People with disabilities

People with disabilities

Air Canada offers a number of services for people with disabilities. The identification of your special needs, at the time of booking, will enhance our ability to offer the services that best meet your requirements. Our customer service personnel will gladly describe services available and help make arrangements.

Although we ask for 48 hours notice, we'll make every effort to accommodate requests made within that time frame. Customers should arrive early at the airport to allow ample time for check-in and boarding.

Special services include assistance in:

  • registering at the check-in counter
  • proceeding to the boarding area
  • proceeding to the general public area on arrival, or if in the same terminal, to a representative of another carrier
  • boarding and deplaning
  • stowing and retrieving luggage and mobility aids

At your request, we will:

  • Make periodic inquiries about your needs and attend to them
  • Arrange for the use of your own wheelchair until boarding the aircraft and for the delivery of your wheelchair at the gate upon arrival
  • Disassemble and package batteries on your motorized wheelchairs, unpack the batteries and reassemble the wheelchair on arrival
  • Where space permits, stow your manually operated folding wheelchair in the passenger cabin (feature available on certain aircraft only)
  • Stow your small mobility or other aid in the cabin

We will also:

  • Assist you in transferring between mobility aids or onto and from the aircraft seat
  • Assist you in moving to and from the aircraft washroom (except by carrying) with the use of the on-board wheelchair
  • Arrange for alternate transportation for your large mobility aid when travelling on an aircraft with less than 60 seats that cannot accomodate the aid
  • Escort customers with intellectual disabilities travelling without an attendant to the aircraft door. We will introduce them to a flight attendant and we will escort them to the person responsible for meeting them on arrival

Aircraft seating

You can preselect your seat when you make your reservation. To choose one that best suits your needs, Air Canada's computer system has information on the location of seats:

  • with liftable or removable armrests for ease of transfer to and from an on-board wheelchair and passenger seat
    with additional floor space to accommodate a service animal
  • close to the washrooms and exits
  • with extra legroom
  • for customers using stretchers and their attendants

Attendant fares

An attendant who accompanies and cares for a customer with a disability during a flight may be able to travel on a reduced fare within North America. Ask your travel agent or call us for more details.

Carriage of Mobility aids

Air Canada will carry the following aids as priority baggage without charge and in addition to the free baggage allowance:

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers, canes, crutches and braces
  • communication devices
  • prostesis or medical device

Due to special handing of wheelchair batteries, please be sure to mention when making your reservation if you wish to transport an electric wheelchair.

Baggage identification tags

Tags are supplied to all our customers at check-in counters and we ask that you use them to identify your luggage and any equipment, including a wheelchair. A specially-designed tag for wheelchairs alerts our customer service agents whether your chair must be delivered to the aircraft door or the baggage room.

Boarding cards

The special needs or condition of a person can be identified by customer service employees through a special notation on the customer's boarding card.

Oxygen service

"Medipaks" of oxygen for customers with respiratory conditions are available at an extra charge with 48 hours advance notice. Please contact Air Canada directly.

Safety briefing in alternate format

In addition to an individual safety briefing provided by a crew member prior to flight departure, flight attendants on all aircraft will also offer braille and large print safety cards for passengers who are blind or have a visual impairement.

Passenger lifts

A passenger access lift available at certain airports allows people in wheelchairs to safely board smaller connector aircraft.

TDD - Reservations

If you have a telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), in Canada and the United States call 1-800-361-8071 toll free.

Service animals

Certified, professionally trained service animals which are assisting people with disabilities are carried, free of charge, in the passenger cabin at the customer's feet. Flights to Australia, Britain, Hawaii, Hong Kong and New Zealand are the exception.

Special meals

Air Canada offers specially prepared meals, available on 24 hours notice. If requested, flight attendants may assist by opening packaging, identifying items and cutting food.

Stretcher service

In view of the limited demand for stretcher services, as of August 1, 2005, Air Canada will no longer accept stretcher bookings. Requests for this special service will be referred to government approved air ambulance operators.

Washrooms on board

Most aircraft have facilities which are accessible to customers with disabilities. Door handles, grab bars, soap dispensers, faucets, flush controls and call buttons are designed to be operable with minimal single effort. Washrooms on some aircraft are fully accessible to passengers using the on-board wheelchair.

Wheelchairs on board

All Air Canada flights have an on-board wheelchair which can be used to move around the cabin if required.

Personalized computer profile

Frequent travellers who require medical approval prior to air travel will appreciate this special feature. One call to Reservations will eliminate the need for medical approval each time you fly.