Mobility assistance

For passengers who require mobility assistance or travelling with their own mobility equipment, we've outlined the details you will need for planning your journey.

On this page

Request mobility assistance

If you or someone you are travelling with uses a wheelchair, have difficulty with walking long distances or going up and down the steps to the aircraft, or need assistance into the aircraft seat, we can provide assistance with getting to the gate, boarding and disembarking the aircraft or getting to your seat; including wheelchair assistance.

If you need wheelchair assistance, you will need to let us know the type of assistance you require and if you are bringing your own mobility aid.

You can let us know what level of assistance you need by referencing the following recognised IATA airport codes: 

Recognised IATA airport codes - Wheelchair level of assistance required
Wheelchair airport IATA code Type of assistance
WCHR - wheelchair ramp

• you need assistance due to the distance to/from the aircraft eg between check-in and boarding

• you are able to ascend/descend steps unassisted

• you can make your own way within the aircraft cabin to/from your seat.

WCHS - wheelchair step

• you need assistance due to the distance to/from the aircraft, e.g. between check-in and boarding

• you can't ascend/descend steps unassisted

• can make your own way within the aircraft cabin to/from your seat.

WCHC - wheelchair cabin

• you need assistance due to the distance to/from the aircraft e.g. between check-in and boarding

• you can't ascend/descend steps unassisted

• you are immobile within the aircraft cabin and may require assistance with transfer into/out of the aircraft seat

• you travel with a mobility aid such as a manual or battery powered wheelchair.

If you aren’t travelling with your own mobility aid

If you need wheelchair assistance but you are not travelling with your own mobility aid (WCHR or WCHS assistance), you can request wheelchair assistance online.

Simply fill in the online request form confirming the type of assistance you require (WCHR or WCHS) and your booking reference and we will add it to your booking. Once submitted, you can view the request on Manage Booking or in the Qantas App.

If you’re travelling with your own mobility aid

If you need wheelchair assistance and you are travelling with your own mobility aid, once you’ve booked your flight online, you or your travel agent will need to call us to arrange wheelchair assistance by:

Please let us know:

  • what level of assistance you need by referencing one of the above IATA codes;
  • whether you are travelling alone or with a carer;
  • information about your mobility aid:
  1. the type of mobility aid you are travelling with (manual or battery powered)
  2. if the mobility aid is battery powered, what type of battery is used non spillable (sealed lead acid, dry cell, gel cell), spillable or lithium ion battery)
  3. whether the mobility aid is collapsible
  4. the dimensions (in adjusted or disassembled state) and the weight of the mobility aid

Wheelchair and other mobility aids

For passengers travelling internationally on Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 flights, one personal manual collapsible wheelchair (in total, not per passenger) can be stowed in a dedicated stowage position in the aircraft cabin. This can be requested at the airport during check-in and is provided on a first come first serve basis.

The aid must fit within the dimensions 33cm x 91cm x 106cm in its collapsed state and weigh no more than 30.9kg. If the stowage position has already been occupied, all other passenger mobility aids will be stowed in the hold.

  • On all other aircraft types and routes, passengers may not take their own mobility aids into the aircraft cabin.
  • You may surrender your mobility aid at check-in or at the departure gate where appropriate assistance will be provided to you.
  • Where possible, you may choose to have your mobility aid delivered to you at the gate lounge upon arrival or you may collect it from the baggage collection area.
  • When travelling on narrow-bodied aircraft, your mobility aid will need to meet the specified size dimensions when adjusted or broken down for that aircraft type.

While all reasonable care will be taken, you remain responsible for obtaining insurance in relation to the carriage of your mobility aid.

If you are travelling with a battery powered mobility aid, you're required to obtain dangerous goods approval for it.

Walking canes, crutches and walking frames

If needed, you're welcome to bring walking canes and crutches into the aircraft cabin. You can use these to get to the departure gate and board the aircraft, where it will be stowed in an overhead locker or alternative storage space.

If your walking frame is collapsible and cabin crew can stow it safely, it can also be stowed in the aircraft cabin. For safety reasons, non-collapsible walking frames can't be taken into the aircraft cabin. You can leave this with our staff at check-in then be transferred to the departure gate in a Qantas wheelchair or people mover.

Alternatively, it may be possible to use your frame to the departure gate where it can be surrendered for stowage in the aircraft hold. Our staff will let you know during check-in if your walking frame needs to be checked with your baggage.

Mobility aid size restrictions

In accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and to reduce any risk of damage to your mobility aid, all electric wheelchairs, including power assist wheelchairs, must travel in the upright position (folded or unfolded) in the free wheel mode. To facilitate this requirement, size restrictions apply to the acceptance of mobility aids on our aircraft.

All manual wheelchairs must fit within the size restrictions in the upright position (folded or unfolded). If the wheelchair fits within the size restrictions but not in the upright position, the wheelchair can only be carried if it weighs less than 32 kgs and the manufacturer has confirmed that the wheelchair can be stored and transported on its side. Otherwise, the wheelchair must fit within the size restrictions in the upright position to be carried.

