Air France Special Assistance

Air France

Download Air France Special Assistance Guide

REDUCED MOBILITY AND OTHER DISABILITIES

BOOKING

BOOK YOUR TICKET AND REQUEST
THE ASSISTANCE YOU NEED

In order for us to best meet your needs for special assistance, please make your assistance request when you book your ticket, at least 48 hours before your departure.
You can book your ticket and request the assistance you need online. You can contact Saphir,our service for passengers with reduced mobility.
For most assistance requests, you can book, pay and have your ticket issued online. Certain assistance requests (traveling with a personal wheelchair, an assistance animal, etc.) require that you provide additional information. After booking online, you will be contacted by a Saphir agent to finalize your trip preparation and proceed to payment and ticket issuance.
Please note: some Air France flights may be operated by another airline in accordance with a code share agreement. In such cases, the operating company’s rules will apply. The rules of the operating carrier may be different, and in some cases, more restrictive than Air France’s rules. Therefore, Air France may not be able to confirm the requested assistance. Do not hesitate to contact a Saphir agent to find out which company will be the operating carrier.
When you book a flight that connects through Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, we strongly recommend you anticipate a minimum 1.5 hours transit time between flights. Paris Aéroport is responsible for your transit and cannot guarantee the service you require if you do not leave yourself at least 1.5 hours for transit.

TRAVEL COMPANION AND MEDICAL CLEARANCE

For your safety, remember to check if it will be necessary to travel with a companion or obtain medical clearance.

Do I have to travel with a companion?

Air France may require the presence of a travel companion for the safety of disabled or reduced-mobility passengers. His or her role is to assist in case of an emergency, particularly in the case of aircraft evacuation. A travel companion is required only in the following cases:

  • If the passenger has a severe mental disability that prevents him or her from understanding and applying safety instructions.
  • If the passenger is both blind and deaf, thereby preventing the possibility of communication with the crew.
  • If the passenger has a motor-based disability that physically prevents him or her from participating in an evacuation. Most paraplegics and people with paralysis or who are missing both arms can therefore travel without a travel companion. However, a travel companion is mandatory for most quadriplegics.

A disabled or reduced-mobility child can travel alone as an unaccompanied child if:

  • he or she is physically capable of participating in an aircraft evacuation,
  • he or she is able to understand and apply safety instructions.

The travel companion must meet the following requirements:

  • Be over the age of 18 and autonomous*.
  • Not taking care of a disabled or reduced-mobility passenger while also taking care of a child under the age of 4 (on flights in France and its overseas departments and territories), a child under the age of 5 (on international flights), or another disabled or reduced-mobility passenger**.

* With the exception of special cases. For more information, please contact a Saphir agent.
** Exemptions are possible. To learn more about exemption conditions, please inquire at the time of your booking.

Do I need medical clearance to travel?

While medical clearance is not always necessary, Air France recommends contacting your primary care physician to determine whether you are fit for air travel in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy,
  • Recent surgery,
  • An appendage in a cast.

Medical clearance delivered by Air France’s Medical Service is mandatory only in the following cases:

  • You are traveling with a stretcher or incubator,
  • You need oxygen therapy at a rate exceeding 2 liters/minute,
  • You may need extraordinary medical assistance during the flight due to your state of health*,
  • You have a contagious disease*.

* In these cases, recent medical clearance from your physician or a certificate from the airport physician is accepted.

If one of the following cases concerns you, please consult your primary care physician before traveling. To obtain an Air France Medical Service clearance, please download forms A and B:
Form A “Passengers requiring special assistance”. To complete this form, please request assistance from our SAPHIR service, your booking agent or your travel agency.
Form B “Passengers requiring medical clearance” to be completed by your primary care physician.
You must submit both completed forms to Air France no later than 48 hours before your departure.
They must also be sent to an Air France physician whose contact details will be sent to you by our SAPHIR service, your booking agent or your travel agency.
Air France Medical Service determines if you are fit to travel (or not), and if so, issues your medical clearance.

