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Special Assistance


Special Assistance

Flying on US Airways?

If one or more of your flights is on US Airways, policies may vary depending on which airline operates your flight.

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Medical Devices

  • To ensure the comfort of all its passengers, American Airlines accepts a variety of assistive devices for travel in the cabin, such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces as well as some types of ventilators and respirators. Please contact Reservations prior to your flight to provide a description of your device and get approval for transportation
  • All approved assistive devices within the allowed size for carry-on baggage will be carried on free of charge
  • Although it is safe to use battery-operated devices during the flight, most will need to be switched off upon take-off and landing. Please check with Reservations if you are relying on an assistive device that must be switched on at all times
  • Please note that seat power ports cannot be used for assistive devices

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners

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Onboard Oxygen

Theraputic Oxygen

American Airlines makes every effort to accommodate its customers who require supplemental oxygen inflight. Effective July 23, 2012, American will continue to assist customers who wish to bring a Portable Oxygen Concentrator on board, however, due to decreased demand and increased supplier costs, American will no longer accept inflight medical oxygen.
Thank you for your loyalty to American Airlines. Should you have questions regarding this change, please call Reservations.

Personal Inflight Medical Oxygen Units - Not Accepted

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that oxygen on airplanes be dispensed from approved containers available through the airline only, so you may not use your own personal units. American does not provide medical oxygen inflight. If you require oxygen at the airport before departure, during your connection or at your destination, you will need to make separate arrangements.

Medical Oxygen

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) approved by the FAA will only be accepted for inflight medical oxygen. A 48-hour notice is required.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)

Customers requiring the use of a POC in the cabin must provide a minimum of 48-hours advance notification to Reservations. Your request will be forwarded to our Special Assistance Coordinator who will contact you to verify the device and advise of medical paperwork requirements. Please see “Travel Requirements and Restrictions and Onboard Usage” below for more details.

The following are FAA approved POCs for use in the aircraft cabin:

  • AirSep LifeStyle - RTCA sticker required
  • AirSep FreeStyle
  • Airsep FreeStyle 5
  • AirSep FOCUS
  • (Caire) SeQual eQuinox - model 4000**
  • Devilbiss iGO
  • Inogen One
  • Inogen G2
  • Inogen One G3
  • Inova Labs - Lifechoice (model number XYC100)
  • Invo Labs Lifechoice Activeox
  • Invacare XPO2 (includes model numbers XPO100 and XPO100B)
  • Invacare SOLO2
  • Oxlife Independence
  • Oxus, Inc. RS-00400 POC
  • Precision Medical EasyPluse
  • Respironics Inc's EverGO
  • Respironics SimplyGo
  • SeQual Eclipse models 1, 2 and 3*
  • SeQual Eclipse 3 - 1000B
  • SeQual SAROS
  • Vbox Trooper

*Note: SeQual Eclipse (models 1000, 1000A, and 1000B), and SeQual Eclipse SAROS may not be used on Republic Airlines. These models are too large to fit under the seat for use on board the aircraft. These models may be transported in the cabin as assistive devices and stowed in the overhead compartments, but these models cannot be used on board the aircraft.

**Approved for use on American mainline aircraft. However, only approved on a case-by-case basis on Envoy aircraft.

*

POCs fit under the double seat side on American Eagle aircraft. Please contact Reservations for assistance with seat selection.

Note: FAA Regulations forbid the carriage of other personal oxygen units including those that contain compressed or liquid oxygen, because they are classified as Hazardous Materials.

Travel Requirements and Restrictions

To travel using a POC, you must have a signed, written statement from your physician clarifying your needs as listed in our recommended letter Physician's Consent Form. A completed form is valid for one year from date of issuance.


Upon completion of the letter, please notify Reservations at least 48 hours prior to your travel date to ensure all proper medical paperwork is prepared for travel.

Prior to boarding, the customer must present the Physician's Consent Form to an airline representative to ensure:
  • the customer is able to operate the POC and recognize and respond appropriately to its alarm
  • understanding the phases of the flight ( taxi, take-off, landing) in which the POC will be operable
  • the customer has an ample supply of fully charged batteries to power the POC no less than 150% for the duration of the flight and ground connection time where POC is planned to be used
    (per manufacturer's recommendation) for unanticipated delays
Please keep the Physician's Consent Form on your person at all times during your journey.

