Qatar Airways helps you fly and travel in a wheelchair
Qatar Airways understands that special needs require special attention. As such, it provides a number of special services to meet your specific needs. From professional medical care to escort services for young passengers traveling alone, the Qatari airline pays special attention to making your trip as smooth and comfortable as possible.
In order to provide them with the service that suits you, Qatar Airways invites its passengers with reduced mobility to contact their staff and inform them of their most demanding needs in advance (at least 48 hours before departure), by completing and submitting this form.
In addition to passengers with a physical habdicap, deaf and visually impaired travelers should also contact Qatar Airways two days before their flight departs.
Qatar Airways offers assistance for people with reduced mobility
At Doha International Airport, Qatar Airways offers access to 24-hour medical assistance. Medical elevators and wheelchairs are easily accessible. Passengers suffering from a health problem are advised to consult their general practitioner before embarking on their journey. Make sure to let its friendly staff know when checking in for additional assistance.
Boarding the Qatar Airways plane
People with reduced mobility are the first people to board the plane. If you have been sitting in your own power chair until then, this is when support workers will carry you to a very small and uncomfortable transfer chair.
Ideal boarding is when the departure lounge is connected to the aircraft by what is called an airport walkway. This is a hallway that leads directly from the waiting room at the airport to the interior of the aircraft. The floor is level and the assistance agents carry you to the transfer chair only as you step over the step to the entrance to the aircraft cabin.
When there is no airport walkway, passengers are taken directly onto the tarmac. To board the plane, you have two options, depending on the airport you are in and the availability of teams and equipment. Either two agents carry you to your transfer seat up the stairs from the tarmac to the aircraft cockpit.
Protect your electric wheelchair
If you are traveling with a foldable wheelchair, it will likely be placed in the device with you and you will not have to worry about it.
In the case of an electric wheelchair, it will be taken in the hold and treated as baggage, with more or less caution depending on the staff … It may be wise to protect your wheelchair by wrapping it in bubble wrap and / or plastic film (protect the joystick well too). Beforehand, remove the removable parts such as the headrest, footrests and anti-decubitus cushion: you will take them with you on board, for added safety.
Once your wheelchair has been protected, affix “Fragile” labels to it, along with an easy-to-use guide, to indicate how to use it. Qatar Airways offers pretty baggage tags for each type of chair on its website: don’t hesitate to take inspiration from them.
As a precaution, take pictures of your wheelchair to have proof of its condition before boarding. You can also ask someone traveling with you or a passenger to make a short video to show it works well. You can never be too careful.
Note that if you want to protect your wheelchair, you will then have to ask to be transferred to a manual wheelchair at the airport, so that you can then wrap your wheelchair.
– Placement on board the aircraft
Civil Aviation safety regulations provide that passengers with special needs cannot sit near the aircraft’s emergency exits, or occupy seats in certain areas of the aircraft.
Pick up at the arrival airport
As a safety measure, people with reduced mobility are always the last to get off the plane, after all other passengers. When the airport assistance agents arrive, they transfer you from your seat to the small transfer chair that allows you to exit the plane. Depending on the configuration, you will take the airport walkway, walk down the stairs to the transfer chair, or take the ambulift, just like on departure.
If you find yourself outside for a few minutes and it rains, the assistance is unlikely to have a protective cloak to lend you. Also, plan ahead and bring one, or a poncho for example.
In most cases, you will find your electric wheelchair when you exit the plane, otherwise you will have to wait in the baggage claim room. Before getting onto it, check that your wheelchair is working perfectly and that nothing has been broken during the flight.
If you notice any anomalies, ask assistance to take you to the claims counter of the airline with which you traveled, to establish a report. Thus, any future repairs related to the damage caused during the flight will be covered by the airline’s insurance. You can also show photos or videos of the wheelchair taken before boarding, if necessary, to support your declaration.