AT THE AIRPORT

Depending on your disability or condition, special assistance is available at all airports. If such assistance is required, it can help you:

  • get around at the airport,
  • proceed to check-in for yourself, your baggage and any mobility devices,
  • proceed to the aircraft,
  • board and get seated on board,
  • exit the aircraft,
  • retrieve your baggage and mobility devices,
  • leave the airport.

In all airports within the European Union, this assistance is under the responsibility of airport management, in accordance with the European Ruling 1107/2006 (in French, PDF, 105 kb).

TRANSPORT TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT

avion

Two transportation and personal services companies are at your disposal in metropolitan France.

  • Age d’Or Services: we recommend that you reserve at least 7 days before your flight.
  • Ulysse: we recommend making contact at least 48 hours before your flight.

To obtain these companies’ contact details or more information about the services provided, please contact a Saphir agent. Both of these companies offer a 10% reduction to Air France passengers with reduced mobility or who are over 60 years of age (on presentation of ticket or trip summary).
The service includes the transport of 1 or 2 travel companions, a pet or assistance animal, baggage support, locking up your home before your trip, transport to the airport or your home, as well as an escort to the airport’s customer service counter or baggage delivery.
At the airport, you can receive assistance if you would like to do some shopping in the public area.
Please note: Ulysse has vehicles that are specially equipped for passengers with reduced mobility.

CHECK-IN

personne en fauteuil roulant
Air France recommends that you arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight departure for optimal assistance.
To help you get around the airport easily and save time, some airports have put in place special signage to guide you. In addition, express passage for passengers with reduced mobility minimizes your waiting time at check-in and various airport check points (police, security, etc.).
You can check in online or at the airport, either at the:

  • airport’s customer service counter,
  • interactive kiosks.

Passengers in wheelchairs or traveling with an assistance animal must retrieve their boarding pass at the airport’s “customer service” counter in order to obtain the necessary assistance.

BAGGAGE SERVICE

Do you wish to protect your wheelchair or baggage items? Rent an Airshells protective case and travel with peace of mind!
Beyond the baggage allowance associated with your ticket, you can transport the following in the hold at no extra cost:
  • 2 personal mobility devices (wheelchair, electric scooter, personal transporter, etc.)
  • 1 additional baggage item up to 23 kg / 50 lb to transport your medical equipment

You are authorized to transport one hand baggage item weighing max. 12 kg / 26.5 lb and measuring max. 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm / 21 in x 13 in x 9 in.
Please note: if you require special assistance due to reduced mobility and you are traveling alone with a child, please indicate this when booking your ticket and also contact our SAPHIR service.

PRIORITY BOARDING

embarquement
If you are traveling in a wheelchair or have requested individual assistance, Air France offers you priority boarding whenever possible.
Priority boarding enables you to get seated comfortably, before the arrival of the other passengers. The cabin crew members will also give you a personal welcome, relaying all of the useful information required to make your flight as safe and as pleasant as possible.

CONNECTIONS

Preparing for your stopover in Paris
If you require transport between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly Ouest airports and your physical disability prevents you from taking the Bus Direct, you can take advantage of a taxi transfer service at no extra charge. To request this service, please go to the Air France transfer counters.
Assistance is also available if you have a connection and your 2 flights arrive and depart from the same airport.

TRANSIT TIME FOR A CONNECTION AT PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE

When you book a fight that connects through Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, we strongly recommend you anticipate a minimum 1.5 hours transit time between flights. Aéroports de Paris is responsible for your transit and cannot guarantee the service you require if you do not leave yourself at least 1.5 hours for transit.

UPON ARRIVAL

To make your trip as comfortable as possible, we ask that you leave the aircraft after all the other passengers. If you are arriving after a long-haul flight, your baggage and wheelchair (if this has been placed in the hold), as well as a second personal mobility device if necessary, will receive priority delivery.

ON BOARD

Our staff, who are trained in disability assistance, will be notified of your presence on board. They know how to identify the types of assistance you require and will do everything to ensure that your flight is as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
However, this assistance does not include help with eating, drinking, taking or administering medication, restroom assistance, or other personal assistance. Therefore, you must be able to perform certain duties necessary during air travel, without outside help.
If this is not the case, we recommend you travel with a companion in order to avoid any difficulty on board.

