Health and Medical

Disability Assistance

Disability Assistance


We consider the comfort and well-being of all passengers to be our most considerable responsibility. To that end, our crew members are always on hand to help in any way they can. We remain devoted to ensuring you have access to all our facilities and enjoy an incredible journey while flying with us. On this page, you will find all the information on the services we provide to travellers with a disability or reduced mobility.

Categories of Disability

Irrespective of their physical or medical condition, disabled passengers are categorised into various groups. These groups are identified in airline messages by AIRIMP codes, such as:

  • WCHR Wheelchair: R for ramp (passenger can ascend/descend steps and walk to the seat) 
  • WCHS Wheelchair: S for steps (passenger is unable to ascend/descend steps but able to walk to the seat) 
  • WCHC: Wheelchair-C for cabin seat (passenger completely immobile) 
  • STCR: Stretcher passenger 
  • BLND: Blind passenger (specify if accompanied by guide dog) 
  • DEAF: Deaf passenger
  • MEDA: Medical case (medical clearance required) 
  • OXYG: Needing oxygen during flight 
  • LEGL: Left leg-in cast 
  • LEGR: Right leg-in cast 
  • LEGB: Both legs in cast 

Passengers with Physical Disability

If you need help moving around in the airport or during the flight, we can help. Special requests can be made by the passenger, their family, or a medical authority when making a booking. This will help us serve you better.

Wheelchairs Onboard 

To ensure that we uphold the civil rights of passengers with a disability and offer a barrier-free environment, free usage of wheelchairs is made available to passengers travelling in any class. 

  • Please pre-book wheelchairs during flight booking or ticket issuance to avoid last-minute delays or non-availability of wheelchairs. You can request mobility assistance through the booking office from where you booked.
  • Considering air safety requirements, the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs is restricted on our flights. The objective of such restriction is primarily the safety of all in the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation. 
  • If you do wish to carry your wheelchair and other assistive devices in the cabin, please note that it is subject to the availability of space. 
  • Wheelchairs or assistive devices will be loaded in the baggage hold, easily accessible for timely return to you.
  • If you check in your wheelchair, you will be provided with an airline or airport wheelchair. 
  • You can take your wheelchair to the aircraft's door. The wheelchair must be duly tagged and sent for loading in the hold. 
  • Narrow wheelchair-type devices without armrests are available in the passenger cabin for assistance onboard.


To facilitate wheelchair assistance at the airport, we ensure that:

  • Wheelchair requests are adequately recorded and confirmed in the SSR element for each flight and interline journey segment.
  • Only appropriate inputs are made in the system at booking to ensure that the same is reflected for information and action by the cabin crew. 
  • Disabled passengers are boarded first and deplaned last to avoid interference with the movement of other passengers and are seated close to the toilet and aisle. 
  • The commander and cabin crew are briefed on the passenger's medical history to enable them to assist onboard.
  • After departure, messages are sent to all en route destinations to assist during transit and arrival. 
  • On arrival, you will be assisted in deplaning, and an escort will take you to the baggage hall or connecting carrier if there is an onward connection.

Medical Clearance Not Required 

  • Medical clearance or special forms are not required for impaired passengers who only need special assistance at the airport or during embarking or disembarking.
  • The medical department of any carrier may issue a FREMEC (Frequent Travelers' Medical Card) for passengers who need assistance to travel. A valid FREMEC card is then accepted as medical clearance. 

Medical Clearance Required 

The following passengers will be subject to clearance from Air India's medical services department and medical department or advisors of all other interline carriers involved in the journey: 

  • For diseases believed to be contagious and communicable. 
  • Any condition that may harm the welfare and comfort of other passengers. 
  • If the situation poses a potential hazard to the safety of the flight (including the possibility of a diversion and unscheduled landing).
  • If medical attention and special equipment are needed to maintain the passenger's health during the flight. 
  • If passengers have a medical condition that could aggravate during the flight. 

Documents to be carried 

  • An information sheet must be filled in containing all information on medical assistance required by the passenger. This must be done at the time of booking (agent's office or airline office).
  • MEDIF form that is completed by the attending doctor. The form must be forwarded to Air India's medical services department for clearance. After receiving consent to travel from the medical department and that of the other participating carriers, the booking will be facilitated, and PNR will be completed.
  • Passengers requiring a continuous oxygen supply will only be booked on short-haul, nonstop flights. 

Passengers with Intellectual or Developmental Disability

Passengers with developmental disabilities will be accepted onboard only when 

  • Travelling with a suitable attendant.
  • The trained attendant must carry the treating physician's certificate along with a prescription for an injectable sedative medicine which may be required to be administered by the attendant before the start of travel or required en route.
  • The attendant must be briefed that no cabin crew will be specially assigned to look after the concerned passenger.

Passengers with Visual Impairment with Guide Dogs

A guide dog trained to lead the visually impaired will be permitted onboard only if required permits are obtained for entry into the destination and countries of transit.

  • All permits are required to be presented at the time of reservation.
  • The guide dog must be properly harnessed and muzzled.
  • It may be carried in the passenger cabin or the hold depending upon the individual country's regulations as well as the size of the dog.
  • The guide dog shall not be permitted to occupy a seat.
  • The guide dog will be carried free of charge in addition to the standard free baggage allowance.
  • Carriage of a guide dog will be refused if any country or territory en route prohibits its entry. 
  • Carriage of guide dogs is prohibited in the passenger compartment or hold of long haul and nonstop flights.

Refusal of carriage

Air India may refuse to carry passengers under the following conditions: 

  • A passenger's physical or medical condition threatens the safety of other passengers and the property, aircraft, or crew.
  • A passenger refuses to comply with Air India's travel conditions.
  • Passengers with hearing or visual impairment, limited mobility and requiring a stretcher are not accompanied by an escort.
  • The passenger has an infection or condition that causes discomfort to other passengers.


The  MEDIF form is an IATA-approved document that lists the minimum information to be provided to the airline to carry disabled passengers. The airline is free to ask for additional information or clarifications if required.

  • The medical forms must be filled in for clearance and may be obtained from any Air India office. 
  • For flying disabled passengers, the MEDIF form is to be filled up by the passenger or his authorised representative in case the passenger is unable to do so.
  • An important aspect of MEDIF (information on clinical condition) must be completed by the physician in charge of passengers with impairments.
  • To complete the form, it is mandatory to include the treating physician's certification and the passenger's undertaking/declaration at the end of the MEDIF.
  • The passenger or their representative must sign MEDIF requesting air travel.
  • MEDIF forms must be filled in every time a disabled passenger travels by commercial airlines, and the clearance is valid only for a particular flight and date.

Where interline travel on other airlines is involved, advance arrangement with the other carrier is necessary to confirm special meals, medicines, oxygen, ambulance, and other requirements.

US Rule for Non-Discrimination based on Disability 

This rule covers Air India for any flight that begins or ends at a US Airport. An accessible copy of the rule can also be obtained from the US Department of Transport using the following methods:

  • For calls made from within the United States, by telephone via the toll-free hotline for air travellers with disabilities at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY).
  • By telephone to the aviation consumer protection division at 202-366-2220 (voice) or 202-366-0511 (TTY).
  • By mail, to the Air Consumer Protection Division, C-75, US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., West Building, Room W96-432, Washington, DC 20590 
  • On the Aviation Consumer Protection Division's website

Learn more about disability access facilitation in the  UK  and  Australia.