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Special Assistance

Information for passengers with disability

If you have a disability of some kind or your mobility is decreased due to some temporary injury or age factor then airlines may provide an assortment of free services to help you at airport and also when you are on board. We have accumulated information for passengers who require special assistance to provide answers to all your queries and doubts. We encourage you to read the airline policy of the airline you booked regarding customers with disabilities.

Whom should I contact if I need to place a request for special assistance?

Firstly you should contact the airline you wished to book for your travel itinerary and involved airports. Place a request for special assistance that you might require at the airport or on the aircraft. To make sure that these services are provided to you, always book your flight at least 48 hours prior to your departure and request the services needed from your operating carrier. If you are not able to contact the airport or the airline then your second point of contact is TravelOMatrix. Call us at 1-855-955-0800 and we will make every possible attempt to contact the responsible authorities to make request for special assistance on your behalf. It is extremely important that the airlines and airports are provided with the complete information about your needs so that they can ensure a smooth journey for you.

Am I required to travel with an attendant?

Airlines might ask you to travel with an attendant or they might even deny you the reservation to meet the safety requirements. That person would assist you in an emergency if you fail to help yourself.

People who are likely to travel with a companion are those who:

  • have a severe cognitive or learning disability due to which they cannot understand or react to safety instructions; or
  • are both deaf and blind preventing them from understanding or reacting to safety instructions; or
  • have a disability that hindered them from moving without help to reach an emergency exit.

When you have to decide whether or not you need a travel companion, conclude whether or not you can manage to do the activities given below, without assistance. Can you:

  • fasten and unfasten your seat belt?
  • take your life jacket out from under your seat and put it on?
  • get out of your seat and help yourself to an emergency exit (not necessarily includes by walking only)?
  • put on an oxygen mask?
  • eat by yourself?
  • lift yourself from a passenger seat to an on-board wheelchair?
  • use the toilet facilities unaided?
  • superintend your own medicine?
  • breathe without being relying on oxygen therapy?

If in cases where you do need a travel companion then that person must not be beneath 18 years and must be physically capable of assisting you in an emergency. If you require additional special assistance then your travel companion can travel with maximum of 2 passengers. If you are still in doubt whether or not you are needed to travel with a companion, and then contact the airline to clarify.

Wheelchair Users and Mobility Aids

Inform the airline and the airport in detail about your wheelchair/mobility requirement and about batteries prior to travel. Check the policies of airlines on carrying wheelchairs/mobility aids. Contact the airlines for any query or contact our travel consultants. Under the Air Carrier Access Act and Department of Transportation rules it is mandatory for airlines to provide boarding, deplaning and connecting assistance, to passengers with disabilities who have requested it.

Stretchers

Contact airlines directly to know if they allow stretchers on-board or not.

Oxygen

For safety requirements, customers are not allowed to carry their own oxygen for use on-board. Kindly contact the airline directly for any query.

Medication

Passengers who are carrying syringes and/or needles must also carry a letter from their doctor or a repeat prescription for confirmation of medical requirements. Read the following points for knowing more about traveling with medications.

You must carry enough medical supplies that can cover use in-flight and are sufficient for two to three days use upon arrival. Rest all the medicines should be packed in the hold.

  • Keep a letter from your doctor that confirms the name and type of medication that you are carrying, with prescribed doses. The letter should clearly state what the medication is for and if there are any other medical items required. For instance, syringes or EpiPens, which might otherwise won't be permitted by local security or customs.
  • You should keep the medication in its original packaging with pharmaceutically labeled identifying it as the prescribed medication and that it belongs to you.
  • You should obtain a repeat prescription from your doctor and keep it with you when you are traveling abroad so that in case of lose, damage or shortage of supplies, medication can be replaced.
  • Be aware that some medication might contain ingredients that are illegal in other countries. You should check with the Embassy of your destination/ country you are going to.
Needles and syringes

You will be allowed to carry needles and syringes on-board for control of medical situation or treatment but you must also carry supporting documents in the form of either:

  • A letter from your doctor that confirms the type of medication it is and what it is for. Or,
  • If you do not have a doctor's letter, the medication must have a printed pharmaceutical label which can identify it as prescribed medication and that it belongs to you.
    A "sharps" box to dispose of needles safely and hygienically is available on-board - ask the crew for it.
Keeping medication cold

You cannot use the on-board fridge to keep medication cold. Some insulin, for example for diabetes, need to be kept in a cold temperature. You can bring a small cool bag with yourself to store your medication on preferred temperatures.

