service reputation.

Booking the Flights

* Always select the box for assistance.

* If booking through a third party, someone (either you or your travel agent) may need

contact the airline directly to request assistance.

* If seat selection is available, consider window, bulkhead or first row. Check out

SeatGuru for seat maps.

Preparing to Fly

* Consider obtaining a written letter from your doctor about medications, especially


* Check with your doctor about considerations during flight time, since regular

medical care will not be accessible. For instance, our doctor recommended the

emergency protocol medications for seizures, since my son has epilepsy.

* Consider wearing a medical id bracelet. I actually suggest this for every day wear, not just for traveling. Check out Medical

* Complete the TSA Cares application. TSA pre-check or Global Entry may good

alternatives or backups.


* Pack your medications and emergency protocol items in your carry on. Make them as

easily accessible as possible.

* Pack comfort items, like noise-canceling headphones, weighted blanket, calming music,

tablet with activities/movies already downloaded, portable USB charger and snacks.

* Consider how to address airplane ear, especially during descent. Will gum, chewy

candy or a straw work best?

Geaux Time

* Remember all the items you packed and gathered.

* Arrive early - 2 to 3 hours in advance for domestic flights.

* Geaux to the ticket counter and confirm your accommodations.

* The TSA pre-check will be listed on your boarding pass.

* At the gate, check with the agent to confirm your priority boarding and also

chat about your situation. Ask if there is anything else you need to do at this

time to make the flight easier.

Repeat as Needed for Return Flight

Email us at for quotes or assistance on your next trip.

Safe travels, my friends!

The Adventuropolists

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