On this page you can find some tips and support information to use if you are disabled or mobility restricted and considering air travel. By making your airline aware of any special requirements that you have prior to booking you will probably be surprised about how helpful most airlines and airports can be.
Both airports and airlines will provide assistance for any individual that is either Disabled or Mobility Restricted. Remember that being mobility restricted can be either a temporary condition arising post surgery, from a sickness or an injury or it may be a more permanent condition.
It always important to provide advance notice of any intentions to travel to the airline so that the airline can then coordinate any movement requirements or handling issues with the airport.
At the time of booking you should make your airline aware of your condition and your particular requirements.
At the time of booking your airline will select a relevant SSR (Special Service Request) Code based on the individual requirement/s that you relay to them. Have a look at the typical categories listed below that are used by major airlines around the world to work out which ones might be most applicable for you.
Once airlines are notified and an appropriate SSR Code is applied to your booking, the appropriate resources can be aligned to support your end-to-end logistics from arrival at the airport to your boarding gate and onwards for all legs of travel. This includes (if applicable and dependant upon the airport or airline) disabled parking, escorting, wheelchairs, security screening support, electric buggies transfers to gate, allocated seating and more.
Whilst the airline SSR codes listed below are used on a global basis, they are not utilized by every airline in the world (there are some minor exceptions).
Make sure that your air ticket has the applicable SSR codes recorded on it and that those codes align to the correct category.
SSR Codes – Relating to Disabilities
A list of SSR codes relating to a variety of disabilities is provided below. If the traveler has one of these disabilities and is also in a wheelchair, an additional wheelchair based SSR code is likely to be applied. Be aware, that if you have to cancel a segment, or miss a connecting flight that this is likely to impact any Special Service Requests that you have made and you or your travel agent should re-request the SSR.
BLND Passenger-Blind or has reduced vision
DPNA Disabled passenger need assistance
DEAF Passenger-Deaf or hard of hearing
ESAN Passenger-Requires/travels with an emotional support animal
EXST Passenger-Requires an extra seat due to body size
MAAS Passenger-Meet-and-assist requirement.
(Often used for passengers with intellectual disabilities)
MEDA Passenger-Medical case identified.
OXYG Passenger-May or will require oxygen
PETC Passenger-Traveling with a pet in cabin
PNUT Passenger-Allergic to peanut dust (anaphylaxis)
PPOC Passenger-Traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator
STCR Passenger-Traveling on a stretcher/guerney
SVAN Passenger-Traveling with a service animal
Airport Guidance Note
Ensure any transfer-layover period at airports is between 90 mins to 2 hours, but please take into account factors such as:
Your personal mobility restrictions
Whether or not you have someone to assist (or can organize someone with the airport),
The size of the airport (distance between gates and terminals)
Review Ticadoc Airport profiles for specifics on all logistic issues/challenges and support services for disabled or mobility restricted persons.
SSR Codes – Relating to Mobility Restriction/s
After a generic Special Service Request code there is often plain text added by the travel agent or airline to describe exactly what you require. See the examples below relating to the WCHC code.
WCHR Wheelchair assistance req-Passenger able to walk short distance.
You are able to make your own way to the aircraft and into your aircraft seat but have difficulty travelling long distances at airports. You can ascend/descend stairs.
WCHS Wheelchair assistance required-Passenger able to walk short distance.
You have reduced mobility but can make your own way to and into your aircraft seat but cannot ascend/descend stairs.
WCHC You use a wheelchair for mobility and may require a manual upper body lift or the use of an on-board aisle chair, to get to or from your seat on the aircraft.
WCHC (self reliant) Unable to walk but you are able to self transfer from a wheel/aisle chair to the aircraft seat independently.
No support person, manual or mechanical lift is required.
WCHC (own escort) You require full assistance to transfer. Your own support person will perform the manual upper body lift.
WCOB On-board aisle wheelchair-Required (inc. use during flight)
WCMP Passenger-Traveling with manual wheelchair
WCBD Passenger-Traveling with dry cell battery-powered wheelchair
WCBW Passenger-Traveling with wet cell battery-powered wheelchair
Specific Airline Resources
Make sure you check your airlines specific policies and procedures that relate to disabled and mobility restricted passengers. We have a handy link here to a page that includes links to airlines: