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Airline travel

Domestic air travel

Australia's domestic airlines generally need advance notice of travellers' special needs. They ask that you advise of your assistance needs when booking your flight, and usually require you to book 5 or more days in advance.

Providing advance notice of your assistance needs will give you priority when boarding the plane, and a one-on-one safety briefing if you have a hearing or vision impairment.

Read about:

Wheelchair access

Most flights limit the number of wheelchairs in the cabin to 2.

Not all planes carry on-board wheelchairs—ask the airline when booking.

International air travel

Not all countries provide the same level of accessibility for people with disability. Planning ahead will help you make your travel experience smoother. Key points to think about include:

  • Book direct flights wherever possible. Let your airline know of any special assistance needs when you book.
  • Book flights that allow plenty of time for transfers between planes or other forms of transport.
  • Check the rules of the country you're visiting about items you are travelling with, like medication and assistance animals.
  • Make sure your accommodation will meet your particular needs before leaving home.
  • Check the voltage used in the country you are visiting. Have you got the right adaptors?
  • If you are travelling with a wheelchair, have it serviced before heading away.
  • Ask your doctor for a supply of your medication to cover your travel time and any emergencies, as well as a letter of explanation for entry into other countries.

Travel insurance

It's important to choose insurance with enough coverage to meet medical expenses in the country or countries you will visit, as well as coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

Travel insurance prices are based on a number of factors, including the type of cover requested, the age of the person to be insured, the destination of travel, and any existing medical conditions.

SmartTraveller warns against travelling overseas without adequate insurance and link to resources to help you choose an insurance provider.

More information

Read about travelling with an assistance dog.

Mobility International USA offers useful travel tips on subjects including:

Travel tips for wheelchair users

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has a range of travel tips for wheelchair users.

Topics include:

  • what to do when making reservations
  • the process at the airport
  • transport of wheelchairs
  • aisle chairs used by airlines
  • use of the facilities during the flight.
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
11 April 2014

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