FAQ’s & Information for disabled travelers
and travelers with reduced mobility
If you have a disability of any kind or your mobility is reduced, for example because of age or temporary injury, airlines may offer a range of free services to help you at the airport and on board of the flights within the United States. We have put together this document to provide answers to questions you may have about your journey, which will help you book with confidence. We strongly encourage you to read the policy of you operating carrier regarding customers with disabilities.
Who should I contact if I need special assistance?
We strongly recommend you contact the involved airports and airline directly and request special assistance when you fly, as needed. To ensure such special assistance is available to you, you need to book your flight and request such services from your operating carrier at least 48 hours in advance of your departure. If you have trouble contacting the airport or airlines to request such services, please call 1Papaya.com at 1-888-963-8986 or 1-559-207-0545, and we will endeavor to notify the airport and the airlines of your request for special assistance. It is really important that you give the airlines and the airports the right and complete information about your needs so they can ensure your trip goes smoothly.
Will I need someone to travel with me?
In order to meet safety requirements, the airlines may deny your reservation or require you to travel with a companion for your own safety and that of other passengers. That person would be responsible for assisting you in the event of an emergency if you are unable to help yourself.
Generally, the people who are likely to need a companion are those who:
Have a severe learning or cognitive disability which prevents them from understanding or reacting to safety instructions; or
Are both blind and deaf so they are unable to understand and react to safety instructions; or
Have a disability that prevents them from moving without assistance to reach an emergency exit.
To decide whether you are self-reliant or need to travel with a companion, think about whether you can manage the following activities without help. Can you:
- Fasten and unfasten your seat belt?
- Take out and put on your life jacket?
- Leave your seat and get yourself to an emergency exit (this does not need to be by walking)?
- Put on an oxygen mask?
- Feed yourself?
- Lift yourself from a passenger seat to an on-board wheelchair?
- Use the toilet facilities unaided?
- Administer your own medicine?
- Breath without being reliant on supplementary oxygen?
If you do need someone to travel with you, that person must be over 18 years old and physically capable of helping you in an emergency. Such person can travel with a maximum of 2 passengers requiring additional special assistance.
If in doubt, please make sure that you contact the airline and ask if you would be required to have a carer travelling with you.
Wheelchair Users and Mobility Aids:
It is your responsibility to provide sufficient information about your wheelchair/mobility aid and batteries prior to travel. Airlines policies on carrying wheelchairs and mobility aids can be found on their websites or by calling the airline directly or by contacting us. In addition, under the Air Carrier Access Act and Department of Transportation rules that implement it, domestic and international airlines must provide boarding, deplaning and connecting assistance, including both personal and equipment, to passengers with disabilities who have requested it.
Stretchers are not carried on-board most airline flights. Please contact the airline directly for more information.
For safety reasons, customers are not permitted to carry their own oxygen for use on-board. Please contact the airline directly for more information.
Customers carrying syringes and/or needles must carry a doctor’s note or a repeat prescription as confirmation of medical requirement. Please read the following important advice about travelling with medication.
We recommend that you carry enough medical supplies to cover use in-flight, plus sufficient for 2-3 days use upon arrival. The remainder should be packed in the hold, (the temperature of which is maintained between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius).
Have a letter from your physician confirming the name and type of medication being carried, with prescribed doses. The letter should state what the medication is for and any other medical items required. For example, syringes or EpiPens, that might otherwise be questioned by local security or customs.
The medication should be in its original packaging, clearly pharmaceutically labelled identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.
It is advisable to obtain a repeat prescription from your physician and take this with you when you travel abroad so that medication can be replaced in event of loss, damage or having insufficient supplies.
Please be aware that some medication may contain ingredients that are considered illegal in other countries. You are advised to check with the Embassy of the country you are going to. We can certainly assist you with this.
Needles and syringes
The carriage of needles and syringes is permitted onboard for the treatment or control of medical conditions. However, you must also carry supporting documentation in the form of either:
- A letter from your physician confirming the type of medication and what it is for. Or,
- If you do not have a physician’s letter, the medication must have a printed pharmaceutical label identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.
