Flying Blind

a wide view of an airplane  stationary at an airport, sun low in the backgroundThis Monday I take off for Morristown, New Jersey to spend three weeks training with a new Seeing Eye dog. A post we published here last month explained where my retired dog Whitney is living now, and today’s short post will clue you in on some of the details involved in getting 24 people who have visual impairments arrive at Newark International Airport on the same day from all over North America.

A few of the 24 of us will be training with their first ever Seeing Eye dog, but a majority will be like me: people who retired a guide dog recently and are returning to train with a new dog.

Translation: we are not very skilled with our white canes! To help you understand a bit about how this all works, I give you a bit of the official itinerary sent to me by the Seeing Eye.

Here is your confirmation for your flight on JANUARY 06, 2020. Please make sure that you arrive at the airport with your Government issued photo ID and go directly to the ticket counter for your boarding pass. We recommend you checking with the airline for the current baggage fee policy. You will be responsible for any baggage fee so packing lightly will be to your advantage.

Upon your arrival at Newark Airport you will be escorted by an airline representative to your baggage claim area, where a Seeing Eye Instructor will meet you and drive you to campus. Airline representatives who provide assistance often have wheelchairs with them, but remember you do not have to ride in a wheelchair unless you want to.

We ask that you turn on your cell phone and use the facilities prior to getting to the baggage carousel. There usually is some waiting time while collecting everyone.

Lori will be sending you a Seeing Eye luggage tag via USPS. Please attach that to your checked bag so it will be easily identifiable by the instructor that meets you.

Wish me luck!


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