woman being pushed onto van ramp lift

Listing: Air Travel Resources for People with a Disability


Media Type

Online Resource

Reviewed Date

May 15, 2023


Travel is meant to be an adventure for your spirit, and one should have every accommodation and aid to help them achieve new horizons and expanded understanding of other cultures.

This list of resources is to aid persons with the information considerations involved in air travel with a disability.
three men meeting

The U.S Dept. of Transportaton- Accessibility Air Travel
Airlines are required to provide assis­tance with boarding, deplaning and making connections. Assistance within the cabin is also required, but not extensive personal services. Where level-entry boarding is not available, there must be ramps or mechanical lifts to service most aircraft with 19 or more seats at U.S. airports with over 10,000 annual enplanements. You can find other accommodation rules at their website.
Voice: 800-778-4838
TTY: 800-455-9880



U.S. Departement of State - Brureau of Consular Affairs for Travelers with Disabilites and International Travel Considerations
Each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities. Before you travel, visit travel.state.gov/destination and enter a country or area to find information for mobility-impaired travelers in the Special Laws & Circumstances section. Unlike the United States, many countries do not legally require accommodations for persons with disabilities. Learn more about service animals and assistive equipment requirements.


TSA’s Five Top Resources

TSA has five main resources for travelers with disabilities or individuals who travel with medical devices or medical conditions to ensure that they can get through the security screening process successfully, respectfully and efficiently. They include the TSA Cares helpline, the TSA Contact Center, Passenger Support Specialists, information  posted on TSA.gov

TSA Cares is a helpline for travelers with disabilities or medical conditions who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.  TSA Cares is toll free at 1-855-787-2227 or Federal Relay 711 or e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov.

By contacting TSA Cares, travelers may also request the assistance of a Passenger Support Specialist (PSS) for security screening. Information about Passenger Support Specialists is located here.

The TSA Disability Notification Card can be used to discreetly notify TSA Officers at security screening of a disability or medical condition and request an accommodation. The card is located here.

For information about TSA programs for Travelers with Disabilities click here.

For general inquiries and questions, visit www.tsa.gov  or contact us through the TSA Contact Center (TCC) at TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov, or by phone at 866-289-9673 or Federal Relay 711. The TCC’s web page is found here .


Airline and Flight Tip Websites:

Flying With A Power Wheelchair - Preventing Damage

  1. Make sure your wheelchair will fit into the airplane cargo hold list of airplane cargo hold dimensions.
  2. Develop a plan for collapsing your wheelchair
  3. Damage to your wheelchair is covered
  4. Communication with airline is key
  5. Plan ahead.


Rick Steves: Tips for Travelers with Disabilities  Plan Ahead!

Must-know airline info: Tips for travelers with disabilities on Cheap Flights

Tips for Flying with a Wheelchair - Cory Lee

Travel tips from a frequent flyer in a wheelchair

Cory L. Curb Free with Cory Lee 

The Tag
The Tag is a web-based tool for people who use mobility devices to input static information about their device such as weight, dimensions, battery type and removable parts to be stored in the cabin.

Travel Tag [Free Download] for Wheelchair on Airplane
A free print-out to attach to your wheelchair when it is being checked into baggage, to assist with handling and storage to assist in best care.

Eric LeGrand Travel Tips Video - Website 
Eric LeGrand is a former Rutgers University football player who suffered a severe spinal injury during a game and now travels the country as a sought after motivational speaker.

Listing: Travel Organizations for People with Disability

Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People - Your Guide to Flying with a Disability.
In partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority they have produced a film that gives wheelchair users, especially powered wheelchair users, information and insights about travelling by air and the support available.

United Spinal Association. (2015) Accessible Air Travel-A Guide for People with Disabilities

Air Travel Tips for People with a Disability InfoSheet

Download Travel Tag from Clinical Perspective Article for CEUS, Volum 2, 2019 DIRECTIONS
Protecting The Wheelchair On A Commercial Flight: How People From The Wheelchair Industry Can Help
Author, Jessica Presperin Pedersen, OTD, MBA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, FAOTA, RESNA Fellow

The Federal Aviation Agency has approved these portable oxygen devices for airline travel:

  • ––Phillips Respironics EverGo
  • ––Inogen One
  • ––Inova Labs International Biophysics LifeChoice
  • ––Invacare XP02–XPO100
  • ––AirSep FreeStyle
  • ––AirSep LifeStyle
  • ––Delphi Central Air, Evo
  • ––InogenOne G2
  • ––Invacare Solo
  • ––SeQual Eclipse
  • ––DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo
  • ––OxLife Independence

If you are prescribed medical oxygen and are planning a trip abroad, using an FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator is an option for you.


This content is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive. Information contained does not imply an endorsement from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and does not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.  See here  for further details.
© Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Henry B. Betts LIFE Center – (312) 238-5433


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