Special Needs FAQs

We're here to make sure that passengers with special physical and medical conditions have a great flying experience. Our people are trained to assist you throughout your travel, from curbside to airplane.

If you have specific questions that aren't answered here or you want to speak to someone about your special needs in person, call 800-221-1212 or contact us.

How do I make arrangements for special assistance?

It's best to make your request when you book your ticket through Reservations. The more information you can provide our representatives when making your travel plans, the more we can help you. Our representatives will answer questions, discuss your specific needs and alert you to special notifications and procedures.

For example, 48-hour advance notice and an early check-in time are required if you need oxygen or a respirator hookup aboard the plane, or if you are shipping certain battery-powered wheelchairs. See Special Travel Needs for more information.

What if I have mobility needs?

Our passenger service personnel are available to assist passengers with special needs in boarding, deplaning and connecting with your flights. See our Disabilities page for more information.

Wheelchair Service

We provide free wheelchair service to and from the gates. Let us know if you require this service when making your reservation by phone. Once at the airport, you can alert a skycap at curbside or a Delta representative at the ticket counter, and a wheelchair will be provided for you. See Wheelchair Services for more information.

Boarding Assistance

If you need boarding assistance, we have a specially designed "aisle chair" to carry you to and from your seat. Every Delta aircraft also carries a wheelchair for use between the lavatory and your seat.

Connections

If you need help making a connecting flight, we will arrange for a wheelchair to transport you to the appropriate gate. Electric cart transportation is available at some major airports such as in Atlanta, Cincinnati and New York (JFK Airport). If your trip is over, we'll take you to the baggage claim area or wherever you need to go in the airport.

Is it necessary to advise Delta in advance that I will need a wheelchair?

Although we don't require you to request a wheelchair in advance, it helps us provide you with better service if you do. It also helps if you notify us of your wheelchair request when you arrive at the airport for your departing flight.

What if I require special seating on the aircraft?

Passengers with disabilities may be seated anywhere in their ticketed class of service for which they are qualified and in compliance with FAA safety regulations. You should ask your reservations representative or ticket agent about special seating accommodations if you are traveling with a service animal or an attendant who assists you with certain functions during flight, if you have a fused leg, if you need a seat with a movable aisle armrest, or if you use an aisle chair to reach your seat. See Accessibility and Assistance for more information.

 

What do I need to know about Delta's Connection Carriers?

It's important for you to be aware that when a travel itinerary involves one of our Connection Carriers, you will need to use the steps to enter the aircraft. If you're unable to negotiate steps to board the aircraft, inform our reservations agents, so they can provide you with details about boarding assistance for our partner airlines.

What if I have a service animal or an assistive device?

We welcome service animals that are trained to assist our passengers with mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities in the cabin on our flights. However, some locations, including Hawaii and Great Britain, have quarantine laws, and others may prohibit or restrict entry of these animals. You should check with us or your travel agent before your travel date regarding any applicable restrictions.

Please note: Animals in training do not meet qualifications for a service animal and fees for transporting your animal may apply. For additional information, please contact Reservations

Assistive devices or life-support equipment (non-oxygen generating) may be brought into the aircraft provided that the apparatus can fit into a storage location approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If you require additional space to accommodate your assistive equipment, you may need to purchase an additional seat.

What if I have a medical condition and/or need to travel with oxygen?

We may require a medical certificate explaining your health condition and the possible impact on other travelers. For example, if you have an infectious disease, Delta may require a medical certificate from your physician explaining that your disease is not communicable to other passengers during the normal course of a flight. Delta also requires a medical certificate authorizing the use of an approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator or confirming that a medical condition would not necessitate extraordinary medical assistance during a flight. 

Visit our Medical section for more information on medical conditions. 

Or see Special Concerns for information on onboard medical oxygen service and customer-owned oxygen units.

What if I need to take medication at a certain time?

Passengers should always bring medication onboard in their carry-on baggage. Never put medicine in your checked baggage. Our airplanes do not have refrigerators onboard, so plan accordingly. If you use needles to inject medication, it is helpful to have a doctor's statement with you in case security officers have any questions. Our personnel will not be responsible for administering medication of any kind.

What if I have special dietary requirements?

We offer a variety of meals to comply with special dietary requirements on flights that have scheduled meal service. Advanced notice is required and you should ask about meal options when purchasing your ticket by phone. For example, we offer vegetarian, diabetic, low-sodium and low-cholesterol meals on request.

How do I request a wheelchair for assistance with my connecting flight?

For wheelchair assistance or special service assistance, contact Delta Reservations.

What is the difference between wheelchair and electric cart service?

Electric cart service is available only at select airports. Electric carts cannot take passengers to different concourses or terminals. Also, electric carts generally make stops at the gates as needed. However, wheelchair services can be prearranged and will provide transportation to connecting flights and other parts of the airport. See Wheelchair Services for more information.

What if I am traveling with my own wheelchair?

We transport most types of wheelchairs, including folding, collapsible or non-folding manual wheelchairs, electric/battery-powered wheelchairs, and electric-powered carts. We ask that you check your wheelchair at the ticket counter or gate, and we will return it to you at the gate or the baggage claim area, as you prefer, when your flight lands.

If you have a battery-powered wheelchair, we ask that you check in at the ticket counter one hour in advance so that we can properly prepare the chair for loading into the cargo section of the plane. We make every effort to load your chair in an upright position and without disconnecting any components. However, some batteries are subject to dangerous goods handling procedures and may require special packaging. We recommend that you have written instructions available to explain how to disassemble your wheelchair. See Wheelchair Services for more information.

What if I am hearing impaired?

Let us know when checking in at the gate if you have a hearing condition so that our gate agents can inform you of any important announcements before the flight departs. When onboard, notify the flight attendants so that they can alert you to any important flight information. In the airport, our gate agents or customer service representatives can assist you with potential gate or schedule changes. Additionally, if you need to make a phone call, most airports have TDD equipment, and our agents can direct you to their locations. See Accessibility and Assistance for more information.

What if I am visually impaired?

If vision conditions make it difficult to find your way through the airport, request assistance at curbside. A skycap will help you to the check-in counter. From there, one of our representatives will help you get to the gate and assist you with boarding the airplane. Please also alert the flight attendants, so they can give you any assistance you need with stowing your luggage or identifying items on the service panel. In addition, notify the flight attendants if you will need help leaving the aircraft on landing. If you need help finding the gate for a connection, the baggage claim area, or checking the status of a connecting flight, one of our representatives can assist you.

Is there a charge for transfer assistance?

We provide wheelchair assistance without charge. Gratuity for the wheelchair attendant is permissible, but not required. Solicitation of tips is prohibited, and you should never be asked for a payment or tip. If this occurs, notify a Delta agent. See Accessibility and Assistance for more information.

How long should I expect to wait for a wheelchair when connecting to another flight?

We realize that you may be eager to deplane and get on your way to your connecting flight. However, due to the size of our operations at large hub cities, such as Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City, a short wait for a wheelchair and attendant is not uncommon. Rest assured that we will be aware of your connection time, and will plan for the transfer accordingly.

What if I encounter a problem?

We have specially trained complaint resolution officials, or CROs, in every airport to meet the needs and concerns of our passengers with disabilities. These employees are responsible for ensuring that disabilities policies and procedures are properly implemented. They will be happy to address any of your questions or concerns. To locate these officials, ask any of our representatives at the airport. 

We want to hear from you. If you have comments or suggestions on how we can better serve you, contact us online or by mail at Delta Air Lines, P.O. Box 20980, Atlanta, Georgia 30320-2980.

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