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Acceptance - Wheelchairs


Wheelchair Information
Carry-On Wheelchairs Accepted In The Cabin
American Airlines Provided Wheelchairs
Codes/Procedures
Customer Wheelchairs
In-Flight Wheelchairs
Battery-Powered Wheelchairs And Scooters
PNR SSR Code
Segway® Human Transporter Device
Large Groups Using Wheelchairs


 

Wheelchair Information
Advise the passenger to request a wheelchair from the skycap or other American Airlines or American Eagle employee upon arrival at the airport. A wheelchair will not be waiting at the curbside; it must be requested.

 

Carry-on Wheelchairs Accepted In The Cabin
American Airlines and American Eagle jet aircraft have designated closet space in the cabin of each aircraft to accommodate one collapsible wheelchair. More than one wheelchair can be accommodated on American provided the space is available and the flight is not booked to capacity. American will accept additional wheelchairs in the cabin provided they can collapse to fit either in the overhead bin or under a seat. Wheelchair and other assistive devices have priority over carry-on baggage belonging to other customers who board at the same city.

 

American Airlines Provided Wheelchairs

When a passenger is able to walk but does not have their own wheelchair and requests one be provided, the following applies.

  • Extra wide wheelchairs may be requested in advance. Once requested, document the request in the PNR and queue to DFW105/11 for Special Assistance Coordinator (SAC) follow-up or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance.
  • Advise the customer to remind the skycap or other airport employee of their request for an extra wide wheelchair upon arrival at the airport.
  • American Airlines does provide wheelchair assistance for passengers making interline connections. AA authorized personnel will escort the customer in a wheelchair to the connecting gate of the other carrier.
  • Advise the passenger that pre-board assistance may be requested from the gate agent, if desired.
  • Suggest that the passenger arrive at the gate area 30 minutes prior to flight departure for pre-boarding, if desired.
  • Advise the passenger to reconfirm their downline wheelchair request at the ticket counter or gate on their day of departure.
  • Add appropriate wheelchair code to the PNR.

 

Codes/Procedures

    WCHR
    • The passenger needs a wheelchair/ can walk and climb stairs
    • Advise the passenger to request a wheelchair upon arrival at the airport.
    • Do not queue the PNR unless other additional special assistance is required and documented in the PNR.
    WCHS
    • The passenger can walk but needs arm or aisle chair assistance on the stairs.
    • Clarify if passenger needs assistance with the stairs to board the aircraft or to get from the terminal to and from the tarmac area.
    • If the passenger cannot walk stairs and needs arm assistance or total assistance on the aircraft stairs, use "WCHS" and queue the PNR to Special Assistance Coordinators at DFW105/11 for follow-up or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance only if the itinerary involves an American Eagle station or an AA station with no jet bridge.
    • If the passenger can walk stairs to board and deplane the aircraft, use "WCHR" as the correct code.
    • Advise the passenger that many U.S. airports have elevators to get them to and from the tarmac area. The passenger needs to advise airport personnel they need to use the elevator.
    WCHC
    • The passenger is completely immobile and requires total lift assistance from the aisle chair to the seat.
    • SAC coordination is required.
    • Use "WCHC" and queue the PNR to Special Assistance Coordinators at DFW105/11 for follow-up or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance.


 

Customer Wheelchairs

When a passenger is able to walk (no SAC involvement is needed) and they are traveling with their own manual wheelchair, the following applies:

  • Advise the passenger their own wheelchair may be used to transport them to the gate area. They may be able to have their manual wheelchair as carry on, based on first-come first-served basis, at the gate or they may have it checked as gate delivery.
  • When checked as gate delivery, the wheelchair will be available at the gate for connections and at the destination.
  • Manual wheelchairs may be checked at curbside, the ticket counter or the gate, whichever the passenger prefers.
  • All assistive devices will be checked free of charge in addition to the free baggage allowance when the passenger with the disability is traveling with the assistive device.
  • The passenger may also check their own wheelchair as baggage and use one of AA's manual wheelchairs to transport them to the gate area.

 

In-Flight Wheelchairs

To make air travel more convenient for customers with mobility impairments, AA has installed in-flight wheelchairs on all AA jet aircraft.

  • The chairs are stowed in a collapsed position and can be used to assist customers to and from the lavatory.
  • Flight personnel will obtain the chairs for the passenger upon request.
  • Available on all AA jet aircraft, but not on American Eagle regional jets.

 

Battery-Powered Wheelchairs And Scooters
Acceptance of Spillable and Non-Spillable Batteries:

If a spillable or non-spillable battery can be loaded, stored, secured and unloaded in an upright position the entire time in transit, the battery should be left on the device. Spillable batteries that cannot be loaded, stored, secured and unloaded in an upright position must be removed and placed in an approved battery box. Due to certain aircraft types (MD80, F100 and regional aircraft) the size of the door and incline of the conveyor belt may prohibit loading these items. An analysis will be conducted at the airport.

Customers traveling with battery powered wheelchairs may stow their wheelchairs in the cabin on a first-come first-served basis provided the following criteria are met:

  • The customer checks in one hour before the scheduled departure time of the flight, identifies themselves, and requests to pre-board.
  • The wheelchair must fold, break down or collapse.
  • The stowage compartment in the cabin must be of a size to safely accommodate the wheelchair per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations.
  • The weight of the wheelchair does not exceed the amount allowable for the stowage closet as indicated on placards located in the closet.
  • The on-board stowage area is not occupied by other assistive devices (manual or other battery-powered wheelchairs).
  • Batteries, whether it be a non-spillable gel cell or a spillable wet cell, will not be accepted in the cabin in a damaged or leaking condition.
Should a customer check in less than one hour prior to departure, American Airlines will make every effort to accommodate the customer's request to carry their wheelchair in the cabin, provided they identify themselves and pre-board. If they elect not to pre-board and the stowage space is not available in the cabin, the wheelchair will be gate checked and transported in the cargo hold.


 

PNR SSR Code

  • Document the PNR - PSGR TRAVELING WITH BWCHR.
  • All passengers with battery powered wheelchairs (BWCHRs) must have SAC clearance. Queue the PNR to Special Assistance Coordinators at DFW105/11 for follow-up or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance.
  • Advise the passenger to follow recommended check-in time for all airports in order to check the wheelchair as baggage.

 

Segway® Human Transporter Device
Batteries on the Segway® Human Transporter are lithium, similar to a laptop battery, and do not require removal or any disconnection of the power source. If this device is used as a mobility device, it may be stowed in the cabin on a first-come basis. Customers may ride their Segway to the aircraft door and guide it into the closet. It can climb stairs.

 

Large Groups Using Wheelchairs
Every effort is made to accommodate customers with mobility impairments. When a large group using wheelchairs is involved, extra planning may be necessary to achieve this objective and maintain an on-time departure. Document all the PNRs and queue to Special Assistance Coordinators at DFW105/11 for follow-up or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance.

 




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