Liquid medication in hand luggage

Visit http://www.dot.gov for the latest information on the amount of liquid medication passengers are permitted to take with them in their hand luggage. It is subject to current security policies hence it is advisable that get well acquainted with the latest policies before you travel.

Hearing impaired

If you are hearing impaired and are unable to understand instructions then airlines will need you to have a travel companion. Contact the airline directly or contact us for registering your request for special assistance. Airlines also offer separate briefing to the passenger or subtitled in flight safety video to explain safety procedures for passengers who are hearing impaired.

Visually impaired

If you are visually impaired or blind and cannot assist yourself then airlines will require you to travel with a companion who must purchase a seat. The assistance offered by the airlines to visually impaired passengers may include individual safety briefings, an escort to and from the aircraft, and assistance during the flight. You must contact the operating airline or call us for more details.

Expectant mothers

Policies with regard to expectant mothers vary from one airline to another. It is advisable to check the airline policy before booking the tickets and to ensure if they allow boarding and if they do then what are the terms and conditions. Expectant mothers generally are accepted without a medical certificate till the end of the 27th week of their pregnancy. A medical certificate is required between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. The medical certificate must confirm the expected delivery date and must also confirm that the passenger is fit to fly. This medical certificate or doctor’s letter must not be older than 6 weeks before the outbound date of travel.

Under any circumstances, expected mothers are not to be accepted after 34 weeks of their pregnancy on international flights. For the domestic flights expected mothers are not allowed to board the plane within 30 days of their delivery date.

In the case of a multiple flights the pregnancy must not be beyond the 32nd week for return inbound flight.

Kindly contact the specific airline for its specific policies.

Cruise lines will not allow passengers who are in their 24th week of pregnancy or beyond that. All pregnant women are required to provide a letter that states both mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel.

Miscarriage

In cases of passengers who have had recent miscarriage, the passengers should have had no bleeding or pain at least 24 hours prior to the traveling date. They are needed to have a letter that confirms that they are fit for traveling from their doctors.

Broken limbs

In case where full leg is plastered and cannot bent, two (2) additional seats have to be purchased. Minimum 48 hours in case of legs and 24 hours in case of arms are required for any plaster cast to set in place. Hence only after the cast is settled a passenger can travel. You will be required to have a written letter from your doctor stating you fit to travel.

Seating

Dependent on the person's level of mobility and assistance seating (that is, a seat with a movable aisle armrest) may be used or alternatively a fixed armrest seat will be used if this is sufficient. The airline will make full attempt to ensure that any accompanying person is seated next to the person requiring assistance.

Seat width

We understand that some passengers, due to their size, often find the seat width of the aircraft insufficient for their needs. If you are unsure about the seat size and whether or not it will be sufficient for your needs; then for your own safety and for the safety of others inform your travel consultant at the time of booking. If you think you require additional space then you may purchase more than one seat located side by side or you can purchase a wider seat in an upgraded class. Purchasing more than one seat is subject to availability. You will have to pay the full costs of all the seats you require or purchase plus an upgrade supplement per seat if there are any. To know more on seat width of airlines kindly contact our travel consultants or the airlines directly. Also contact the airline directly in case you purchase an extra seat due to your size and let them know in advance.

Overseas Accommodation and Transport Arrangements

Majority of the overseas accommodation and transport are not equipped for travelers with disabilities. It is advisable to make the appropriate inquiries before booking your trip. If any special arrangements are made then the vendors might charge an additional fees. TravelOMatrix does not control any additional fees imposed by the third party vendors. These fees might be charged by the vendors prior to departure or at the arrival at airport, hotel, and etc., depending on their policies.

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