American Airlines provides and guarantees special assistance to passengers with reduced mobility. The national airline of the United States offers its passengers both normal and electric wheelchair transport options, but in order to ensure a safe journey on board, the airline asks you to follow certain procedures before arriving at the airport and boarding:
Contact the reservation department in advance
– By phone
It is important to let AA know your needs as a wheelchair passenger in advance. You can do this when booking your flight or by contacting the airline’s special assistance service. This will help the company prepare for your arrival and ensure that all necessary accommodations are made available to you.
Call 800-433-7300 or dial 711 if you are hearing impaired
– Request special assistance online: Fill out the form
American Airlines offers a range of special assistance services for passengers with disabilities or medical conditions. These services include wheelchair assistance, extra seating, oxygen, etc. To request special assistance, passengers can complete American Airlines’ online special needs request form.
The Special Needs Request Form can be found on the American Airlines website under the “Contact Us” tab. Passengers can select “Special Assistance” as a subject and then choose the type of assistance they require, such as wheelchair assistance, service animals, or medical equipment.
After selecting the type of assistance, the passenger will need to provide their flight information, such as flight number and date, and then provide their personal information, including name and contact details.
Passengers can also include any additional information or requests in the “comments” section of the form. For example, if a passenger needs a specific type of wheelchair or oxygen equipment, they can request it in this section.
Once the form is submitted, the American Airlines Special Assistance team will review the request and contact the passenger if additional information is needed. The team will work with the passenger to ensure their travel experience is comfortable and stress-free.
Know the dimensions of your wheelchair
American Airlines has specific guidelines regarding the size and weight of wheelchairs that can be carried on its flights. This medical device should generally not exceed 32 inches in width and 48 inches in length, including detachable parts. The weight limit is 100 pounds for electric wheelchairs and 70 pounds for manual wheelchairs.
However, these rules may change. Call 800-433-7300 for exact information about flying your wheelchair.
Check in your chair at the ticket counter
When you arrive at the airport, bring your wheelchair to the ticket counter to check it in. The US airline will provide you with a wheelchair for boarding. You can also request the assistance of an AA agent to get to your departure gate if you need it.
Use priority boarding option
American Airlines offers priority boarding for passengers with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs or electric wheelchairs. This allows you to board the plane before other passengers, giving you more time to settle into your seat and stow any gear or personal items you need.
Does American Airlines charge a fee for transporting wheelchairs?
No, the United States airline allows its passengers to transport their wheelchairs on board its planes, free of charge.
What about transporting wheelchairs with (electric) batteries?
The batteries in your wheelchair may be dangerous goods and therefore specific requirements must be met to ensure the safety of all passengers.
Batteries not labeled by their manufacturer as “non-spillable” must be removed from the wheelchair before boarding the aircraft. These batteries can potentially leak and damage the aircraft or other passengers’ luggage. Airlines require the battery to be disconnected and placed in a strong, non-conductive box or battery case that complies with international dangerous goods regulations.
Electric wheelchairs with batteries that cannot be charged, stowed, secured and discharged in an upright position at all times may travel as checked baggage in a specialized transport container.
AA will provide instructions on wheelchair handling and packing procedures. The battery must be disconnected and all loose parts, such as headrests or footrests, must be removed and attached to the chair.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in the device, have specific requirements that you must follow. The battery must be removed and each battery must have a watt-hour capacity of no more than 300 Wh. If the battery exceeds 300Wh, it can still be allowed if the airline approves it. However, you will need to contact the airline first to ensure they accept the battery.
There are different regulations for hand luggage and checked luggage. If you plan to take the battery on the plane, it must be in your hand luggage and you must notify the airline upon check-in. You will also need to make sure the battery is disconnected and the battery terminals are covered with tape to prevent any short circuits.
What are the cost for assistance provided to passengers traveling with a wheelchair on American Airlines flights?
The service is completely free, and the American company does not charge any costs for the transport of this medical device (unless it does not respect its restrictions in terms of weight and dimensions)
Practical advice for a peaceful journey on board
American Airlines is taking steps to make travel for passengers with reduced mobility more accessible.
However, if you are planning a trip and have special needs, there are plenty of ways to get help and ensure a smooth experience. Here are some tips for an accessible trip:
– Plan ahead and request special assistance
It is important to plan your trip in advance to ensure your needs are met. Research your destination, accommodations, transportation options, and activities in advance, and contact an AA reservations agent by phone (at least 48 hours in advance) to confirm that your carrier can meet your needs.
– Be prepared
When traveling, be sure to bring all necessary medical and mobility equipment, medications, and documentation. Pack a carry-on bag with essentials, such as spare batteries or chargers, extra clothes, and snacks. Also, make sure you have your doctor’s contact information and emergency contacts.
– Communicate your needs
When traveling, be sure to communicate your needs to transportation providers, hotel staff, tour guides, and others involved with your trip. Let them know if you need special assistance, have any dietary restrictions, or need any other accommodations.