You can request airport wheelchair assistance after you purchase your flight. If you have any questions about flying with reduced mobility before you buy your flights, please do not hesitate to contact Alternative Airlines, we will be happy to help. We aim to ensure that all our customers’ journeys are as satisfying and hassle-free as possible. That's why we advise passengers who require special assistance to contact us at least 48 hours prior to departure. It is possible to request reduced mobility assistance once you arrive at the airport, however, some airlines to require 48 hours notice. In fact, some airport authorities cannot guarantee to be able to attend to special assistance requests received less than 48 hours notice so passengers may not be able to fly.
It is in your best interest to contact us as soon as you know you will need airport wheelchair assistance. You should arrive at the airport in plenty of time, especially during busy periods such as the summer holidays.
Types of wheelchair assistance are broken down into 3 categories. Contact Alternative Airlines if you require any of the following on your journey:
Passengers who require wheelchair assistance as they can climb stairs, but cannot walk long distances (eg. to get to their gate)
Passengers who cannot climb stairs. A PAU (Passenger Aid Unit) is required to get the passenger into Aircraft, but passengers can walk from cabin door to their seat (i.e. can walk in cabin)
For passengers who are immobile and require full assistance
Those who require one of the above may request reduced mobility assistance to do any of the following:
- Get from a designated meeting point in the airport
- Go through customs and security to the boarding gate
- Get onboard the plane and into your seat
- Stow your cabin bag in the overhead locker
- Get off the plane after landing
- Retrieve your luggage and any mobility equipment
- Take you to a meeting point at the airport
Checking-in your wheelchair
There may be some restrictions on the carriage (checking-in) of wheelchairs, such as electric chairs. This may be due to the weight and size of the wheelchair. There may be some restrictions on the carriage of wheelchairs, such as electric chairs. This may be due to the weight and size of the wheelchair. Some smaller airlines may not be able to accommodate all types of wheelchairs however, Alternative Airlines will ensure that they are notified of your circumstance.
Please note that some airports vary in facilities: some have special equipment such as mobile lifts to board passengers who cannot climb stairs and others will have jet-bridges. Please also note that many airports have long distances to travel between the check-in desks and the departure gates. Some airport authorities cannot guarantee being able to attend to special assistance requests received less than 48 hours notice so passengers may not be able to fly. However, Alternative Airlines will ensure that they will provide assistance and inform the airlines of the particular requirements providing you contact us at least 48 hours before your flight.
Wheelchair assistance and personal care
Whether you are traveling independently or with a support companion, Alternative Airlines will always strive to help our customers with reduced mobilities or disabilities. Please note some airlines have limitations to providing personal care. It is not a legal requirement for wheelchair assistants to provide additional support, such as bathroom assistance, in all international and domesstic airports. If a passenger feels they require bathroom assistance, Alternative Airlines recommends travelling with a companion.
Likewise, airline and airport staff may be restricted in providing or administering medical treatments or operating medical equipment due to liability terms. If you need somebody to administer medical treatment or operate medical equipment on your behalf during the flight, we recommend passengers that you travel with a companion. If you require more information or are concerned about particular requirements, please contact Alternative Airlines (+44 (0)1293 874 920) 48 hours before your journey.
Not only that, but wheelchair assistants are not legally obliged to take you anywhere that is not necessary for your onward travel. It is recommended that you think about meals before you leave home. You may not be able to buy food before or between flights, because your wheelchair attendant is not required to take you to a restaurant or fast food stand. If possible, pack your own food at home and carry it with you onto your flight.
If you wish to travel with a battery-powered wheelchair or scooter, please inform Alternative Airlines on the type of battery your wheelchair or scooter requires.
Many airlines will allow wet cell spillable batteries if they are used for electric wheelchairs. Some airlines may have this battery removed from the wheelchair and transported within a secure container. If your wheelchair uses this battery type, Alternative Airlines advises you to arrive early to the airport to notify the airline check-in desk that you are using a wet cell spillable battery. Non-spillable wheelchair batteries are permitted if they meet other battery requirements and standards.
Flights, where you have to disembark and then board a different aircraft, should provide you with assistant between these flights. Once the first flight has landed, you will need to wait to leave your aircraft until other passengers have deplaned. A wheelchair attendant will be waiting for you; he or she will take you on your next flight. If you need to use the restroom on the way to your connecting flight, state that you are a traveller with a disability and you need to stop at a restroom. In the US, If you have to change planes during your trip, your airline must also provide wheelchair assistance for your connection, however, this is not a universal law.
Please contact Alternative Airlines if you have any questions about special assistance between connecting flights and remember to leave plenty of time between your connections to allow for all your requirements to be met.