Maximum dimensions (in adjusted state)

Maximum size restrictions for wheelchairs by aircraft type
Aircraft type Width Height Length
Wide bodied aircraft
Airbus 330, A380, Boeing 747 and Boeing 787 150cm
160cm
150cm
Narrow bodied
Boeing 737 100cm
84cm
125cm
Bombardier Dash 8 85cm
130cm
115cm
Boeing 717 129cm
69cm
100cm
Fokker 100 125cm
63cm
125cm

If you're booked to travel on a flight operated by a narrow-bodied aircraft and your mobility aid does not fit within the allowable dimensions (after being adjusted or disassembled), our sales consultants will offer you, where possible, an alternate flight that's operated by a larger, wide-bodied aircraft.

Alternatively, you may wish to travel with an alternative mobility aid, such as a manual wheelchair, that fits within the dimensions of a narrow-bodied aircraft.

Mobility equipment allowance

Your mobility equipment includes both mobility aids and assistive devices. Mobility aids include (but are not limited to) items such as wheelchairs (day or sports), electric wheelchairs and electric scooters.

Additionally, assistive devices include (but are not limited to) items such as walking frames, hoists, inflatable pressure cushions, shower chairs and commodes.

Please note that:

  • Two (2) pieces of mobility equipment per person will be carried free of charge as checked baggage in addition to your other checked baggage.
  • Each piece must not exceed 32kg, except mobility equipment which can travel in the upright position in the free wheel mode.
  • Items above 32kg which cannot travel in the upright position in free wheel mode must be carried as freight at standard freight rates.
  • The equipment must be for your own use and adhere to the dimensions set out above.
  • If you wish to check in more than two pieces of mobility equipment, the additional pieces will form part of your checked baggage allowance and excess charges will apply if your applicable allowance is exceeded.
  • US flights only: there is no limit on the number of pieces of mobility equipment allowed to be carried for customers with a disability and it does not count toward the carry-on or checked baggage allowances.

Medical clearance

Generally, passengers who have mobility limitations won't require medical clearance to fly. However, there are times when precautions should be taken and it's advisable at all times to consult with your medical practitioner in relation to flying with your particular disability.

If you have a mobility limitation, you only require medical clearance when:

  • your disability is new (i.e. has occurred within six weeks of travel) or is unstable (i.e. has changed within six weeks of travel)
  • your condition may deteriorate during the flight
  • your condition may deteriorate due to a decrease in oxygen levels in the aircraft cabin environment or a decrease in cabin pressure.

Although acceptance of customers who have mobility limitations for travel doesn't generally require medical clearance, in cases where we can't meet a customers' specific medical needs, we reserve our rights to deny travel. Review our travel medical clearance guidelines (PDF) for more information.

At the airport

Our passenger assistance brochure (PDF) explains the transfer process when you travel within Australia. It's also available at check-in counters at all airports within Australia.

At all our terminals within Australia, we may provide kerbside mobility aid assistance, subject to the availability of wheelchairs and staff. Due to occupational health and safety regulations, we are unable to provide passenger transfer assistance to and from vehicles. On arrival at the airport, the passenger must be accompanied by someone who can advise our staff that a wheelchair is required kerbside.

Our wheelchairs are not permitted in airport carparks.

In order to provide appropriate levels of assistance, passengers with mobility limitations must allow sufficient time for check-in and boarding.

If your mobility aid needs to be adjusted or broken down, you're responsible for assembling and disassembling your mobility aid. Where assistance is required, airport ground staff will ask you to explain, instruct and supervise the assembling, or disassembling of your mobility aid(s). This may include disconnection and connection of the battery in accordance with dangerous goods requirements.

Check-in

For departures within Australia, passengers who require mobility aid assistance are required to be at the airport:

  • 60 minutes before departure at domestic terminals
  • at least 2 hours before departure at international terminals (irrespective of whether the travel to be undertaken is a domestic or international sector of an international flight).

For departures from overseas airports, check with the local Qantas office and allow an extra 30 minutes in addition to the normal check-in time.

Passengers may surrender their mobility aid at check-in or at the departure gate. If you choose to surrender your mobility aid at check-in, you'll be transferred to one of our wheelchairs and assisted to the departure gate by a staff member.

Boarding

If you choose to surrender your mobility aid at the departure gate, you must check-in, have completed all security and immigration formalities (if applicable) and be at the departure gate:

  • 40 minutes before departure at domestic terminals
  • 60 minutes before departure at international terminals (irrespective of whether the travel to be undertaken is a domestic or international sector of an international flight).

This is necessary to ensure we have sufficient time to assist you to board the aircraft and to load your mobility aid into the aircraft hold.

If you're not at the departure gate at these designated times, it may not be possible to carry you on your booked flight. As a result, you may need to be re-booked onto the next service, where possible.

For travel within Australia, your transfer to and from one of our wheelchairs or aircraft seat will be made via our approved passenger lifting devices. These include the use of a sling, slide board, jony belt, eagle lifter and may vary by airport.

In some airports where aerobridges are unavailable for boarding, we'll use high lift vehicles for those who use mobility aids.