In general, the service or assistance to be received by passengers with reduced mobility consists of:
– At the departure airport
All airports served by South African Airways have properly signposted meeting points inside and outside the terminals, where people with reduced mobility can easily announce their arrival at the airport and request assistance. . To ensure an adequate and quality assistance service, you must go to the nearest meeting point well in advance and advise of your arrival. If the airline or airport manager has not set an arrival time for you at the meeting point, you must arrive at least 2 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time.
Once their arrival has been communicated, the airport manager must:
– Move from the meeting point to the check-in counter
– Proceed with the registration of your ticket and check your luggage
– Move from the check-in counter to the plane, passing immigration, customs and security controls.
– People with reduced mobility must pass the same security checks as the rest of the passengers. If you need to take with you products collected from the list of prohibited items (for example syringes) or liquid medicines that do not comply with the existing restriction on liquids allowed in the cabin, contact the airline and the airport manager. to indicate your needs.
– Board the plane, for which elevators, wheelchairs or any other type of assistance that may be appropriate must be provided
– Move from the aircraft door to your seat
– Provide ground assistance to recognized guide dogs and assistance dogs certified by the corresponding Authority, where applicable.
– Ground handling of all mobility equipment, including equipment such as electric wheelchairs (with 48 hours notice and provided that space limitations on board the aircraft do not prevent this, and by subjecting all this to the application of the relevant legislation on dangerous goods).
at the airport, in general, the PRM is allowed to stay in their own wheelchair until they reach the aircraft door as long as the wheelchair is manual and in the transfer there is no need to going up and down stairs, which could pose a risk to staff. Otherwise, the airport manager will provide a chair for the transfer and return your wheelchair to you upon arrival at your destination.
When a disabled person or person with reduced mobility receives the assistance of an attendant, this person must be able to provide, on request, the necessary assistance at the airport and during boarding and disembarking.
Assistance provided to PRMs on board the aircraft
When boarding the plane, if you use a folding wheelchair, it can be stowed in the passenger cabin if there is room for it. If the wheelchair is battery operated, it must fit in the aircraft hold for flight safety reasons. At the time of booking, the airline must let you know if you have a wheelchair on board. If you need any of them, you should ask the company when booking if they have any. The crew can remove your crutches or sticks before take off to place them in the right place.
Once on board the aircraft, the airline must:
– Store and collect your luggage inside the plane
– Transport medical equipment.
– Free transport of up to two mobility devices per PRM, including electric wheelchairs.
– Move from your seat to the aircraft door
If you have a sensory disability, South African Airways staff should approach you and provide the appropriate level of assistance during the flight. For example, they should explain emergency procedures and help you with food packaging.
If you are traveling with your guide dog or assistance dog certified by the relevant Authority, they can board with you at no additional cost provided you notify the company in advance. They must be equipped with a muzzle, collar and leash. For the transport of guide dogs, the airline company may require the animal to meet certain conditions in order to be able to make cross-border movements, in particular with regard to identification systems (passport) and proof of vaccination. The guide dog or certified assistance dog can accompany you in the cabin at the location assigned by the crew.
When a PRM is assisted by an escort, the airline will make reasonable efforts to offer the accompanying person a seat next to the PRM.
The airline must make all reasonable efforts to adapt the seats to the needs of each person with a disability or reduced mobility who so requests, as far as safety and availability requirements allow.
Make sure you have all the necessary medications in your hand baggage and check that you have enough in case of a flight delay.