Which Airline is Best for Handicapped Travelers?

key takeaway: For handicapped travelers, prioritize airlines with strong accessibility, assistance services, and comfort. Qantas, American Airlines, and Air Canada excel with dedicated assistance points, pre-boarding options, and tailored in-flight support.

The key takeaway for anyone looking to travel with a disability is to research and communicate their specific needs with airlines in advance. Airlines that prioritize accessibility and provide comprehensive support can significantly influence the travel experience, making it smoother and more enjoyable for handicapped travelers.

As travel becomes more accessible and inclusive, it’s important to consider the needs of all travelers, including those with disabilities. Flying can be a daunting experience for anyone, but for those with physical limitations or special requirements, it can pose even more challenges.

That’s why it’s essential to choose the right airline that caters to the needs of handicapped travelers. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best airlines for those flying with a disability and what they offer to make the travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

The Best Airlines for Those Flying with a Disability

When it comes to choosing an airline for a handicapped traveler, there are several factors to consider. These may include wheelchair accessibility, in-flight amenities, and assistance services. Based on these criteria, here are some of the best airlines for those with disabilities:

  • Qantas
  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines

Flying with a Disability

Before we dive into specific airlines, let’s first understand what it means to fly with a disability. The term “disability” encompasses a wide range of conditions, including physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities. These may affect mobility, communication, or cognitive abilities. As such, different individuals may require different accommodations while flying.

Which Airline is Best for Handicapped Travelers?

Some common challenges faced by handicapped travelers include navigating the airport and boarding process with assistive devices like wheelchairs or service animals, accessing the lavatory during a flight, and communicating with airline staff about specific needs or concerns. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose an airline that can provide appropriate assistance and support for these challenges.


Qantas is Australia’s flag carrier airline and has consistently been recognized as one of the best airlines for disabled travelers. They have received multiple awards for their accessible services, including the Skytrax World Airline Award for Best Airline Staff in Australia/Pacific. Qantas offers a dedicated team of staff trained in disability assistance, as well as specialized equipment and facilities to cater to handicapped travelers.

Some of the accommodations offered by Qantas include priority boarding for wheelchair users, assistive devices like aisle chairs and transfer boards, accessible lavatories, and in-flight wheelchair lifts. They also have a comprehensive guide for travelers with disabilities on their website, outlining the services and facilities available.

Air Canada

Air Canada is another airline recognized for its services to disabled travelers. In 2020, they were named Best North American Airline for Passengers with Disabilities by Skytrax. The airline has a dedicated Special Travel Assistance (STA) team that supports and assists passengers with disabilities.

Air Canada offers pre-boarding and priority boarding for wheelchair users, as well as assistive devices like transport chairs and transfer boards. They also have accessible lavatories on all their aircraft and offer in-flight safety briefings in multiple formats, including Braille and large print.

American Airlines

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world and has made significant efforts to improve accessibility for disabled travelers. They have received recognition from multiple disability organizations, including being named a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by Disability:IN.

American Airlines offers pre-boarding for passengers with disabilities and allows service animals to fly in the cabin free of charge. They also have accessible lavatories on most of their aircraft and offer assistance with boarding and deplaning for wheelchair users.


In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.

Do all airlines provide accommodations for disabled travelers?

While many airlines do offer some level of accessibility and assistance for handicapped travelers, it’s essential to research and choose an airline that specifically caters to the needs of disabled passengers.

Can I bring my service animal on a flight?

Yes, many airlines allow service animals to fly in the cabin with their owners. However, it’s important to check with the specific airline beforehand and ensure that all necessary documentation is provided.

Are there any additional costs for accommodations as a disabled traveler?

In most cases, airlines do not charge extra for accommodations and assistance for disabled travelers. However, it’s advisable to check with the airline beforehand to confirm any potential fees.

Can I request a wheelchair at the airport if I don’t typically use one?

Yes, you can request assistance with a wheelchair at the airport during your flight. It’s helpful to inform the airline beforehand so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

Conclusion: Which Airline is Best for Handicapped Travelers?

Traveling as a handicapped individual may present some challenges, but with the right airline, it can be an enjoyable and comfortable experience. Qantas, Air Canada, and American Airlines are just a few of the airlines that prioritize accessibility and provide excellent services for disabled travelers.

When planning your next trip, be sure to research and choose an airline that meets your specific needs and makes your travel experience hassle-free. Remember, everyone deserves the opportunity to explore the world, regardless of their abilities.

Leave a Comment

About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

Leave a Comment