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What to expect when you travel by Air with your Mobility Aid?

Booking / Pre-Travel

  • Call your airline and inform them that you will be traveling with your mobility device as soon as you book your reservation but at least 48 hours before your trip begins.  While every airline is different, there is some basic information that all airlines will need to safely transport your mobility device.
    • For a battery operated mobility aid, be prepared to tell the airline how much your device weighs, what type of battery it has, and the dimensions of the device at its smallest when it is ready to load into the aircraft Cargo compartment.
    • For a manual device, decide if you want to store the device in the aircraft cabin. If it will be stored in the Cargo compartment, inform the airline of the weight.
    • For all devices, determine what components can be removed from the device and stored in the aircraft cabin. These items do not count as part of your carry on allowance and removing them from the device reduces the likelihood of damage.
  • If there is a connection on your itinerary, verify with the airline that there is enough time for both you and your mobility aid to make the connection from one aircraft to the next.
  • Verify with the airline that the aircraft scheduled for your itinerary will accommodate your mobility aid.
  • Request seating that is appropriate for you, including aisle, window and location on aircraft – front or back in row with moveable armrests.
  • In addition to providing the airline with information about your mobility device, it is important to inform them what type of assistance you will need. If you need a lift and transfer to your seat on the aircraft, make sure that this is documented in your reservation.
    • It is standard to have two people assist with a lift and transfer. If you need additional support, be sure to let the airline know.

At the Airport

You should be able to remain in your personal mobility aid until you reach the gate.

When you check your mobility aid with the airline, typically at the gate but may occur at the ticket counter, make sure to detach all removable parts so that they can be stowed in the cabin.

If you require a lift and transfer to your seat on the aircraft, an aisle chair will be used for this transfer. For your safety, the airline will require that the seat belts on the aisle chair be used to secure you in the aisle chair. Based on the slope of the jetbridge, the aisle

To facilitate the lift onto the seat onboard the aircraft, the aisle chair will be pulled backwards down the aisle so that you are facing forward.

Communicate with the team providing the transfer to ensure they know how best to assist you. Typically, two attendants will be made available to provide the transfer. If you require more than two people for a safe transfer, be sure to ask for the additional assistance that you need.

Upon Arrival

Upon arrival at the destination, you may be asked to wait to deplane until the rest of the aircraft is cleared.

The airline is required to bring your mobility aid from the cargo compartment as a priority. To minimize the time spent in the aisle chair, you should only transfer into the aisle chair from your seat onboard the aircraft once your mobility aid is available to you at the door of the aircraft.