GETTING SEATED ON BOARD

Installation à bord
To facilitate seating disabled or reduced-mobility passengers, most seats are equipped with foldable armrests.
Aside from seats situated directly adjacent to the emergency exits, you may select your seat preference.
On our most recent aircraft, seat numbers are indicated in Braille.

MOBILITY ON BOARD

All of our aircraft are equipped with an onboard wheelchair enabling you to move about easily during the flight.

EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL SERVICES

All of our long-haul aircraft, as well as some of our medium-haul aircraft, are equipped with easy-access restrooms for passengers with reduced mobility. For aircraft that are not equipped with such restrooms, the placement of a curtain in front of the restrooms located in the back of the aircraft creates a private area.
On most flights exceeding 2 hours and 20 minutes, you can order a special meal adapted to diet constraints (salt-free, sugar-free, etc.). Simply submit your request during booking and at least 48 hours before departure.

YOUR DISABILITY

Depending on your disability, Air France offers additional services.

YOUR WHEELCHAIR OR PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICE

fauteuil roulant aéroport
Air France transports 2 wheelchairs or personal mobility devices (manual or electric) at no extra cost. While there is no size or weight limit, it is possible that certain airports lack the necessary means for boarding or exiting the aircraft.
In addition, the size of certain aircraft operated by Air France’s partner airline companies may not allow loading heavy or large devices.
To best arrange for the transport of your devices, we strongly recommend that you book no less than 48 hours before your departure.
We also recommend that you check in no less than 2 hours before departure, so we can take charge of your devices in the best possible conditions.
We will take every precaution to avoid any damages. However, we recommend that you keep any items that could easily be lost in your hand baggage: pressure-relief cushions, moveable footrest, etc.

TRANSPORT CONDITIONS FOR YOUR WHEELCHAIR

ELECTRIC

Regardless of the kind of electric wheelchair, as a general rule, you must check it in as baggage. Aside from exceptional cases, you will not be able to reclaim it during a long stopover nor upon exiting the aircraft. Your electric wheelchair will be returned to you at baggage delivery.
For this reason, we recommend that you also bring a manual wheelchair to facilitate your trip.
In addition, we strongly recommend that you make your electric wheelchair transport request no less than 48 hours before your flight. If you do not prenotify, transportation may be declined if your wheelchair’s battery type does not allow for safe transport.

MANUAL

In most airports*, you can keep it with you up to the aircraft opening or boarding gate if access to the aircraft is not direct via a walkway. Your manual wheelchair may also be delivered to you as soon as you exit the aircraft or enter the terminal. If you have a connecting flight, you can reclaim your wheelchair if:

  • your stopover lasts longer than 3 hours at Paris-Charles de Gaulle,
  • your stopover lasts longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes at Paris-Orly.
    In other cases, you will receive assistance during your stopover.

If you have specific needs for assistance, please indicate them during booking. We also ask that you please specify the type of wheelchair, its dimensions, its weight, as well as whether it is foldable. This will help us prepare for its transport in the best possible conditions.
If the dimensions of your folded wheelchair do not exceed 27 cm / 11 in in depth, 94 cm / 37 in in width, 90 cm / 35 in in length, 65 cm / 26 in for the wheel diameter and 15 cm / 6 in for the wheels’ cumulative thickness (one on top of the other), you may be able to keep it in the cabin with you, where it will be placed in an area as close to your seat as possible. Please remember to make your request during booking.
Please note: the wheels must be able to be disassembled and stored in a slipcover.

* To confirm which airports, please check when booking.

SAFETY RULES REGARDING WHEELCHAIR BATTERIES

Two types of batteries are possible:

WITH INVERTIBLE BATTERIES

  • The battery may remain attached to the wheelchair or mobility device if it is well affixed.
  • The terminals need not be disconnected if they are already inside of a cell case or isolated (to avoid any short circuits).
  • The motor is disengaged.

