As I've said in a previous post. Due to a growing family here we are not going to be making a large trip this year. However I am going on a mini trip to the Ottawa Ontario area to visit some old friends. The last time I visited Ottawa I flew but this time I'm going to take the Via Train. Yes flying is expensive, however I had a large travel voucher to use up that I got due to Air Canada temporarily loosing my wheelchair once. Basically you're paying for the time savings as the flight takes something like an hour and the train trip take just over four hours.
Booking the trip a bit complicated. First I tried to book online. I didn't see an option to let them know I was traveling with a wheelchair. So I decided to call and book it with a real person. This turns out to be a good idea. Via rail of course offers the option of having a companion travel free of charge for those who need it. There are two ways to prove you need a companion. The first is if you're a member of an organization on a this list. Oddly of the spina bifida associate of Ontario is missing from the list. The other way of course is to have a doctor write a letter. At that point though you might as well just fill out the appellation for the Easter Seals Travel card.
The tie down spot for a wheelchair is in business class. This means if you don't get the companion fare and you're traveling with someone and staying in your chair. You'll pay economy fare and partner will pay for a business class ticket. If you're able to transfer you can sit in which ever class you want but your chair will still go to the tie down in business class. It's a stange setup. I really wish if you were staying in your own chair they would just charge both people economy class. It's not really a fair choice in my mind to make one person pay extra just because I will be more comfortable in my chair than in their seats. As it stands now we will travel in business class and I'll stay in my chair. I'm sure it will all work out fine.
I'm excited for our little trip though. I'm not sure what we are going to do when we are there. Mostly just visiting with our friends but I'm sure we will go out sight seeing too. If you have any suggestions on things to see or do in the area please let me know.