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  • Barbara Laughlin

When You Gotta Go

If you are older, have a mobility issue, or both, and you need to use the bathroom, don't count on the airlines caring. At least, not for about twenty years. July 26, 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed. While a step in the right direction, it was by far not an end-all to our older, and/or mobility compromised traveler's bathroom issues. It was a stepping stone but, there were exemptions. One of the biggest exemptions that affects families and how we live, age, travel? Airlines.


At 72, I hope to continue flying to Arizona from North Carolina for the holidays, at least for a couple more years. I am mobility compromised, but once I leave my rollator (walker on wheels) at the gate and hoist myself into that airplane, I look like other able bodied septuagenarians, just a little more clingy to the seat backs as I walk. Because of a near fatal injury in my first decade of life, my forward mobility is compromised and age is accentuating the issue. I prefer not to ask two individuals next to me to get up and let me out into the aisle if I want to use the plane's restroom, but it isn't prohibitive. Compared to what my peers go through, as noted in the USA Today article I'll leave a link to, I'm fortunate. Unfortunately, I see very few of my peers flying. That is sad. What is sadder is it can be fixed, just not for another 20 years.


The following link will take you to the USA Today article, detailing the entire issue and what can be expected.




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