Disabled Access to Flights

Austrian Airlines has developed a special service concept for passengers who have disabilities or whose mobility is restricted. The concept complies with Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

On our direct flights to/from the USA our service for passengers with special needs complies with the regulation 14 CFR, DOT382.

Before Departure

Booking well in advance

It's important for us that you book your flight well in advance, i.e. at least 48 hours before departure, and tell us exactly what your needs are.

Why should I book in advance?

  • It allows us to put together a service package carefully tailored to your individual needs.
  • We offer seat choice to the highest extent as possible, for flight safety reasons it might be restricted in defined rows (e.g. emergency exits).
  • Some of the aisle seats on our aircraft are equipped with moveable armrests for your comfort. Ask for these seats at time of booking!

Please don't forget to inform us on your needs:

  • When booking by telephone, please notify our agent of your requirements.
  • When booking by Internet you can request the required service online using the "Services for Passengers with reduced mobility or sensory impairment" form.
  • After booking you can always notify our Special Cases Desk by fax +43 5 1766 51043 or contact form.

Support during your journey

If you have a chronic illness or disability, you do not need to present a doctor's certificate.

However, if you would like to request special medical assistance please click here for more information on Medical clearance.

You will need to be accompanied, if you are unable

  • to follow the safety instructions of our cabin crew independently or
  • to assist in your own evacuation or
  • if you need assistance in feeding or using the toilet

Travelling with a wheelchair

If you are travelling with your own wheelchair, please notify us of its size and weight and any special features (e.g. folding/non-folding, sport/electric wheelchair).

Size and weight limitations on our regional fleet

Aircraft Size Limitations Weight Limitations
Bombardier Q400 145 x 106 x 91 cm 150 kg (must be notified)
Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 126 x 75 x 70 cm 150 kg (must be notified)

The transport of up to two pieces of mobility equipment (wheelchair, crutches, other mobility aids) per person with reduced mobility is free of charge.

If you are travelling with a battery-driven wheelchair, please give us prenotification at least 48 hours before departure and notify us of the type of battery:

  • Non spillable batteries (gel and dry batteries) can remain in the wheelchair, but must be secured and disconnected and the poles must be isolated before boarding the aircraft.
  • If your mobility aid is powered with lithium-ion batteries please provide us with a Material Safety Data Sheet issued by the battery manufacturer.
  • For safety reasons, special packaging criteria apply to wet battery-driven wheelchairs. Therefore transportation of wheelchairs with wet battery must be cleared in advance with Special Cases Desk: specialcases@austrian.com.

Battery powered mobility aids are subject to possible limitations of space in the cargo hold  of the aircraft and must  comply with the applicable dangerous goods legislation.

Degree of reduced mobility

Please let us know the extent to which your mobility is reduced.

There are three internationally recognised wheelchair categories to help you classify your degree of disability

Wheelchair Category Description
WCHR – Wheelchair Ramp Guest only requires wheelchair to cover longer distances; able to climb stairs independently.
WCHS – Wheelchair Steps Guest not able to climb stairs but can cover short distances on foot.
WCHC – Wheelchair Cabin Seat Guest requires wheelchair at all times, unable to move around the cabin without help from another person – own wheelchair carried with him/her at all times.

Assistance Dogs

  • are carried free of charge on Austrian Airlines
  • may travel with you in the cabin but must be kept on a leash
  • are restricted in size and weight due to safety reasons, therefore we ask for prenotification
  • proof of the animal's status as service animal must be given at check-in

Dogs are also accepted for therapy purposes in the passenger cabin on Austrian Airlines flights to and from the U.S.A. including our feeder- and onward flights under following conditions:

  • they must be restrained during flight
  • advance notification at least 48 hours before departure
  • appropriate current documentation issued by a licensed mental health professional confirming the animal's need of presence during the flight must be presented

On our long-haul flights we have to place sanitary povisions, so we require a written documentation that the dog will not relieve itself respectively can relieve itself in a way that does not create a sanitation issue on the flight. 

The general conditions for the transport of animals in cabin apply.