Onboard Usage

Customers are required to provide and know how to use rented or owned "approved" POC. American Airlines does not provide this equipment. Note: American Airlines does not have spare batteries available for customer usage.

Customers must ensure that all extra batteries are properly protected from short circuiting by packaging the batteries so they do not contact metal objects including the terminals or other batteries.

For questions regarding POC usage, please contact Reservations.

Additional Requirements

Your POC must be free of oil, grease or other petroleum products and in good condition, free from damage or other signs of excessive wear or abuse.
If you are connecting to another airline or codeshare flight, contact the operating carrier or other airline for their rules on travelling with portable oxygen concentrators.
Please inform the airport agent that you intend to use a POC onboard the aircraft. The agent may ask to verify your medical statement, so please keep it with you at all times.

During Flight

Your POC must fit underneath the seat in front of you. You may not sit in an emergency exit seat, a bulkhead seat or any seat that blocks another passenger's access to the aisle.
You may use your POC while moving about the cabin as long as the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign is not illuminated.

Aircraft Powerpoints

Some American Airlines aircraft are equipped with DC powerports, however, due to different aircraft types, configurations, and seating arrangements, the availability of a powerport and continuous power flow cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, you must bring a supply of batteries adequate for powering your POC the entire time it is in use. In the event a powerport is available at your seat, it may only be used during flight and may not be used during taxi, take-off, and landing. Use of a powerport requires a DC power accessory obtained from your POC manufacturer.

Other Electrical Medical Devices

If you need to request oxygen (i.e., respirator, ventilator, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), etc.) in the cabin, contact Reservations at least 72 hours before departure for your international flight or 48 hours for your U.S. domestic flight. Upon completion of your reservation, your request will be forwarded to our Special Assistance Coordinator who will contact you to verify your device. For those medical devices that are not listed on our approved list, additional notice may be required for evaluation of the device to ensure it is safe to operate during flight in accordance with FAA regulations.

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Wheelchairs

Whether you need wheelchair assistance at the airport or wish to bring your own manual or battery-operated wheelchair with you, our dedicated staff will do the utmost to make your journey as comfortable as possible. To ensure that all necessary arrangements are made for you, please contact Reservations at least 72 hours prior to departure for your international flight or 24 hours for your U.S. domestic flight.

plus  Passengers Requesting Airport Wheelchair Assistance

plus  Passengers Travelling With Their Own Wheelchair

plus  In-Flight Wheelchairs And Facilities

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Sensory Assistance

Visually OR Hearing Impaired Passengers

  • Visually or hearing impaired customers can be escorted from check-in through security to the gate or an American Airlines Transfer desk where they may wait on their own. Wheelchair assistance can also be requested. Please contact Reservations to arrange assistance at the airport
  • Guide and assistance animals are welcome to travel in the cabin on most international and U.S. domestic flights – learn more
  • Please note that our staff cannot stay with the passenger at all times or guarantee supervision at all points of the journey

Visually AND Hearing Impaired Passengers

  • Passengers that are both visually and hearing impaired can travel unaccompanied on any flight providing they can read Braille or communicate with the flight crew. Please contact Reservations to arrange assistance at the airport
  • Passengers unable to read Braille or to communicate with crew members will need to be accompanied with a guardian travelling on their own ticket
  • American Airlines will provide escort from the check-in area through security and to the gate. Wheelchair assistance can also be requested
  • Guide and assistance animals are welcome to travel in the cabin on most international and U.S. domestic flights –  learn more
  • Passengers will be escorted airside through security to the gate or an American Airlines Transfer desk where they may wait on their own. Please note that our staff cannot stay with the passenger at all times or guarantee supervision at all points of the journey

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Guide And Assistance Animals

