Special Needs / Passengers with Disabilities
An individual with a disability means any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.
A “qualified individual with a disability” is defined as an individual with a disability who obtains a valid ticket, comes to the airport for a flight, and meets the nondiscriminatory Contract of Carriage requirements that apply to all passengers.
General Prohibition of Discrimination
ViaAir does not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability in the provision of air transportation.
The amended rules to implement the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 contain certain requirements designed to address issues that have arisen in providing air travel to individuals with disabilities. The regulations are intended to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to air transportation and that carriers not impose restrictions on such passengers except those necessary to the safe carriage of all passengers.
Refusal to Transport
ViaAir may refuse transportation to any passenger on the basis of safety, and may refuse to provide transportation to any passenger whose carriage would violate FAA regulations. In exercising this authority, ViaAir personnel may not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability on the basis of disability.
Advance Notice Requirements
Except as noted below, ViaAir may not require a qualified individual with a disability to provide advance notice of his/her intention to travel or of his/her disability as a condition of receiving transportation.
ViaAir may require up to 48 hours advance notice and one-hour advance check-in concerning a qualified individual with a disability who wishes to receive any of the following services:
- Transportation for an electric wheelchair.
- Hazardous material packing for a battery for a wheelchair or other assistive device.
- Accommodation for a group of 10 or more qualified individuals with a disability, who make reservations and travel as a group
Advance notice is also required for bringing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator on board (see more in our POC policy).
If a qualified individual with a disability provides advance notice to ViaAir and the individual is forced to change to the flight of another carrier because of the cancellation or delay of the original flight, ViaAir personnel will provide rerouting assistance to the individual. This may include, but is not limited to, assistance with reservations and ticketing, the provision of ground transportation to the second carrier, and/or assistance in securing appropriate services from the other airline.
ViaAir is unable to accommodate passengers who require an incubator, a respirator, or a stretcher.
ViaAir may not require a qualified individual with a disability to travel with a safety assistant, except in certain limited circumstances dealing with safety.
ViaAir will require that a qualified individual with a disability, meeting any of the following criteria, travel with a safety assistant as a condition of carriage on the grounds of safety.
- A person who, because of mental disability, is unable to comprehend or respond appropriately to safety-related instructions.
- A person who has both severe hearing and severe vision impairments, and cannot establish some means of communication with carrier personnel adequate to permit transmission of the required safety briefing.
- A person with mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to assist in his/her evacuation of the aircraft.
Seat Assignments and Seating Accommodations
ViaAir may not exclude any qualified individual with a disability from any seat or require that an individual with a disability sit in any particular seat on the basis of disability EXCEPT in compliance with Exit Seating regulations.
ViaAir will permit a trained service animal to accompany a qualified individual with a disability. A service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer's assigned seat but cannot protrude into the aisles. Customers may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals provided its use meets stowage requirements. Exit row seating is prohibited. Documentation may be required for service animal validation.
Passengers Using Wheelchairs
Passengers using wheelchairs will be accepted unaccompanied. There is no limit to the number of accompanied or unaccompanied non-ambulatory customers accepted on any ViaAir flight.
ViaAir accepts all types of wheelchairs and carts including folding or non-folding, manual, and electric. One wheelchair per customer will be transported at no extra charge in addition to the normal bag allowance.
ViaAir aircraft cannot accommodate wheelchairs in the aircraft cabin. All wheelchairs travel as checked or gate-checked baggage placed in the aircraft’s baggage compartment. Wheelchairs and other assistive devices have priority over valet baggage belonging to other customers who board at the same city.
Passengers Using Crutches/Walkers
Passengers using crutches or walkers are acceptable for carriage and, depending upon the extent of their disability, may or may not need assistance; however, ViaAir personnel will always extend an offer to give assistance as needed.
Crutches or canes can generally be stowed in the cabin (under the passenger’s seat, in the overhead compartment or wardrobe), but must never be stowed in the path to or adjacent to an emergency exit. Walkers may be stowed in the baggage compartment due to their size/shape. Care must always be exercised to avoid damage by shifting cargo, and should always be loaded for easy access at the destination station.
Stowage of Personal Equipment
ViaAir does not count any assistive device brought into the cabin by an individual with a disability as part of their personal item carry on allotment.
The baggage liability limits do not apply to liability for loss, damage, or delay concerning wheelchairs or other assistive devices.
For customers with a communicable disease or infection, ViaAir will not:
- Refuse to provide transportation -or-
- Delay transportation -or-
- Require a medical certificate -or-
- Impose any conditions, restrictions, or requirements not imposed on all other customers unless the customer’s condition poses a significant risk to the health and safety of others and the risk cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures
Customers whose travel is delayed due to restrictions imposed by ViaAir related to their communicable disease or infection may use their tickets without additional fare collection within twelve (12) months of the date of the ticket or have any unused value refunded without penalty.
Customers who are denied travel due to a communicable disease or infection, upon request, shall be provided a written explanation within 10 days of their request to ViaAir. The letter will explain the denial of transportation.
ViaAir does not normally require a medical certificate as a condition of acceptance for travel. However, ViaAir may require one if there is reasonable doubt that a customer can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight. The medical certificate must be dated within 10 days of the flight for which it is presented.
The Department of Transportation requires that carriers maintain a copy of procedures regarding customers who need assistance be available at each airport for inspection by interested individuals. ViaAir satisfies this requirement by allowing customers to view DOT Rule 14 CFR, Part 382. A printed copy is available at each airport.