I just had a few more questions come through via PM so I thought I'd post the answers here just in case it helps anyone else too.
1. Could you tell me if the airport over there can handle a scooter or a wheelchair?
2. if it can, is it easy getting off and on from the plane?
3. which one do you recommend, scooter or wheelchair?
4. are taxis easy to find to accommodate a scooter or wheelchair from the airport?
5. what is the average cost for taxi and in what currency?
6. do you think it would be wise to go alone?
7. the hotel you stayed is the best choice, for location, since it's not cheap?
8. how much polish money should I take?
9. is euro or dollar accepted easily?
1. There were no problems getting through the airport on my scooter, and there were plenty of well signposted disabled toilets to hand too. This was a big worry for me as I really suffer with my bladder, but the facilities were fine. Be prepared to take your scooter to pieces for inspection when you go through security coming home. Airport Security is done by the military out there....
2. Getting on/off the plane was easy. When you book your tickets the airline should have a facility where you can request 'disabled assistance'. This basically means that they arrange for a special vehicle to lift you on/off the plane rather than use steps, so you can stay in your scooter all the way to the aircraft door. They then put the scooter in with the luggage (make sure you keep the key with you - do not leave it in the scooter!!) They will usually reserve a seat for you right next to the aircraft doors and nearest the toilets. If walking even this short distance is tricky (door of plane to first row of seats) they even have a special mini wheelchair that can be used inside the aircraft to get you to your seat.
3. I think your choice of wheelchair or scooter comes down to the size of the scooter. Mine (a Pride Revo 3) is quite small and breaks down into smaller pieces, so it was quite easy to get into the back of taxis. Some taxis are larger ‘people carrier’ vehicles with larger luggage space anyhow so I’m sure you won’t have a problem. I’m sure I could have managed on my own, but it was certainly much easier to take a friend as he was the one carrying my luggage and getting the scooters in and out of the taxis. I didn’t have any problems using the scooter on the snow covered roads and pavements (sidewalks) as there always seemed to be a small army of people clearing the snow away everywhere.
4. As soon as you walk outside of the airport there is a row of waiting taxis. All of them were big enough to carry my scooter once it was broken down into smaller pieces. If you are really worried you could always email the hotel and ask them to send a taxi big enough to accommodate your scooter, to come and meet you at the airport. Once you get to the hotel, they will be happy to order taxis during your stay that can accommodate your scooter and take you to where you want to go. Most of the taxi drivers spoke good English and were happy to give out their mobile phone telephone numbers, so you could call them direct whenever you needed to go anywhere.
5. Currency in Poland is the Zloty, so I took enough of it to cover taxis and meals. Cost of taxi from airport to hotel was about 180 Zloty but the cost of the taxis at airports are always more expensive. Taxis are much cheaper when in Kattowice and costs from hotel to any of the 3 locations I had to go for tests and procedure were never more than around 40 Zloty. It takes around 30 minutes to get from the airport to Kattowice city centre by taxi.
6. It will be easier for you if you can take someone with you, but going on your own won’t be a problem so long as you can walk a few small steps and can cope with your scooter and luggage, and plan ahead. The cost of the flights was quite cheap and the difference in hotel rate between a room for one occupant or a twin was tiny. So it really didn’t cost that much to take my friend with me (I paid for him).
7. I wouldn’t have any problems recommending the hotel as it was perfect for what I needed. Although they don’t have any disabled rooms with twin beds. So you can either share a large bed with a friend in a room with disabled facilities, or have a non-disabled friendly room with twin beds. I went for the latter and didn’t have any major issues. There are probably cheaper hotels around but I didn’t have much time to do my research and come up with anything that was cheap, no stairs, good facilities, good location, food nearby etc. You might have more time to find something though. It’s much cheaper to book the hotel I stayed at (Qubus Hotel Prestige) over the Internet at sites like http://www.booking.com/
rather than directly at the hotel.
8. That depends on how long you go for, how many people, what you eat etc, but I’d take around 1200 Zloty with you plus Visa/Mastercard ATM cards so you can always take more out while you are there if needs be. You must pay in cash for the MRV if you have one, but the hotel and Euromedic will take credit cards.
9. Poland is not in the Euro but I’m told that some places will accept it. I doubt you’ll get very far with the Dollar. I’d take only Polish Zlotty if I were you.