Delta offers wheelchair services at the airport and on board the aircraft. We are also happy to accommodate most types of personal wheelchairs.
Delta has wheelchairs available for use at airport locations. Request this service when making the customer’s reservations; and upon arrival at the airport advise the customer to notify one of our passenger service personnel that a wheelchair is required for transportation to the departure gate.
Delta also has a specially designed wheelchair available for our non-ambulatory passengers to use in reaching their seat when boarding and deplaning our aircraft. We call these special wheelchairs "aisle chairs" or "boarding chairs." We suggest you request this service when making reservations so we can have the equipment available for the customer at their departure gate.
Every one of our mainline aircraft has an onboard wheelchair. These wheelchairs are specially designed to fit the aisle of our aircraft and may be used by our passengers to move to and from the lavatory. Our flight attendants are trained in the operation of this wheelchair and will assist the customer with its use. Flight attendants are not required to lift or carry a customer. Since this onboard wheelchair is not used outside the aircraft, it will always remain onboard. Arrangements can be made for a customer to use an airport wheelchair at any connecting point.
In some instances stairways are used for boarding instead of loading bridges. Advise Delta if a customer is unable to ascend or descend steps, and we will provide an alternative boarding method.
Electric carts are available at some major airports such as in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, and New York (JFK Airport). These carts are available for use by our semi-ambulatory passengers who have difficulty walking long distances. The carts will pick-up and drop-off passengers throughout the terminal or concourses.
Delta transports all types of personal wheelchairs. This includes folding, collapsible, and non-folding manual wheelchairs, electric/battery-powered wheelchairs and electric-powered carts and scooters, one additional wheelchair battery, crutches, braces, or other prosthetic devices on the same flight with the passenger who is dependent on the device.
For customers that need to check any battery-powered equipment, Delta requires at least forty-eight hours advance notice. Advise the customer to check in at the ticket counter at least one hour ahead of departure. We need this time to ensure the equipment meets all federal "dangerous goods" handling requirements.
Customers that have a collapsible personal wheelchair can ask to have it stowed onboard when they are pre-boarded. Delta can stow a collapsible personal wheelchair if it meets the size and weight restrictions for the approved storage space on the aircraft. We limit the number of personal wheelchairs to one personal wheelchair per flight. Not all aircraft stowage locations accommodate all sizes of wheelchairs. Wheelchairs stowed onboard have priority over other carry-on items except those of through passengers.
A customer can check their wheelchair at the ticket counter or the gate. We ask that customers checking powered equipment that may require disassembly check in at the ticket counter so we can arrange for proper handling. Customers may use our wheelchair equipment after checking in a personal wheelchair. Detachable items such as seat cushions and footrests can be carried onboard or checked with the wheelchair in the cargo compartment.
Delta will not need to disassemble an electric/battery-powered wheelchair and will leave the batteries attached if the wheelchair will fit upright through the aircraft cargo compartment door or if it can be stowed upright in the cargo compartment.
If we do need to disassemble the wheelchair, our employees may need instructions. Attach assembly/disassembly instructions and the wheelchair's specific battery type to the wheelchair. For help identifying your specific battery type, see the battery descriptions below.
Customers can arrange to have their personal wheelchair checked at the departing gate and returned at the destination gate upon arrival, or at a connecting airport. Let us know in advance if the customer prefers to use their own personal wheelchair at the connecting airport. However, be aware that the time between connecting flights may be insufficient to provide this service during layover, especially if disassembly and re-assembly of the wheelchair is required. If time is a factor, we recommend that the customer takes advantage of our wheelchair service instead.
Effective June 1, 2008, Delta and Delta Connection Carriers will allow customers with battery powered wheelchairs to check these assistive devices at the gate without having to disconnect the battery before transport. In order to transport your wheelchair or scooter using the the U.S. DOT PHMSA (Pipeline of Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) special permit (SP 14548), your assistive device must possess a defect-free battery in a rigid compartment that is integral to the chair. The equipment must also have two effective methods of preventing accidental activation during transport. This would include:
There are still circumstances that require the battery be disconnected. For questions prior to travel please contact Reservations and ask to be connected to the CRO Desk. At the airport, ask any Delta representative for assistance. Further information concerning battery types is listed below.
Help us by identifying your wheelchair batteries as either spillable or non-spillable, so that our employees may establish correct federal Dangerous Goods handling procedures.
Wet-cell batteries are considered spillable, so we need to make special preparations to transport them by air. We have to disconnect the battery and protect the terminals against electrical shorting. We have to remove the battery if we cannot fit your wheelchair equipment upright through the aircraft cargo compartment door. The battery will be shipped in Delta's battery box to meet all federal "dangerous goods" handling requirements. We cannot transport damaged or leaking batteries by air.
Dry-cell and gel-cell batteries are considered non-spillable and have fewer requirements for handling. We can leave powered wheelchair batteries attached when the equipment fits upright.