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Passenger Acceptance Index

General Policy
Other Airlines
Special Assistance Coordinators
Passengers Accepted - With SAC Clearance
Passengers Not Accepted
Customers With Disabilities
Pre-Reserved Seats
Assistive Devices
Accommodation Of Special Needs Customers

Additional Information Available:


General Policy
American Airlines policy is to accept all passengers without discrimination. However, in some situations we must refuse to qualify certain passengers for transportation in the interest of the safety of all passengers.


Other Airlines
Before booking questionable passengers for travel on other airlines, including flights operated by oneworld alliance and codeshare partners, agents should contact the other airlines directly to determine passenger acceptance policies.

As a reminder, passenger and medical acceptance policies, which cover travelers with medical conditions or special requirements, may vary between airlines. The most restrictive policies of any carrier participating in the itinerary apply; therefore, agents are advised to check each carrier's references for acceptance policies. For codeshare flights, the passenger acceptance policies of the operating carrier would apply.


Special Assistance Coordinators

American Airlines will do all possible to provide the best customer service for all passengers who require special assistance. American Airlines reservations' offices maintain a staff of Special Assistance Coordinators (SACs) who work with customers who have identified themselves as having disabilities. SACs are responsible for coordinating with the medical director, airport, and customer when the acceptance of a passenger is questionable. Queue records to SAC at DFW105/11 or contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance.

The following conditions are accepted only with SAC clearance. Please contact your local AA Reservations office for special assistance follow up.

Passengers Accepted - With SAC Clearance:

  • Conditions that may become dangerous in flight, or whose condition is such that there is doubt that they can complete the flight safely without extraordinary medical attention.
  • Hospital - released within two weeks of travel requires a doctor's statement authorizing air travel.
  • Required Intravenous systems (IVs) need clearance.
  • Passengers with a disease or symptoms of a disease that has been determined by a federal public health authority to be transmissible to other persons in the normal course of a flight.
  • Passengers who would require an unusual amount or unreasonable type of assistance or medical treatment en route.
  • Escorted or unescorted mental patients.
  • Escorted prisoners.
  • Non-ambulatory passengers requiring special assistance.
  • Infants one to seven days old must have a doctor's statement indicating the infant is medically stable for flight and their pulmonary system is sufficiently mature to withstand relative hypoxia and dry air at cabin altitude.
  • Pregnant Women
    • Domestic Travel (includes within the U.S., between the U.S. and Canada, or between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands).
      • A medical certificate is required if travel is within four weeks of the delivery date in an uncomplicated pregnancy.
      • Travel is not permitted when requested within seven days before or after the delivery date without a medical certificate. SAC clearance is required.
    • International Travel
      • Travel is not advised within 30 days of the due date, unless the passenger is examined by an obstetrician within 48 hours of the outbound departure and certified in writing as medically stable for flight.
      • Travel within ten days of the due date on international travel must have SAC clearance.
      • Travel within seven days after delivery requires SAC clearance.


Passengers Not Accepted

The following types of passengers will NOT be accepted for travel:

  • Passengers who must travel on a stretcher.
  • Pregnant passengers expecting delivery within seven days of departure. For travel trans-atlantic, trans-pacific, and to or from Central or South America, is not permitted if expecting delivery within 30 days of departure.
  • Newborn babies (within seven days of delivery) unless parent or guardian has a medical certificate indicating travel is authorized.
  • Customers with questionable contagious diseases. Contact SAC for determination. Queue record to DFW105/11 or contact American Airlines reservations. Contagious diseases are indicated below.
    • Chicken Pox
    • Diphtheria
    • Hepatitis A
    • Lice
    • Measles - German and Red
    • Meningococcal Meningitis
    • Mumps
    • Polio
    • Open, draining or bleeding sores
    • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Comatose passengers are not accepted on American Airlines. The passenger must be able to follow emergency procedures.
  • Passengers unable to sit upright with seatbelt fastened. The only exception is a passenger in a body cast. Contact American Airlines Reservations for details.


Customers With Disabilities

American Airlines endeavors to provide passengers with disabilities dignified, professional and courteous service at all times. We have a team of employees who regularly consult with disability advisory groups on how we can improve airline accessibility and the quality of our service. American Airlines commitment to our customers with disabilities is to provide them quality, value, and unsurpassed professionalism, as offered to all of our customers.

The following are some advance measures that can be taken to ensure a comfortable and worry-free flight:

  • Book longer connection times for those who need more time.
  • Communicate.
    • Notify Special Assistance Coordinators (SACs) by queuing the reservation to DFW105/11 or by calling American Airlines Reservations for assistance.
    • Use the proper Special Service Codes to communicate support service requests. See Special Service Codes for a complete list.
    • Detailed documentation of the PNR helps to alert airport personnel when advance arrangements should be made.
    • Battery powered mobility devices.
      • Suggest that customers travel with their own device tool kit, if they have one.
      • Encourage clients to check their device through to their final destination. Although AA will accommodate the customer's wishes, reassembly and corresponding disassembly at the connection city may be impractical within the standard time frames. Offer to arrange for an airport courtesy wheelchair to their connection instead.


Pre-Reserved Seats
American Airlines blocks a limited number of seats on each aircraft to accommodate customers who identify themselves as having a qualified disability. Adjacent seats are provided, under certain circumstances, for customers with disabilities who must travel with a companion for assistance.


Assistive Devices

American Airlines accepts motorized and non-motorized assistive devices for transport.

  • When necessary, we will disassemble and reassemble wheelchairs or assistive devices for customers when they travel.
  • AA and American Eagle provide storage for one passenger's collapsible, manual wheelchair in the cabin of each aircraft. This service is available on a first-come, first-served basis and has priority over carry-on baggage belonging to other customers who board at the same city, provided the customer follows the pre-boarding procedure.
  • In-cabin stowage space for assistive devices cannot be pre-reserved, but AA and American Eagle accept carry-on wheelchairs, provided they collapse to fit in an overhead bin or under a seat.
  • Non-collapsible wheelchairs or scooters are accepted as checked baggage. These items can be checked at the main ticket counter or the departure gate.
  • American Airlines offers a special wheelchair service that allows customers to check their wheelchair at the departure gate and claim it at their arrival gate free of charge.
  • Although customers can arrange to claim their chair at the connecting city, we recommend that the chair be checked through to the final destination. The additional time required claiming and re-checking your chair at the connecting city may compromise your ability to make your connection.
  • Assistive devices approved for cabin transport do not count towards the combined number of checked and carry-on baggage a passenger is allowed free of charge, nor do they count towards the limit of carry-on items a customer may bring on board.


Accommodation of Special Needs Customers
If a customer has special needs, upon request, pre-boarding assistance will be provided. This allows customers the opportunity to be seated prior to general boarding. A special aisle chair is available to assist if a customer is unable to walk. All of AA's jet aircraft are equipped with specially designed seats that feature movable aisle armrests to help make seating easier.


For information about passenger's personal Portable Oxygen Concentrators - visit this page


Updated October 14, 2014

Information contained on this website is subject to change at any time without notice. American Airlines shall not be liable for any consequences resulting from your reliance on the information.