|Picture of clouds from an airplane, from Wikipedia Commons|
This will be one of those times where I will get to see the interactions between ableism and fatphobia mingle. Which will matter more to the airline employee, my size, my use of adaptive aids, or will it be one big mess of both? Will I be seen as being disabled because I'm fat, or fat because I'm disabled, or will that even matter? Would I be treated differently if I wasn't a young-appearing white cis-appearing woman? Should I dress up for my flight to appear more upper class in hopes of better treatment? Which part of my identities will be validated or invalidated as a part of my desire to travel across the country? Will I have to milk the privileges I have in order to be treated with dignity and respect....and how crappy will that make me feel?
I have a month before my first flight to wonder about this. My Expedia itineraries have the designation "special assistance, wheelchair needed (can climb/descend stairs)," so hopefully I won't have too much trouble. I'm also gathering information from season wheelchair users to see what I can do to make my trips less of a headache. Thankfully it seems like the airlines are starting to understand the various needs of their disabled passengers, so hopefully I'll be able to fly with my rigid chair without too much hassle (hopefully!).