General cancer discussions

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Travelling abroad - getting assistance from Travel companies/Airlines/Hotels

cottontop
Posted by

Afternoon all,

Have people on here ever been surprised by the response by Travel companies (good or bad) to travellers with cancer ?

We've booked 4 nights at Disneyland Paris in May as a treat for my wife following the end of chemo (Stage 3 bowel cancer and currently 5 sessions out of 8 through Chemo).

We thought we would email Air France who we are flying to Paris with if they could assist given that we have to take a fair bit of supplies for her Stoma bags etc and asked them if they could assist.  We don't want to put it in the hold in case it goes missing.

They have just responded basically telling me to take a hike and go to the website to look at hold luggage !!  Unbelievable !

Tell me that some of you out there have had better experiences ??

Richard

Bodach
Posted by

Hi Richard

So say the least I am disgusted with the reaction and response you have received from Air France and would bring the following to your attention

Air France travel guide click on green to read the full guide 

Page 11 if the above states

Baggage   Beyond the  baggage allowance  associated with your  ticket, you can transport  the following in the hold at  no extra cost:

2  personal  mobility devices  (wheelchair, electric  scooter, personal transporter, etc.),   

an  additional  baggage item  whose weight cannot  exceed 23 kgs for your medical equipment.

In  the cabin,  you may transport  a single hand baggage  item whose weight does not exceed  12 kg / 26 lb and whose dimensions  do not exceed 55 x 35 x 25 cm / 21.7  x 13.8 x 9.8 in.

Contact

United Kingdom

020 654 5720 mail.saphir.en@airfrance.fr

You will see from the guide that they have a group called Saphire set up for disabled trevellers.

The carriage of stoma associated items should be classed as medical supplies for the purpose of air travel. However only items that are necessary for the flight taken should be carried in board in the cabin. You will need to obtain a letter from your GP stating that the appliances being carried are for a medical condition and should list the items carried or if the GP just gives you a letter stating that you need to carry an additional bag with essential medical supplies your wife should take a copy of her prescription and the GP surgery can print out a sheet with all the information on it..

You should observe the size of the bag size as above.

Any extra supplies should be put in the hold baggage but DO NOT PUT EVERYTHING IN ONE BAG SPREAD IT AROUND ALL THE BAGS CARRIED.

It is recommended that your wife takes 3 times the number of pouches she would use at home.

Get your wife to obtain a travel certificate with a French translation to the effect that should it be necessary to do a body search it should be done in a private room AND BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL but she may not needed it.

On arrival at the airport obtain special assistance lanyards from the customer services desk for all members of the family, this shows all members of the airport staff that your wife has a disability, and yes cancer is a disability..

If you can get priority boarding.

Take note of your flight details as Air France operate a code share with other airlines and you may have to look at these airlines as well.

On board ask the cabin attendant for a seat belt extender to stop the belt cutting into the pouch.

At the very last minute before boarding your wife should empty her pouch and also midway into the flight and again as you arrive in the terminal if you have a long way to go to the resort.

All UK airports are geared up to dealing with medical issues but I am not too sure about the French ones..

The last time I flew I used easyJet and nothing was too much trouble for them even to giving my wife and myself upgrading seating at no extra charge.

Can I draw your attention to the Travel insurance and my friend @latchbrook (Anne) who will direct you to insurance companies if you need them.

With your permission I may come back with some more information shortly.

Should you have any other questions please contact me, it will be my pleasure to help in any way I can

Ian

 online community champion for the Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support group

 Groups ● Stoma Support ● Bowel ● Carers ●

LIVING WITH A ST● MA

What is a Community Champion?Why not take a moment to complete your PROFILE it really helps in answering your questions How to update your PROFILE

You can speak to someone in confidence by calling Macmillan Support on 0808 808 0000 - 365 days a year 8am to 8pm It's free from mobiles and landlines. The friendly team are waiting to take your call.

Bodach
Posted by

Hi Richard

The english text on the certificate reads as follows :


“This is to certify that the person carrying this certificate has had a surgical operation which makes it necessary for him / her to wear, at all times, a bag attached to there abdomen to collect output from their bowel / bladder.

If it is necessary to examine this bag, a qualified medical practitioner should be in attendance, as any interference may cause leakage, discomfort and embarrassment to the certificate holder.

The bag may also be supported by a belt; the belt can contain metal parts which will register on a metal detector / body scanner.

The certificate holder may also be carrying an emergency supply pack consisting of spare bags, surgical dressings, etc in addition to their main luggage.

It is essential that these supplies remain intact and are not mislaid or confiscated.”

In French

«Cela certifie que le porteur de ce certificat a subi une opération chirurgicale qui l’oblige à porter en permanence un sac attaché à son abdomen pour collecter le débit de son intestin / de sa vessie.
S'il est nécessaire d'examiner ce sac, un médecin qualifié doit être présent, car toute interférence peut entraîner des fuites, une gêne et une gêne pour le titulaire du certificat.
Le sac peut également être soutenu par une ceinture; la ceinture peut contenir des pièces métalliques qui seront enregistrées sur un détecteur de métal / scanner corporel.
Le titulaire du certificat peut également emporter un paquet de fournitures de secours composé de sacs de rechange, de pansements chirurgicaux, etc., en plus de son bagage principal.
Il est essentiel que ces fournitures restent intactes et ne soient ni égarées ni confisquées ». “

This might be of interest to you.

