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Special and Medical Needs

Airnorth acknowledge that some customers require special assistance to meet our conditions of carriage. Airnorth is committed to accommodate those passengers within the limits of its capability and practicality

This assistance commences with effective communication processes between the passenger and Airnorth. Airnorth will, where possible provide physical infrastructure to assist with the smooth transport of people with special needs and aids they may require.

It is important that passengers understand and follow company travel procedures to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on our flights. Airnorth acknowledges that some passengers might need assistance to meet this requirement.

To travel independently, a passenger must meet the Airnorth requirements for independent travel as indicated below. If a passenger does not qualify as an independent traveller, an Assistant/Carer must travel with them. Assistant/Carer responsibilities are detailed below.

INDEPENDENT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

For a passenger to travel independently (without a carer), they must be able to:

  • Self-transfer from airline approved wheelchair to aircraft seat
  • Manage aircraft stairs if a port does not have a Disabled Person Lift (DPL) available
  • Take themselves to the toilet or travel with suitable substitute
  • Feed themselves
  • Administer any medication and self-administer medical oxygen (if applicable)
  • Fasten their own seat belt
  • Reach for the oxygen mask if deployed
  • Respond independently to in-flight and ground emergencies

ASSISTANT/CARER RESPONSIBILITIES

An Assistant/Carer is a passenger who is sufficiently able bodied to assist the Passenger with the following:

  • Managing aircraft stairs if a port does not have a Disabled Person Lift (DPL) available
  • Toilet and sanitary requirements both on the aircraft and on the ground
  • In-flight and ground emergencies
  • Carriage of carry-on baggage and/or equipment
  • Medicating and medical procedures, including administering medical oxygen (if applicable)
  • Food and beverage consumption
  • Fitting the oxygen mask if deployed
  • Seat transfers, boarding and disembarking; and
  • Immigration and custom procedures

IMPORTANT: If you are travelling as an Assistant/Carer, you must sign the Assistant/Carer declaration under Section 1 of the Disability Access Facilitation Information (DAFI) form.

Airnorth values the safety of both passengers and employees and therefore appreciates prompt communication from passengers about their special mobility needs for assessment, communication and preparation.

In this regard Airnorth requires all passengers with special needs to complete the Airnorth DAFI form and email this form to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before a flight. This allows the assessment of the application and ensures timely communication between stakeholders.

This form makes provision for the following:

Mobility assistance

Airnorth recognises that there are passengers who requires mobility assistance and/or are travelling with their own mobility aid and endeavours to provide the assistance. Failure to provide advance notice of special needs may result in the passenger not being able to travel on their choice of date/ flight.

How to book

If you require wheelchair assistance, you must:

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete sections 1, 2 & 3 on the DAFI form.
  • If you are travelling with your own mobility aid, please ensure that you provide all the required information on the DAFI form.

Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.

Vision impaired

Passengers with a visual impairment that require assistance should inform Airnorth of the assistance required at the time of the booking.

How to book

If you require assistance, you must:

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete sections 1, 2 & 3 on the DAFI form.
  • In section 3, please briefly describe the circumstances and document any specific needs that the passenger might have. Also ‘tick’ the applicable box to indicate if the passenger is vision impaired or legally blind.
  • If you are travelling with an assistance dog, please refer to the additional requirements under ‘Travelling with an Assistance Dog’.

Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.

Hearing impaired

Passengers with a hearing impairment that require assistance should inform Airnorth of the assistance required at the time of the booking.

How to book

If you require assistance, you must:

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete sections 1, 2 & 3 on the DAFI form.
  • In section 3, please briefly describe the circumstances and document any specific needs that the passenger might have. Also ‘tick’ the applicable box to indicate if the passenger is hearing impaired or legally deaf.
  • If you are travelling with an assistance dog, please refer to the additional requirements under ‘Travelling with an Assistance Dog’.

Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.

Travelling with an assistance dog

An Assistance Dog is an accredited dog trained to aid a person with a disability and has met the state standards for public access rights.

Assistance dogs can help individuals who have physical disabilities, disabling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental conditions.

Assistance Dogs include:

  • Guide dogs are trained to help blind or visually impaired people mobilise safely and independently.
  • Hearing dogs are trained to assist people who are deaf or have hearing problems by alerting them to sounds.
  • Service dogs are trained to assist people who have various disabilities to manage personal and other tasks.

Assistance dogs on domestic and international flights

Certified and Registered Guide, Hearing and Service Dogs are welcome on-board Airnorth flights to provide the necessary aid and comfort to their person provided that the dog is clean, well maintained, very well behaved and highly obedient to their handler.

