Traveling with Appliances: Excess Luggage and Disability Aids

Dec 12, 2011 7:32 am

I have done a fair amount of air travel since my operation and have not had any problems until recently. When I was moving from the Philippines back to Australia for my treatment, I was carrying as much luggage as I was allowed. On top of this, I had all my appliances that had been delivered to me, that were to last me for the remainder of the two-month distribution period.

As I class my bag as a disability in respect of the appliances I must use and carry, I expected the airline to agree, and in the end it did. But the situation arose that in Manila International Airport, the agents for Qantas Airlines would not accept that my appliances were recognized as disability appliances and charged me excess luggage.

On arrival in Australia, I contacted Qantas and spoke about this situation. As it turns out, Qantas does accept my appliances as disability aids and they refunded my excess luggage payment in full with their apologies.

My point is that if you are going to travel with the maximum luggage and your appliances as extra luggage, contact your carrier well in advance to ensure you do not spend over 1 hour at the check-in and then have to fork out excess luggage payments as they just don't know what it is all about.

While I believe we are entitled to our excess luggage as being classed as disability appliances, I do not believe that in most cases, a bag is a disability in itself. Although it has heavily restricted many of the things I could do just because bending over often caused my seal to open on the side. I have come to understand my restrictions and I can live with them easily, but it has caused a change in my usual way of living, but at least I am still living, for now.

For all those that are interested, I have just finished moving into my rental house in Toowoomba, just over an hour west of Brisbane, and my wife and family are at this moment in Manila International Airport on their way here, arriving at 4 am Tuesday 13th Dec. We gave everything away in the Philippines and had to buy all here to fill the house. Oh, what fun!!!!

I see a radiologist on Wednesday to see if ray treatment is even an option and start my chemo just after Christmas. After being given less than two years, I believe I am down to my last 37 years, that will make me 100 and that is old enough.


Past Member
Dec 12, 2011 7:00 pm

Bob, what a wonderful philosophy you've got!! And here was I worrying about a reversal next week. You certainly deserve a good clap on the back for your outlook. Fair dinkum! Thanks so much for posting this and good luck with your new home and may everything go well with your treatments. As I've said before, if you continue posting your jokes, I'll keep you in my prayers!! Just loved your latest batch! Take good care, Colm

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Dec 12, 2011 8:54 pm

Enjoyed your post! I love to travel and have had some interesting experiences. With an ostomy and PEG feeding tube, I qualify as a terrorist. You should see some of the expressions on the faces of the TSA employees...they don't know what to do with this bionic woman. I not only have to carry my ostomy supplies, but also cans of Ensure for my tube feedings. I spent a week in Italy in February and toted all that stuff. It was well worth it!!!!

Good luck to you and your family with your move to Australia. My son attended UNE in Armidale.


Dec 13, 2011 1:44 pm

Hey Bob, I have an appliance card from the Melbourne CAV. It gives the holder, as well as the silly officials and others, info that you have a stoma and use appliances. It does have a disability pic on it, but hey, who cares? Try to get one from the Toowoomba Osto Assoc. Also, check out the osty magazine for some help with the upcoming chemo, like examples of sleeves or irrigation kits. And if you need drainables (if you don't already), we have many ostys who need extra or different pouches and kits during chemotherapy. Just in case you have problems in your little country town, give me a call at CAV in Melbourne. I will help you out. LOL, kidding! You will be fine, but hey, if needed, call us Southerners. LOL... Welcome back! Say hey to my old partying holidaying state, Queensland. HAHAHAHAH! Cheers, good luck, mooza. Melbourne, capital of OZZZZ. HAHAHAH, made me do it. XXXX

Dec 13, 2011 5:50 pm

Bob - Thanks so much for your post. Like so many of the wonderful people on this site, you have such a great attitude. Wish it could be bottled.

Since my surgery a couple of years ago, I've only traveled by car, but would like to go to New York sometime in the spring - a 5 - 6 hour plane trip. It never occurred to me that there may be a weight allowance for medical supplies. Don't know if it applies in the US, but it's worth checking out. Haven't flown in at least 4 - 5 years; need to learn the rules. Thanks for the tip and for your terrific outlook. Lalu

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Dec 14, 2011 3:16 am
Hi Bob,

Glad to hear that your plans are moving right along. I've had my ostomy for over 50 years, but have only been traveling for the last 15 or so. In addition to my ostomy supplies, I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic, and I also have sleep apnea and travel with a bi-pap machine.....and a whole "pharmacy" of prescription drugs. I carry all that stuff in one carry-on bag that the airlines inspect thoroughly.
I never knew about the "additional luggage" allotment for medical needs, but I'll keep that in mind for my next trip to "Oz". I hope to be traveling in Feb or March and should be in Brisbane on the Gold Coast. Perhaps we can meet. In the meantime, keep up the posts, and best wishes for a happy holiday season. I hope your family gets to join you soon.