WITH NON-INVERTIBLE BATTERIES

Because these batteries can compromise the safety of the flight, their transport requires special precautions and can be refused on board if preliminary information is not provided.
Please consult their conditions of transport during booking.

ASSISTANCE WHEELCHAIRS

Assistance staff use wheelchairs to take you from a designated place in the airport to the aircraft, and then from the aircraft to the airport exit. These wheelchairs are also used during your connections if you are unable to recuperate your personal wheelchair.

In certain cases, you must also use these wheelchairs on board, to move to and from the aircraft’s doorway and seat.

ONBOARD WHEELCHAIRS

All aircraft operated by Air France (Airbus A318-A319-A320-A321, Airbus A330 and A340, Airbus A380, Boeing 777 and 747) are equipped with an onboard wheelchair that is designed to circulate in aircraft aisles and access the restrooms during the flight.
If you cannot transfer yourself to and from your seat and the onboard wheelchair, our staff will help you do so. They will also guide you through the aisles or to the restrooms. However, you will not receive any assistance within the restrooms.
Please note: the maximum authorized weight on an onboard wheelchair is 100 kg / 220 lb, with a width of 35 cm / 165 in between armrests. If your body mass or disability prevents you from using the onboard wheelchair, please inform us during booking.

VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Whether you are visually impaired or blind, Air France does its best to make your trip as safe and pleasant as possible.

 AT THE AIRPORT

aide à l'aéroport

If you are traveling alone, assistance services are available to help you:

  • check in,
  • access the aircraft,
  • exit the aircraft and reclaim your baggage.

If you have a connection, you can also obtain assistance to facilitate your transfer from one flight to another.
Please note: we recommend that you request assistance during booking and no less than 48 hours before your departure.

ON BOARD

handicap visuel à bord
Upon boarding the aircraft, the cabin crew will help you get seated and give you information about your immediate surroundings: where you are located within the aircraft (proximity to the doors and emergency exits, restrooms, etc.), where the call and entertainment system buttons are placed, where the oxygen masks are located and how they are used, etc.
If you wish, members of the cabin crew can also personally explain the safety instructions.
All aircraft in the Air France fleet have instructions written in Braille. To locate them, simply ask the cabin crew.
In the latest aircraft, certain useful information (seat numbers, instructions in the restrooms) is also written in Braille.
On long-haul aircraft, safety videos as well as certain information and entertainment videos are subtitled in “high contrast” (in both French and English) for visually impaired passengers.
The onboard program always includes an audio book.
If you wish, members of the cabin crew can describe and explain your tray’s composition during meals.
Additionally, our cabin crew members will help you access the restrooms. However, you will not receive any assistance within the restrooms.

YOUR GUIDE DOG

chien guide

Air France authorizes the transport of your guide dog at no extra charge. The conditions for having your dog accepted and transported on board are as follows:

  • It must comply with all sanitary/hygiene requirements in the departure, arrival and connection countries.
  • Its function as a guide dog must be apparent by its dog tag or harness.
  • It may travel without a muzzle.
  • It must remain leashed at all times.
  • It cannot obstruct the aisles inside the aircraft.
  • It must be well-behaved in all circumstances.
  • You will be offered a seat with the most space possible, but your dog may not occupy a seat and is forbidden from occupying the space near the emergency exits.

On flights lasting longer than 8 hours, we may ask you to demonstrate that you are prepared to handle your dog’s hygienic needs (primarily, the natural need to relieve itself).
Please note: a dog that is still being trained and is not accompanying a blind passenger cannot be accepted in the cabin.

PLEASE NOTE

We strongly recommend that you inform us of any intention to bring a guide dog on board no less than 48 hours before your departure.

HEARING IMPAIRMENT

Please do not hesitate to inform us of your impairment so that we can provide you with the assistance you need. Please do so no less than 48 hours before your departure.
In order to facilitate communication with our staff, magnetic hearing loops are available in certain airports (notably at airport’s customer service counters), point of sales, etc.
On board, our cabin crew members have been trained to communicate with passengers that are hard of hearing or deaf. Please do not hesitate to let them know if you need additional assistance.
Certain cabin crew members are also able to speak French sign language (LSF).
On intercontinental flights to the Caribbean or Indian Ocean, a personal entertainment screen is available for you to enjoy our selection of films subtitled in English.*

* Films in English are not subtitled.