  • Assistance dogs must wear their coat or have their ID medallion on their collar
  • The handler must have their Handler ID

In addition to the above, the handler must have their Handler ID on the day of travel

Assistance Dogs image

Figure 1: Image of examples of dog and handler IDs (Assistance Dogs Australia, 2018)

Important information for the carriage of Assistance Dogs in the cabin:

Important Information for the Carriage of Assistance Dogs in the Cabin:

  • The dog must be harnessed, wearing an identifying coat/collar and accompanied by its handler.
  • Handlers must supply a suitable restraint for the dog in-flight.
  • The dog must be seated on an absorbent mat for the duration of the flight.
  • For longer flights, passengers should prepare their dog for the flight by exercising and limiting its fluid intake before boarding the aircraft.
  • Passengers travelling with an assistance dog will be asked to disembark the aircraft at any transit ports to relieve the animal.
  • Generally, Airnorth can only accept up to two Service Dogs per flight on domestic and international services.

Note: These guidelines are only applicable on flights operated by Airnorth. If the passenger is travelling on a codeshare flight with another carrier, the passenger and their dog must meet that carrier’s requirements.

Important: Assistance Dogs travelling on international flights may be subject to specific quarantine requirements. Passengers are responsible for ensuring all requirements are met prior to travel. Airnorth will not accept liability if an Assistance Dog is not approved for quarantine clearance at the passenger’s destination, or when entering Australia.

Fares

Airnorth do not provide special concessions for passengers travelling with an Assistance Dog, however the Assistance Dog will be carried free of charge. Airnorth will provide the adjacent seat to the passenger free of charge for the Assistance Dog. Note that the Assistance Dog will be seated on the floor in front of the seat provided.

Documentation

Assistance Dogs must be trained and accredited by their applicable Assistance Dog Association. The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 provide identification for certified dogs and approved handlers.

Document evidence could include:

  • Public Access Licence
  • Dog Handler ID card / Handler Service Dog ID / Primary Handler card etc.
  • Official letter from accredited training organisation clearly identifying the Handler and the Assistance Dog

How to book

If you intend to fly with an Assistance Dog, you must:

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete the DAFI form.
  • Evidence of the Assistance Dog’s training/certification and the handler ID card must be attached to the DAFI form (see documentation).
  • Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.

Embarkation and disembarkation processes

Passengers with assistance animals will be provided with the opportunity to embark prior to other passengers and disembark last at the arrival port. Passengers transiting through other ports to their final destination will be required to disembark the aircraft. The passenger should take this opportunity to relieve the animal during the turnaround period. The passenger will be required to be available to board prior to other passengers.

On board the aircraft

Once on board the aircraft passengers with assistance dogs must keep the dog restrained throughout the duration of the flight. An absorbent mat will be provided for the dog whilst on the aircraft. Passengers travelling with an assistance dog will not be allocated an exit row seat in accordance with aviation safety regulations.

Note: Airnorth will provide an absorbent mat for service dogs to sit on for the duration of the flight provided notice of travel is given 72 hours prior to the scheduled flight. Airnorth may approve dogs in training on board an aircraft when accompanied by an accredited trainer who qualifies as an independent traveller. Approval must be obtained from the Airnorth Compliance Team and will be dependent on the passenger load for the flight requested.

Medical clearance

Air travel involves a lower than sea level oxygen environment and can cause or aggravate certain medical conditions, some are inadvisable to fly with and others may cause discomfort.

Conditions that may prevent travel

If any one or more of the following conditions apply to you, you may be unable to travel if travel is to be undertaken within the time specified below. If your treating Doctor believes that special consideration should apply to your circumstances, your Doctor should complete section 5 of the Disability Access Facilitation Information Form (DAFI) and contact the Airnorth Reservations toll free 1800 627 474.

  • Heart attack within 7 days of intended travel – passenger is not allowed to travel
  • Stroke within 3 days of intended travel
  • Psychiatric disorder which is acute or uncontrolled
  • Contagious or infectious disease when this pose a direct risk of infections to passengers and crew
  • Angioplasty without stents within 3 days of travel
  • Angioplasty with stents within 2 days of travel

Conditions that require medical travel clearance

If any one or more of the following conditions apply to you, you may be unable to travel. If travel is to be undertaken within the time specified below, you MUST ask your treating Doctor to complete section 5 of the Disability Access Facilitation Information Form (DAFI) if your Doctor believes it is safe for you to travel.