- A “sharps” box to dispose of needles safely and hygienically is available onboard – please ask the crew.
Keeping medication cold
The onboard fridge cannot be used to keep medication cold, (for example, insulin used for diabetes). However, you may bring a cool bag with you.
Liquid medication in hand luggage
The amount of liquid medication you are permitted to take in your hand luggage is subject to current security advice. Please visit http://www.dot.gov for the latest information.
If you are hearing impaired and require assistance, please contact us or the airline directly. If required, an escort can be provided to and from the aircraft. Airlines offer separate briefing or subtitled in flight safety video about safety procedures for deaf and hard of hearing customers on-board. If you are hearing impaired, please contact us so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
If you are blind or visually impaired and are unable to travel without assistance you may need to travel with a care provider who must purchase a seat. The assistance that airlines offer visually impaired passengers may include an escort to and from the aircraft, individual safety briefings, and assistance during the flight. Please contact the airline or call 1Papaya.com for specific details.
Each airline has its own policy with regard to expectant mother. Please check with each airlines’ policy to ensure boarding is possible. Expectant mothers should be generally accepted without a medical certificate up to the end of the 27th week of pregnancy. Between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy a medical certificate may be required. This must confirm the expected date of delivery and confirm fitness to fly (doctors letter must have been written no earlier than 6 weeks before the outbound date of travel).
Expectant mothers may not be accepted under any circumstance after 34th week of pregnancy on international flights and within 30 days of their delivery date on domestic US flights.
In the case of a multiple pregnancy the pregnancy should generally not be beyond the 32nd week at the time of the return inbound flight.
Please contact the airline for its specific policy.
Cruise lines will not accept passengers who have entered their 24th week* of pregnancy or beyond. All pregnant women are required to provide a letter to state both mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel.
Some airlines’ policies dictate that passengers who have had a recent miscarriage may fly provided that they have had no bleeding or pain for at least 24 hours prior to the date of travel. A letter should be obtained from the passenger’s doctor confirming this.
Any plaster cast must have been set in place for over 48 hours for legs and 24 hours for arms. In the case of a full leg plaster, where the leg cannot be bent, two (2) additional seats must be purchased.
Dependent on the person’s level of mobility, 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 endeavor to ensure that any accompanying person is seated next to the person requiring assistance.
We realize that some larger customers, due to their size, often find that aircraft seat width is insufficient for their needs. For your own safety and comfort and that of other customers, you must advise your travel advisor at the time of booking if you know or are unsure as to whether the seat size on the aircraft will be sufficient for your needs. If you do require additional space, then subject to availability, you may be able to purchase more than one seat located side by side or if you prefer a wider seat in an upgraded class (where applicable). We regret however, that due to additional costs incurred by your tour operator, you will have to pay the full cost of all seats required by you, plus any upgrade supplement per seat. For more information on seat width for individual airlines please contact us or the airlines.
If you have purchased an extra seat due to your size, please contact 1Papaya.com or the airline directly to ensure the airline is aware.
Overseas Accommodation and Overseas Transport Arrangements
The majority of overseas accommodation, overseas transport (including transfers) and other holiday services provided overseas are not equipped to cater to the needs of many disabled travelers. Furthermore the natural terrain and the layout of some resorts can sometimes make life difficult for wheelchair users.
It is therefore important, if you have any disability, that the appropriate inquiries are made about the suitability of particular accommodation, resorts, transport and services and that you are fully satisfied you have made the correct choice before you book and confirm your vacation. If in doubt, please contact us. Please note: if special arrangements need to be made for you, the airline or vendor may charge an additional fee over and above the price of your ticket. These fees are assessed by the airline, hotel, tour company or airport, and Travel is SWELL. has no control over the amount of or the charging of these additional service fees. Such fees may be charged prior to departure or upon your arrival at the airport, hotel, etc. depending on the respective vendor’s policies.
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