  • American Airlines welcomes guide and assistance animals in the cabin on most international and U.S. domestic flights. All trained guide and assistance animals travelling with a passenger with a disability can travel free of charge. You must contact Reservations at least 72 hours prior to departure for your international flight or 48 hours for your U.S. domestic flight   
  • The regular checked or cabin pet procedures apply to any other animals or to animals that are still in training 
  • An identification card or any other written documentation to confirm that the animal is a guide and assistance animal must be presented at check-in. Alternatively, the presence of harnesses or markings on harnesses, tags or the credible verbal assurances of the owner will be considered as sufficient proof that the animal is a guide and assistance animal
  • All guide and assistance animals must be clean, well behaved, remain with the owner at all times, and cannot exhibit disruptive behaviour or pose a threat to the other passengers or other animals
  • Guide and assistance animals are accepted on connecting flights. If you are connecting between an American Airlines flight and another airline, you must contact the other airline to check their policies regarding the transportation of guide and assistance animals. Escort can be provided from the arrival gate to the other airline transfer desk or gate at the connecting point

Guide And Assistance Animals For Emotional Support

  • American Airlines also accepts animals assisting passengers with a mental or emotional disability for travel in the cabin at no additional cost
  • If you need to travel with an animal for emotional support, you will be required to forward a letter from a licensed mental health professional to our Special Assistance Team. Please contact Reservations for more information. A copy of the letter will need to be presented at check-in
  • Please note that therapy animals, used to provide comfort to patients in hospitals, nursing homes or other facilities are not considered guide and assistance animals. The regular pet policy and charges apply.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
Please note that the transportation of guide and assistance animals from / to and through some countries is subject to the additional regulations listed below:

plus  Travel From / To And Through The European Union*

plus  United Kingdom

plus  Hawaii Quarantine

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Passengers With Cognitive And Developmental Disabilities

  • Passengers with intellectual or developmental disabilities that are able to complete all phases of their flight alone are welcome to travel unaccompanied on American Airlines flights. The passenger or relatives must contact Reservations to provide information about their condition and ensure that they will be able to request assistance at every stage of their journey
  • If needed, wheelchair assistance can be requested. Passengers will be escorted airside through security to the gate or an American Airlines Transfer desk where they may wait on their own. Please note that our staff cannot stay with the passenger at all times or guarantee supervision at all points of the journey
  • Our gate personnel will also be on call to provide assistance with boarding and deplaning the aircraft and to connect between flights. Please ask an agent
    at check-in
  • For international flights, it is not possible for parents or guardians to accompany the passenger to the gate or meet them at the gate on arrival
  • This is allowed for U.S. domestic flights. At some airports, a boarding pass must be requested at check-in to gain entry into the gate area

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Customers Requiring Extra Space

  • American Airlines offers customers that require more space the convenience to book an additional seat
  • It is necessary to book an additional seat for customers that:
    • If the passenger requires a seat belt extension and their body extends more than one (1) inch beyond the outermost edge of the armrest, another seat would be required
  • Please note that additional seats are charged at the applicable adult fare and that the single passenger baggage allowance applies
  • Additional seats cannot be booked online. Please call Reservations

Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.

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Special Dietary Needs

  • A variety of special meals can be requested for customers with specific dietary requirements or medical conditions such as diabetes. These need to be pre-ordered at least 24 hours prior to your flight. Please contact Reservations
  • Please note that we cannot remove nor add specific ingredients from our on-board meals
  • You can bring your own food onboard for U.S. domestic flights. For international flights, most food will be confiscated at security after check-in and cannot be brought onboard – contact Reservations for more information
  • Please note that food cannot be heated or chilled onboard the aircraft

Peanut And Other Nut Allergy

  • American recognises that some passengers are allergic to peanuts and other tree nuts. Although we do not serve peanuts, we do serve other nut products (such as warmed nuts) and there may be trace elements of unspecified nut ingredients, including peanut oils, in meals and snacks.
  • We do not have in place procedures that allow our flight crews not to serve these foods upon request of a customer. We do not provide nut "buffer zones". Our planes are cleaned regularly, but these cleanings are not designed to ensure the removal of nut allergens, nor are our air filtration systems designed to remove nut allergens.
  • Additionally, other customers may bring peanuts or other tree nuts on board. Therefore, we cannot guarantee customers will not be exposed to peanuts or other tree nuts during flight, and we strongly encourage customers to take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for the possibility of exposure.
Find out information for travel on British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld partners.