Air Wheels to get around airport terminals

Posted 12/6/23

My experiences with flying lately have been problematic.

 Leaving TF Green airport the other day, I promptly got into the TSA Precheck line, having successfully loaded my “Known …

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Air Wheels to get around airport terminals


My experiences with flying lately have been problematic.

 Leaving TF Green airport the other day, I promptly got into the TSA Precheck line, having successfully loaded my “Known Traveler Number” onto my boarding pass. The only problem was the TSA PreCheck line was MUCH longer than the regular line.  I was the 15th person back in line, whereas the regular security checkpoint had four…no three…no two…no one…NO ONE in line!

How was that possible? It appears many more people had gone through the process to obtain approval for the PreCheck line. All of us standing there waiting to go through security wistfully looked at the empty line, but no one switched lanes.  The lure of not having to take shoes off and not having to drag a computer and iPad out of an abundantly packed carry on was too great.  My only problem was the fact that I had joined the whole Precheck movement because, due to spinal difficulties, standing for an extended period of time is excruciating.  It was with a sense of relief when I finally made it to the front of the line. After going through the X-ray machine, I was instructed to stand aside because a pat down was indicated. The guard, a cute, hunky guy, called for a female guard to do the honors.  In pain from standing too long, and lured by his good looks, I smiled my sweet grandmotherly smile and told the guard that I was fine with him patting me down, but he frowned and indicated he was not allowed to do so.  Bummer…

Influenced by my upbringing, each flight I book is the absolute cheapest. This usually involves a departure so early in the morning that the sun has not yet risen, along with one or two plane changes. These forays into strange airports have been challenging. Recently the airport in Washington DC almost did me in.  I am familiar with this particular airport from my career days when flying to Washington for conferences, meetings and reviewing federal grants, and the chair massage station still beckoned me, as did the chowder at Legal Seafoods. However, there was a limited time to get to the next gate, and traveling from Terminal A to Terminal D was interminable.

With all of the incoming flights unloading, I felt like a fish swimming upstream with people of all sizes, ages and nationalities rushing towards me. Along the way, I found myself sitting at random gates along the way just as a chance to get off my feet for a few minutes.  Because the airfare purchased was the most economical, I was fortunate that my group would be the last one to board and luckily, I made it to the gate on time despite lollygagging. 

  There MUST be a way to make waiting in line and changing planes easier.  There is always the wheelchair option, with an airport employee meeting me at the gate of arrival and ushering me via wheelchair to the departure gate. On the few occasions this option has presented itself, it was difficult to feel that it was okay when there are so many other people with disabilities worse than mine also needing assistance.

I researched and came upon the perfect solution!  It is called Air Wheels, a piece of carry-on luggage on which a person can sit and propel himself through the airport terminal with ease, sort of a mini-mobility scooter with plenty of room to store clothing and a laptop. The device can be taken on the airplane as a carry on, and fits in the overhead bins.

 It can cost $1,000, but I took advantage of the Black Friday hoopla and purchased it for half price.  It arrived yesterday, and Hubby skillfully put it together and charged it.  Putting the little pad that was provided on top to minimize any discomfort from sitting on the handle, I sat down and zipped through our house with glee, even using the back-up function without the annoying “beep beep” one gets from a regular mobility scooter. What a joy! I cannot wait to use it for my next airplane adventure!


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