  • Asthma – recent deterioration within 48 hours of travel
  • Head injury within 2 weeks of travel or where there is air in the cranium
  • Heart attack within 21 days of travel
  • Chest surgery within 10 days of travel
  • Ear and/or sinus pathology within 48 hours of travel
  • Stroke within 10 days of travel
  • Phobias – if doubt about ability to cope with air travel
  • Abdominal surgery within 10 days of travel
  • Infants within 7 days of birth
  • Decompression sickness requires clearance from a specialist in hyperbaric medicine
  • Penetrating eye injury – while there is air in the eye or a vitreous leak
  • Plaster casts – must be split if the injury is < 48 hours old
  • Pneumothorax – within 14 days of resolution
  • Pregnancy – domestic travel
    • ≥ 36 weeks – Requires medical clearance for domestic flights
      Clearance must state:
      Expected date of birth, confirm that there are no complications
  • Pregnancy – international travel
    • Not approved after 36 weeks for routine pregnancies or after 32 weeks for multiple births or complicated pregnancies
  • Psychiatric disorder – not acute and under control
  • Fractured jaw which has been wired – must carry wire cutters onboard and with an assistant capable of cutting the wires if necessary – suitable documentation must be carried.

How to book

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete the DAFI form, section 1, 2 and 3
  • If medical clearance is required, or if unsure, the passenger must visit their medical practitioner and request that they review and populate section 4 and 5 of the DAFI form.
  • Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.
Travelling with medical oxygen

Passengers that need medical oxygen during their flight need to be aware of the following before they fly:

  • Medical clearance required from passenger’s medical practitioner to confirm fitness for travel
  • Passenger or passenger’s assistant/carer must know how to operate the equipment and ensure that there is enough oxygen and battery life for the duration of the flight(s). Consider unscheduled delays in this regard.
  • Airnorth’s cabin crew do not have the capacity to provide medical oxygen administration services.
Note: Airnorth do not supply oxygen cylinders /oxygen concentrators for passenger use on any flights.

Oxygen concentrators

Passengers may use portable oxygen concentrators onboard Airnorth aircraft. These devices may be both battery and electrically powered.

If the device uses lithium batteries:

  • There are no restrictions on their carriage if they do not exceed 100Wh, therefore no dangerous goods approval required.
  • A dangerous goods approval is required for batteries between 100Wh to 160Wh. This can be obtained by submitting an email request to compliance@airnorth.com.au.
  • Only two spares are permitted if using lithium batteries between 100Wh and 160Wh.

Power outlets are not available on Airnorth aircraft for these devices.

How to book

  • Proceed with an online booking or contact the Airnorth Reservation Centre at 1800 627 474 or +61 8 8920 4001 for assistance.
  • Complete sections 1, 2 & 3 on the DAFI form.
  • Specify the Oxygen cylinder/generator type and the brand name on the DAFI form.
  • Arrange appointment with medical practitioner to have section 5 of the DAFI form completed.
  • Email the completed DAFI application with the evidence to compliance@airnorth.com.au at least 72 hours before the flight.

Medical Needs

Airnorth provides special assistance to passengers who:

  • Need to travel with a guide dog
  • Need to travel with a hearing or mobility dog
  • Require a wheelchair to reach the aircraft
  • Require two seats for themselves

For your special assistance requirements, please contact Airnorth Reservations prior to making your booking. Passengers who have made special arrangements will be boarded first.

Passengers with special medical and/or mobility needs may be required to travel on Airnorth with an Accompanying Passenger*. Only when the passenger can travel independently, meaning that they can travel safely without assistance and supervision, Airnorth can allow boarding. Please contact Airnorth Reservations on 1800 627 474 for further information.

Greater Freedom Fare

A passenger who has special needs must book through Airnorth Reservations on 1800 627 474. If Airnorth requires the passenger to be accompanied in-flight by a safety assistant, a special fare called the “Greater Freedom Fare” may be available for that safety assistant. The Greater Freedom Fare is 10% of the full economy fare and is fully flexible up to the date of travel without additional fees.

If the passenger is remaining longer than three days at the first destination, the safety assistant may return to the uplift point and return to the first destination to accompany the passenger on the return journey. All sectors will be at 10% per person plus taxes and charges when applicable

*Accompanying Passenger means a paying passenger who, in our reasonable opinion, can travel independently and is able to and will, provide the appropriate assistance, supervision, or both, as is required for the particular customer they are accompanying. As a guide, Airnorth generally will not consider a passenger to be an appropriate Accompanying Passenger for a child unless the passenger is at least 15 years old.