Travel advice

Ian

 Groups ● Stoma Support ● Bowel ● Carers ●

LIVING WITH A ST● MA

What is a Community Champion?Why not take a moment to complete your PROFILE it really helps in answering your questions How to update your PROFILE

You can speak to someone in confidence by calling Macmillan Support on 0808 808 0000 - 365 days a year 8am to 8pm It's free from mobiles and landlines. The friendly team are waiting to take your call.

cottontop
Posted by

Many thanks  !

We never thought of this at the time of booking and never thought that they would have something in place (we're new at this caper).  I'm off to send them an email right now !!

We've luckily sorted out Travel Insurance through Boots, we found their prices incredibly fair (granted there's a large excess for the Mrs but we're prepared for that).

I'll keep you posted.

Richard

Shal1969
Posted by

Hi Cottontop

I too have an ileostomy and I also  take 23 tablets a day. We had a holiday to Lanzarote last September and travelled with Jet2 who I must say were excellent. They told I could have an extra piece of hand luggage for all my stoma supplies and medication as long as my GP supplied a letter stating my condition.

I also got one of the stoma patient card though my stoma supplier and I believe there is an app you can download to your phone. Hope this helps.

cottontop
Posted by

Thanks , its great to hear good service is still out there.

I think we have the stoma patient card somewhere but the other half has to go back to the Ars to get her Absence from Work cert updated so will get that requested at the same time.

Luckily the tablets finish at the end of April !

Thanks again.

Bodach
Posted by

Hi Richard

I was speaking to friend after my last posts and he reminded me that on some airlines it depends on your ticket as whether or not you have a cabin baggage allowance not like some of the budget airlines who now charge for cabin baggage. Could be one explanation.

Another thought 

Have you given any thought to the disposal of the used pouches whilst you are away. You might need to check with the hotel that the waste can be disposed in the room waste bin or do you have to put them in a clinical waste sack. I don't know if the supply companies supply them or if you would need to get some from GP.

Having a stoma makes travelling a little bit more exciting in the planning stage.

Let me know if you need any help on anything at all, only too pleased to answer any questions.

Ian

 Groups ● Stoma Support ● Bowel ● Carers ●

LIVING WITH A ST● MA

What is a Community Champion?Why not take a moment to complete your PROFILE it really helps in answering your questions How to update your PROFILE

You can speak to someone in confidence by calling Macmillan Support on 0808 808 0000 - 365 days a year 8am to 8pm It's free from mobiles and landlines. The friendly team are waiting to take your call.

flightgirl
Posted by

Ian you are font of all knowledge. It’s marvelous how concise your information is!!! 

cottontop
Posted by

Ian, fortunately as its Air France all passengers get hand luggage.  Even before this medical episode we would never of gone with someone like Ryanair, and luckily Air France was cheapest, even better value than travelling to London and getting the Eurostar :)

cottontop
Posted by

The Air France team have come back to me.  There is no addition to the existing cabin baggage allocation for carrying the medical supplies.  So essentially I can get them to put the items in the hold for no fee however if the bag goes missing we'd be stuffed !!

You can't make this up....

Cheers

Richard

Bodach
Posted by

Hi Richard

As you say you can't make it up.

Not a great fan of them but I don't know if you wife gets her supplies from Fittleworths as they have an arrangement with World Assist who can deliver replacement supplies within a day if there is a problem.

After all this you'll be needing a holiday to get over this one

Regards

Ian

 Groups ● Stoma Support ● Bowel ● Carers ●

LIVING WITH A ST● MA

What is a Community Champion?Why not take a moment to complete your PROFILE it really helps in answering your questions How to update your PROFILE

You can speak to someone in confidence by calling Macmillan Support on 0808 808 0000 - 365 days a year 8am to 8pm It's free from mobiles and landlines. The friendly team are waiting to take your call.

flightgirl
Posted by

Richard.

Question if I may. Are you checking in any bags at all? Or were you intending to just take carry on?

Is it worth paying for a checked in bag for cloths shoes toiletries etc and just take a bag with all the medical supplies as the 1 item of Hand carry?  

If it’s with in your budget it might be worth it to save the worry and additional stress on what is meant to be something to look forward to? ( just a thought) 

Alex

cottontop
Posted by

Hi Alex,

No we already bought a single checked bag but it was more for the piece of mind for not having to worry about the extra space.  We should be fine i was just hoping they could help us out....

Ho hum !!

cottontop
Posted by

In addition, if we are wanting to take bandage scissors do they need to be put in the hold ?

Bodach
Posted by

Hi Richard

 Scissors should be carried in checked baggage.

There are rules about size but I wouldn't take the risk

Maybe cut a few pouches for the journey out.

Remember liquids not exceeding 100 ml bottles should be placed in a transparent bag for security but you can carry up to 1 litre.

Ian

 Groups ● Stoma Support ● Bowel ● Carers ●

LIVING WITH A ST● MA

What is a Community Champion?Why not take a moment to complete your PROFILE it really helps in answering your questions How to update your PROFILE

You can speak to someone in confidence by calling Macmillan Support on 0808 808 0000 - 365 days a year 8am to 8pm It's free from mobiles and landlines. The friendly team are waiting to take your call.