Despite living with walking difficulties, John Phillips, 66 from Bromley in Kent, has been able to holiday with complete freedom on Menorca thanks to a new type of folding mobility scooter – a TGA Minimo Plus.
John, a retired Chartered Surveyor from Bromley in Kent, has suffered with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since 1980. John's condition has deteriorated in recent years and he now lives with substantial mobility issues. He can only walk short distances and due to neuropathic pain, cannot stand for long. Annually since 1986 John and his family have been taking their Summer holiday flying to the Balearics island of Menorca.
John's MS condition reached the secondary progressive stage 10 years ago which sadly means there will be no remission, only decline with worsening mobility and other issues. John's wife Barbara had until this year (2016) been pushing John in a wheelchair from their hotel to the lovely beaches, restaurants and bars nearby, but this was becoming very arduous for Barbara due to the hills and sloping footpaths leading down to the beaches. However, this all changed so brilliantly this year following John's decision in April 2016 to purchase from TGA the new ‘plane-friendly’ folding mobility scooter - the TGA Minimo Plus.
Before taking early retirement John was a Chartered Surveyor and a Partner with an international practice based in the City of London. He thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of his demanding job but due to the progression of his chronic illness, he sadly had to cut short his career at the age of 55.
The TGA Minimo Plus has really made a massive difference to the lives of John and Barbara. The Minimo Plus scooter is a pioneering compact scooter design that can literally be folded and unfolded in seconds and easily stored in a car boot or on public transport. It requires no parts to be dismantled. It is very suitable for air travel.
In July 2016 the Minimo Plus gave John the confidence to take his own scooter through airports and to venture further afield in Menorca to see parts of the island that would otherwise not have been possible for him to visit. John explains: "My Minimo Plus made my early Summer holiday in Menorca this year. It proved to be an absolute God-send. At both Gatwick and Mahon airports I was allowed to drive my Minimo Plus right up to the door of the plane and I was given priority treatment by friendly and supportive ground staff. I did write well in advance of travelling to both airlines (Monarch and EasyJet) and provided them with simple specification details of the scooter (model, dimensions, weight and Lithium battery type). At the airport check-ins I was asked to confirm a few details about the scooter, signed a form. Before I boarded outbound and inbound planes, I personally folded the scooter, put on its protective case before the airport ground staff placed it in the hold of the plane. The airline and ground staff all seemed very impressed with the ease I had folding the Minimo Plus".
John continues: "On arrival in Menorca and following a seamless transfer through Mahon airport, Barbara and I as usual took a taxi to our hotel - the driver asked the weight of the then folded scooter which he happily lifted into the car boot.
Our hotel kindly let me keep my scooter unfolded near reception where I occasionally plugged in the battery charger. When out and about, life was much easier for my wife and I. My Minimo Plus was amazing. After the first day I drove it safely up some quite steep slopes and sharply inclined kerb crossovers which are common in Menorca. The scooter has impressive torque and power for coping with steep inclines. I was able to regularly visit my daughter and our grandchildren who were staying in a villa 500 metres away and up a steep hill. I would never have been able to regularly whizz between the two locations without my Minimo Plus. It was often admired by both local residents and many foreign visitors who I passed by. We visited various nice restaurants, ate delicious tapas by Mahon harbour and I even managed to drive my scooter aboard a catamaran for a cruise around the harbour. Without my Minimo Plus I simply would not have had such a good holiday."
John concludes: "This first trip abroad with my Minimo Plus has given me so much confidence. I will be travelling with to Menorca again this September. The scooter simply made the holiday more adventurous for my wife and I. It gave me the confidence to explore more outside. The Minimo Plus is designed and built so well. I really do think you get what you pay for. The pneumatic tyres give a smooth ride and I am so impressed with the power, versatility and range you get from such a small lightweight battery. Its controls are simple and very responsive. It stops immediately and its turning circle is so tight, I could turn it round inside a passenger lift in one manoeuvre. When in reverse mode the Minimo sounds a warning beep. It also has front and rear lights."
It's important to plan ahead but I would thoroughly recommend the TGA Minimo Plus to anyone thinking about selecting a folding scooter for overseas plane travel. It is also great for use in shopping centres such as Bluewater which I often visit. It makes shopping a lot less strenuous and a more enjoyable experience for me."