Passengers with impaired sensory perception

There are no restrictions applicable to hearing impaired and partially sighted passengers. You do not require a doctor's certificate.

An assistance service for blind and partially sighted passengers is provided free of charge. If you require assistance at the airport, please ask one of our ground staff.

If you are deaf and blind, you will need to be accompanied during the flight.

Hearing impaired/deaf passengers

Please notify us of your disability  at time of booking so we can pass on the relevant information, especially to our cabin crew on board the aircraft.

Direct flights to /from U.S.A

Our special service concept complies with the regulation 14 CFR, DOT382.

Specially trained staff, Complaint Resolution Officials (CRO), are available at our destinations Chicago, Miami, New York, Washington and Vienna. 

CRO contacts  

Vienna: +43 5 1766 1000 (Callcenter connects you with a CRO)

Chicago, Miami, New York, and Washington: +1 800843 0002 (Callcenter)

Please click here to get redirected to the Aviation Consumer protection Divitions: http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer

Please click here for more info on our fleet.

Please click here for further medical questions.

Upon Departure


Our staff or contracted partners at the airport will be pleased to assist you from your arrival at the airport through to the departure gate.

Important: To ensure you reach your flight in good time and enjoy the best possible service, please observe the respective check-in deadlines.

Travelling with your own folding wheelchair

You're welcome to use your own folding wheelchair as far as the departure gate. A "Delivery at Aircraft“ baggage tag will be attached to the chair at check-in, and it will be loaded directly onto the aircraft.

For safety reasons, electric and battery-driven wheelchairs are excluded from this arrangement.

On Board

From the terminal building to the aircraft

Each airport provides different transport facilities for passengers with reduced mobility, depending on the local circumstances. You may have to change wheelchairs when transferring from the terminal building to the aircraft itself.

Please mind that level entry boarding/deplaning might not be available at all airports we are operating to.

Hand baggage

We recommend that you keep your hand baggage as light as possible so you can transport it yourself. Your hand baggage may not be larger than 55 x 40 x 23 cm or weigh more than 8 kg.

Do you have to take any medication during the flight? If so, please make sure that you carry it with you in your hand baggage - and please observe the hand baggage regulations.

Choice of seat

If you are restricted in mobility or impaired in sensory perception you have seat choice to the highest extent as possible, for flight safety reasons it might be restricted in defined rows (e.g. emergency exits).

Some of the aisle seats on our aircraft are equipped with moveable armrests for your comfort. Ask for these special seats at time of booking!

Disabled facilities on board

The majority of our longhaul fleet of Boeing 777Boeing 767 and Airbus aircraft are already equipped with disabled accessible lavatories.

As a standard, an on-board wheelchair is available on our Boeing 777 and Boeing 767 aircraft to help you get to and from the toilet.

Based on your request (48 hours before departure at the latest) we can also offer an on-board wheelchair on Airbus, Fokker 100Fokker 70 and Bombardier Q400 fleet. 

Our cabin crew provides following travel companion services:

  • assistance in preparation for eating
  • assistance with the use of an on-board wheelchair
  • assistance to a semi-ambulatory person in moving to/from the lavatory
  • assistance in stowing and retrieving carry-on items, mobility aids and other assistive devices
  • effective communication with passengers having vision or hearing impairments

If you need support beyond the services mentioned above you need a travel companion, who must be at least 18 years of age.

Please click here for more info on our fleet.

Please click here for more info on hand luggage.

On Arrival

On arrival at your destination airport your wheelchair will be returned to you, either immediately after disembarking or at baggage reclaim. You may have to wait a short time for your wheelchair to be returned.

The local airport wheelchair service will be waiting for you at the aircraft upon arrival and will help you to continue on your journey.

Important phone numbers

Austrian Airlines Call Center

+43 5 1766 1000

Support for passengers with special needs

Contact Special Cases Desk:
Fax: +43 5 1766 51043
E-mail: specialcases@austrian.com  

Information for people with disabilities

ÖZIV – (Austrian Association of Disabled Persons)


Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted

ÖGLB – Austrian Association for the Hearing Impaired