Hey, I'm Jason. I'm a chronically-ill-super-freedom-loving-medical-self-journalist.
I’m flying for the first time since I began peritoneal dialysis. I have flown before to other places with hemodialysis clinics, but not this. It’s an adventure – the case for my machine is three or four times larger than the machine itself. It is literally the largest piece of luggage I have ever used. And it’s just for one thing. I was concerned about the process for bringing my machine onboard – it is considered in the same category as a wheelchair, a life-support device – it is supposed to go just behind the cockpit so that it doesn’t get sent to FLA while I go to BOS. I “chatted” with a Virgin America employee this morning just to clear things up. It speaks for itself (informative and complementary):
Please wait while we find an agent to assist you…Hi, this is Cinquenta, how may I help you today?Jason Hamlin: Good morning. I have a question about checked bagsCinquenta: Sure. What can I help with?Jason Hamlin: I have one bag with my personal items and a second bag which is my peritoneal dialysis machine. By law, I am not supposed to pay for that second bag with my life support machine – it is supposed to go on board with me. I want to make sure I fill out the check in information here online, how many bags should I say I am checking?Cinquenta: Let me get some clarification on the matter, Jason.Jason Hamlin: of courseCinquenta: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions Thanks for your patience, Jason. Since you will not be paying a checked baggage fee for your machine, and all you have left is personal items that will count towards your carry-on, then you won’t need to select that you have any checked bags.Cinquenta: Also, you may want to check out the link. I bet it would help you out a bunch.Jason Hamlin: You are very kind – this is my first time flying with dialysis and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I will check out the link. I spoke incorrectly when I said just one bag. I will be “checking” one suitcase, and then a small carry-on. I will check one bag and pay the $25 for that.Cinquenta: That’s absolutely right. I’m glad I could be of some help to you. My uncle has dialysis and I know the difficulties a person, or a family can face. Just take it easy and breathe when you get a little overwhelmed. We’ll be here to help with what we can. =) Is there anything else?Jason Hamlin: Not yet! Thanks very much. This is the best “chat” I have ever had with a business.