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Traveling with special needs to/from the USA

If you are a passenger with special needs, we are here to provide you with the assistance to make your journey as convenient and comfortable as possible. Air India will not refuse transportation to any individual on the basis of a disability. If you need to speak to someone regarding a special service request regarding your disability, please contact your local Air India office.

Pre-travel assistance

Prior to your travel, we recommend that you contact us by telephone at least 72 hours before your flight at 1-212-407-1456 between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm EST Monday through Friday to discuss and schedule any additional assistance you may need. During other hours, please call 1-800-223-7776 for assistance. Our reservations agents are standing by to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have

Assistance at the airport and in flight

At the airport

If you need a wheelchair or other mobility assistance to help you through the airport, we recommend that you contact us 48 hours prior to your flight to schedule additional assistance. If you cannot pre-book, an Air India employee will be ready to help you at the airport.

In flight assistance

We will do our best to assign you to a seat that is best suited to your needs. We are committed to making your flight as enjoyable as possible. However, pursuant to applicable FAA and safety regulations we might not be able to accommodate your request to be seated at emergency exits, or in cross aisles that form a part of emergency exit access rows, if you are unable to assist in an evacuation of the aircraft. An on board aisle wheelchair is provided on all our flights to assist passengers with transportation to and from the restrooms however, please note that crew cannot assist passengers in the restroom.

Traveling with your own wheelchair or other assistive device

If you are traveling with your own wheelchair, scooter, segway, or other assistive device, we recommend that you contact us with the height and weight information at least 48 hours prior to your journey so that we can make the necessary arrangements. We also request that you come to the airport one hour prior to the recommended check-in time so that we may ensure proper handling of your battery-powered mobility aids.
Small collapsible assistive devices that can be safely stowed in an overhead bin or under your seat can be stored by a crew member.
Air India accepts assistive devices with batteries as checked baggage as well as inside the cabin. Assistive devices with batteries include respirators, CPAP machines (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine), portable oxygen concentrators (POC) and ventilators. We will allow qualified individuals with a disability who are using FAA approved personal respirators/ventilators to bring their equipment, including non-spillable batteries, onboard the aircraft. You must have sufficient battery power for 150% of the maximum flight duration.
If your wheelchair/assistive device is checked with baggage it will be returned to you at your final destination. We will transport you in another wheelchair from check in to the aircraft, to any connecting flights, and upon arrival to the baggage collection area at the final destination.
If your assistive device is battery powered, please be advised that both spillable and non-spillable batteries are accepted by Air India. Batteries must be properly labeled and clearly marked "SPILLABLE” or "NON-SPILLABLE” to ensure proper handling procedures for the appropriate battery type. A battery may be refused if there is any sign of damage or leakage.
If you cannot pre-book, an Air India employee will be happy to assist you at the airport to coordinate storage of your assistive devices on the aircraft.

Traveling with an assistant

An assistant or companion will be needed to travel with a passenger under the following circumstances:

  • - If the passenger is traveling in a stretcher
  • - If the passenger cannot assist in their own evacuation during an emergency
  • - If the passenger cannot communicate or respond to the crew regarding safety matters
  • - If the passenger cannot comprehend safety instructions due to diminished mental capacity

Passengers are reminded that the crew cannot help with breathing, actual eating, the administering of medication, or assist in using lavatory facilities. Assistance with opening items on meal trays will be provided if required, but feeding assistance cannot be provided by the crew. We will assist passengers moving to and from the lavatory; yet are unable to assist within the lavatory.

Visually impaired passengers

If you are visually impaired, we recommend that you contact Air India prior to travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements. If you cannot pre-book, any airport employee will be happy to assist. Visually impaired customers will be escorted to and from the aircraft and provided other assistance to find locations in the airport.

Hearing impaired passengers

If you are hearing impaired, we recommend that you contact us prior to travel so that we can make any necessary arrangements. If you cannot pre-book, an Air India employee will be pleased to assist you at the airport.Hearing impaired passengers are offered the following assistance:

  • - Separate briefings about safety procedures
  • - Separate briefings about delays and other travel issues
  • - Captioning in English for the in-flight safety video

Traveling with service/assistance animal

Acceptance of Passengers with Impaired Vision/Seeing- Eye Dog

A dog trained to lead the blind, which accompanies the passenger with impaired vision will not be carried unless proper permits are obtained for entry into the country or territory of destination and countries of transit, where such permits are required. All permits are required to be presented at the time of reservation. The dog must be properly harnessed and muzzled. The dog may be carried in the passenger cabin or in the hold depending upon the individual country’s regulations as well as size of the dog. The dog shall not be permitted to occupy a seat. The dog will be carried free of charge in addition to the normal free baggage allowance. If any country or territory on the route prohibits the entry of dogs, carriage will be refused. All formalities required by the government authorities at the destination/transit stations are complied with.

Reporting disability related problems via U.S. DOT

Complaint Resolution Official (CRO)

If you encounter problems while travelling on Air India, please feel free to ask any crew member or ground staff for a Complaint Resolution Official (CRO).
Our CRO’s have been specially trained in sensitivity and awareness, as well as all applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and legislation. They will be glad to respond to your concerns.
Our CRO’s are available during operating hours at all our U.S. stations during operating hours.If you feel that Air India has violated any provision of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382, you may file a formal complaint under the applicable procedures of 14 CFR Part 382.65:

By Mail:

U.S. Department of Transportation Aviation
Consumer Protection Division/C-75400
7th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590


Aviation Consumer Protection Division
(Link to: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer)

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Disability Hotline:

If you have experienced time-sensitive, disability related air travel service problems that require immediate attention, you may call 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. This hotline is available from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
You may obtain additional information on the U.S. Department of Transportation website under www.dot.gov.

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