Customers with special needs

Air Canada is dedicated to your safety and comfort. In addition to providing special meals or assistance to unaccompanied minors, Air Canada looks after the special needs of customers who require assistance because of a disability or medical condition.

Special services include:
  • Identification of your special needs or condition through a special notation on your boarding card;
  • Assistance with:
    • registration at the check-in counter,
    • moving to the boarding area, as well as boarding and deplaning,
    • moving to the general public area on arrival or, if in the same terminal, to a representative of another carrier;
  • Stowing and retrieving baggage and mobility aids;
  • Periodic inquiries about your needs and attending to them;
  • Assistance in unwrapping and cutting food, and opening beverages.
Advance notice and medical approval for travel

Some circumstances and medical conditions require that you provide advance notice and medical approval for travel.

All passengers with a special need are asked to review Air Canada’s Advance notice and medical approval for travel requirements carefully before booking a flight.

Please also view specific medical approval requirements which apply to itineraries between Canada and the U.S.


Special needs

To help us respond appropriately to your special needs, it is important that you review the information below as it relates to your particular situation.


Arriving early at the airport

Specific early check-in requirements apply to itineraries between Canada and the U.S.

For all other itineraries, you will need to check in at the airport at least 60 minutes in advance of the recommended check-in time for your flight if:
  • You require medical oxygen (e.g. Medipak or CPAP), or need to use your personal oxygen concentrator (POC).
    • View list of approved POCs for travel on Air Canada flights.
    • Please note that POCs must bear a label from the manufacturer to reflect that it has been tested to meet requirements for such devices set by the Canadian government.
  • You are travelling with an electric wheelchair.
  • You have both a severe hearing and severe vision impairment.
  • You need Air Canada to provide hazardous materials packaging for the battery of your battery-operated mobility aid (e.g. wheelchair).
  • You are travelling as part of a group of ten or more qualified individuals with a disability.


Other important considerations:

Air travel during pregnancy:
Any woman with a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour may travel up to and including her 36th week on Air Canada, Jazz and Air Canada coded flights operated by Tier 3 carriers.

Needle disposal:
Passengers needing to dispose of a used syringe while onboard the aircraft are required to advise a member of the cabin crew. A sharps/syringe disposal container will then be made available to the passenger for safe disposal. Seat pockets must not be used to dispose of used syringes.

Washroom accessibility:
While most aircraft have facilities which are accessible to customers with disabilities, a few exceptions do apply.

Flights between Canada and the U.S:
If you’re travelling on a flight between Canada and the U.S., or if you have purchased a ticket with an Air Canada-operated flight through a US-based airline (the ticket will then bear the code of the US airline, e.g. United Airlines’ UA 7811), please view specific medical approval requirements as they apply to itineraries between Canada and the U.S..

Codeshare flights:
If you’e travelling on a codeshare flight, please refer to the list of Air Canada’s codeshare partners and visit the website of the codeshare partner with whom you are travelling to learn about its special service policies.

Flights to/from an airport within the EU:
In all European Union countries, it is also the responsibility of the airport operator to provide assistance to anyone with a disability during their time at the airport. If you are flying to/from an airport within the EU, please contact Air Canada Reservations, where possible, at least 48 hours in advance, so that we may provide the airport operator with any required advance information.

Complaints or concerns: If you have a complaint or concern with our personnel about discrimination, accommodations, or services with respect to passengers with a disability that has not been resolved by our personnel to your satisfaction, we’d like to know about it.