Air France allows most mentally disabled passengers to travel alone. To travel in complete safety, mentally disabled passengers must be able to understand and implement security measures. However, it is important to take into account all aspects of air travel:

  • The path through large airports can be complex, long and difficult.
  • Safety, police and customs checks can take time, be stressful and, at times, intrusive.
  • International airports may pose linguistic and orientation difficulties.
  • The flight can experience turbulence and/or require a passenger to perform unusual safety measures.
PLEASE NOTE
We strongly advise against overestimating the capacity of a mentally disabled person to deal with these eventualities.
We also recommend booking a flight for a mentally disabled person no later than 48 hours before departure, so that the most appropriate assistance possible can be made available.Please note: for certain types of disabilities that cause memory loss or orientation difficulties (e.g. Alzheimer’s), the risk of misinterpreting instructions provided by the crew is real. Examples include: disembarking without waiting for assistance, which can have serious consequences, including confusion at the terminal or outside; taking the wrong transportation; and problems recognizing where one is.
If the person traveling may find him/herself in this situation, we strongly recommend that he/she travels with a companion.

AT THE AIRPORT

Special assistance is available in all airports for mentally disabled passengers who are traveling alone. This assistance helps them:

  • move through the airport,
  • check themselves in as well as their baggage,
  • access the aircraft,
  • board the aircraft and get seated,
  • exit the aircraft,
  • retrieve their baggage,
  • leave the airport.

This service is also available during stopovers, helping these passengers get from one flight to another.
Please note: the assistance described is to accompany passengers at various check points (police, customs, safety, etc.) and not personal assistance with executing these formalities.
At European airports, this assistance is the responsibility of airport management.

ON BOARD

While no physical identification (badge, etc.) is required to identify mentally disabled passengers, it is important that the cabin crew members are able to identify them in order to provide the assistance required, especially in emergency situations. We therefore strongly recommend that you inform us of any mentally disabled passengers.
Specific instructions unrelated to safety may also be necessary, such as waiting for assistance before disembarking. Therefore, we strongly recommend informing us of a mentally disabled person’s travel plans in addition to the type of assistance he/she needs.
Assistance services for mentally disabled passengers do not include:

  • help eating, drinking or taking medication,
  • assistance in the restrooms,
  • any other form of personal assistance.

It is therefore necessary to ensure that the unaccompanied passenger is able to perform certain duties necessary during air travel, without outside help.
If this is not the case, we strongly recommend that mentally disabled passengers travel with a companion in order to avoid any difficulty on board.

THERAPEUTIC OXYGEN PROVIDED BY THE AIRLINE

Preparing for and booking your trip
Air France can provide you with therapeutic oxygen on board. This service is available for a fee and must be requested during booking, no less than 48 hours before your departure.
Please note: this service may not be available when departing from certain airports or on certain flights. To find out if this service is available on your flight, please contact our SAPHIR service.
In most cases, you will be offered a kit (Wenoll WS120) that has been specially designed for air travel. This system functions “on demand” (rather than providing “continuous” oxygen). The system is extremely compact, with 600 liters of oxygen, enabling passengers to travel safely on long-haul flights. These kits can only be used on board the aircraft.
As long as your oxygen needs do not surpass 2,8 liters per minute, you will not need any kind of medical certificate to use this equipment. Otherwise, you may be offered an alternative solution, if it exists. You will be asked for a medical certificate.

THE USE OF RESPIRATORY DEVICES

If you need to use a personal respiratory device on board, please use an approved portable oxygen concentrator.
These devices can be used throughout the entire flight. However, Air France aircraft are not equipped with power outlets that enable you to plug in your respiratory devices on board. Therefore, we recommend that you verify your device’s ability to power itself, and, if needed, come prepared with additional batteries.
Please note: the number of lithium batteries authorized on board is limited; please seek more information during booking.
We recommend that you inform us no less than 48 hours before your departure of your need to use respiratory devices.

CONNECTING RESPIRATORY DEVICES TO POWER OUTLETS ON BOARD

Seats in Air France’s La Première/First, Business and Premium Economy long-haul aircraft (Airbus A330-A340-A380 and Boeing 747 and 777) are equipped with power outlets that enable you to plug in approved respiratory devices. However, Air France aircraft do not have all types of power outlets needed to plug in respiratory devices on board.
Power outlets are disabled before and during takeoff and landing. They can also be disabled at any time by the crew if necessary.
If you wish to plug in an approved respiratory device, please check that its total wattage does not exceed 75W. Attempting to use a device whose wattage exceeds 75W will automatically disable the power outlet.
Please bring batteries with you to maintain power even during periods when power outlets have been disabled.
Please note: Air France aircraft do not have all types of power outlets needed to plug in respiratory devices on board. Please contact customer service before your departure for specific information. The power outlets available on our aircraft can be used to power any connected electronic device, but they cannot recharge these devices.
In all cases, we recommend you contact our SAPHIR service, your booking agent or your travel agency for more information.

PERSONAL OXYGEN TANKS

Air France authorizes the transport of personal (gaseous) oxygen tanks in the cabin, provided that:

  • the height does not exceed 65 cm / 26 in maximum,
  • the weight is less than or equal to 5 kg / 11 lb,
  • they are equipped with a safety system that protects against the accidental discharge of their content.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The use of personal oxygen tanks is prohibited on board, as well as is their transport in the hold.
  • Please be informed that the transport of personal oxygen tanks can create difficulties at security check points in certain airports.
  • You are required to inform us at least 48 hours before your departure if you are transporting personal oxygen tanks.

PASSENGERS WHO ARE PARALYZED OR MISSING BOTH ARMS

Preparing for and booking your trip
Passengers who are paralyzed or missing both arms but have use of their legs may travel without a companion.
They will receive assistance on board to attach and detach their seatbelt, as well as to place and adjust the oxygen mask if needed.
However, this assistance does not include:

  • help with eating or taking medication,
  • assistance within the restrooms,
  • or all other personal assistance.

It is therefore necessary to ensure that the unaccompanied passenger can perform certain duties necessary during air travel, without outside help.
If this is not the case, we recommend that he or she travel with a companion in order to avoid any difficulty on board.

PLEASE NOTE

We recommend that you inform us that a passenger who is paralyzed or missing both arms will be traveling so that we may prepare the necessary assistance.

PASSENGERS UNABLE TO USE AN AIRCRAFT SEAT
IN THE STANDARD POSITION AND PASSENGERS USING A SPECIAL SEAT

Are you using a special seat or other equipment? Are you unable to use an aircraft seat in the standard position? Please let us know when you book your ticket and at least 48 hours before your departure. In order for us to ensure your equipment’s size and other aspects allow for safe installation in the aircraft, we must perform a preliminary evaluation.

ASSISTANCE DOGS OTHER THAN GUIDE DOGS

The transport of assistance dogs in the cabin is free of charge and must respect the same conditions as those for guide dogs:

  • It must comply with all sanitary/hygiene requirements in the departure, arrival and connection countries.
  • It must be identifiable by a dog tag or harness. You must be able to provide proof (along with credible verbal proof) of the animal’s certification and its use.
  • It may travel without a muzzle.
  • It must remain leashed at all times.
  • It cannot obstruct the aisles inside the aircraft.
  • It must be well-behaved in all circumstances.
  • You will be offered a seat with the most space possible, but your dog may not occupy a seat and is forbidden from occupying the space near the emergency exits.

A medical certificate issued within the last year may be required for the transport of certain assistance dogs.
On flights longer than 8 hours, we may ask you to demonstrate that you are prepared to handle your dog’s hygienic needs (primarily the natural need to relieve itself).

IMPORTANT

Please inform us of your intention to transport your assistance dog no less than 48 hours before your flight. This will enable us to inform you of all of the conditions for the transport of your assistance dog.

Air France Special Assistance

Air France Special Assistance
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