Who likes to wait in long queues at the airport for special assistance? Southwest relieves unnecessary hassles and provides you with effortless access to wheelchair assistance; that, too, is free of cost! Traveling with a disability is already frustrating as it is; nobody wants to go through the paperwork to get Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance. So, here we are with precise and apt information that you should know before heading for your flight.
We have constructed a thorough article for you to understand the steps with which you can call for Southwest Airlines passenger assistance. Wheelchair help before and after landing, flying with other assistive devices, or hearing and low vision aid, you can rely on Southwest in all such conditions. Let us wrap our heads around Southwest Airlines special assistance.
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Southwest Airlines Wheelchair Assistance Policy
Southwest Airlines takes exceptional care of elderly citizens, people with locomotor disabilities, and people with other issues who cannot walk easily from one part of the airport to another by providing them with wheelchair assistance. If you are a passenger with mobility issues and require a wheelchair to board and in between connecting flights, you should be aware of Southwest Airlines Wheelchair Assistance Policy.
Ensure to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure. If there are ten or more people with wheelchair assistance in your group, you must notify Southwest at least 24 hours before your flight departure. Once you identify with the airport authority, they will escort you to the plane for preboarding. They will also provide you with the necessary guidelines related to Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance.
Firstly, fill out the Wheelchair/Mobility Aid Information form and present it to the Customer Service Agent at the gate counter, even if you have applied for the same online. You must also identify yourself with the Southwest Employee so they can provide you with the required help. Apart from that, they will also receive an escort between the connecting flights.
Ensure that if you carry your mobility aid, the battery of your automatic wheelchair should not exceed 160 watt-hours. The plane has accommodations to adjust at least one standard-size, adult, collapsible wheelchair inside the passenger’s cabin. However, if it does not fit, the flight attendants will help to accommodate the device in the storage compartment. Even if you upgrade your seat for more comfort, the policy stands the same.
How do you make a Southwest Airlines Wheelchair Assistance Request?
If you are wondering, “How to request wheelchair assistance on Southwest Airlines?” here are three ways to choose. You can request Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance while booking the flight, after the booking, or at the airport.
Through the Desktop via Southwest Website
You can notify Southwest about your assistance while booking your tickets through the website. Follow the steps below:
- While booking the tickets, go to the ‘Passenger & Payment Info’ page.
- Click the ‘Special Assistance’ option and enter the required details.
- Save the details and proceed further with the reservation process.
If you have already booked the ticket, then you can follow these steps:
- Look for the Flight option on the home screen.
- Go to the ‘Passenger & Payment Info’ page.
- Then, select the ‘Manage Reservation’ option.
- Enter the confirmation number and first and last name.
- Click the ‘Search’ button.
- The ‘Special Assistance’ link is under the passenger’s name.
- Fill in the required details and update the information.
Through the Application on your Mobile Phone
If you booked your tickets for the itinerary through the mobile application, then you can apply for Southwest Airlines elderly assistance in the same way.
- On the mobile app, you will find a tab called ‘Passenger.’
- Click on that link and request ‘Special Assistance’ from the option provided on that screen.
- You will find an edit pencil icon beside your name if you have already booked the tickets.
- Select the ‘Special Assistance’ option.
Inform the Airlines with a Phone Call
If the other two methods are not applicable or too confusing, simply dial the customer care phone number and let them know you need Southwest Airlines senior assistance.
- You can find the customer care number on the website.
- Call them and inform them about your issue; they will accommodate you with the required aid.
In-person Help at the Airport
The authorities will accept Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance request even if you ask for the aid after reaching the airport.
- On arriving at the airport, you can simply ask for Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance.
- Identity yourself to a Southwest Employee, and they will provide you with the required aid.
Apart from the prior notification and request for Southwest Airlines wheelchair Assistance, you must also fill out the offline form after arriving at the airport to complete the request process.
Alternative Disability Support Options by Southwest Airlines
The dedicated Southwest Airlines furnishes comfortable and stress-free experiences to all its passengers. Special provisions exist for the disabled community and those who need an extra hand while boarding and during the flight. Southwest provides wheelchair assistance, mobility aid, boarding and deplaning help, airport navigation support, help with stowing and retrieving baggage, and Southwest Airlines minor assistance to those in need. Here is how you can utilize Southwest Airlines assistance.
- Airport and Boarding Assistance- You do not always need prior notice for Southwest Airlines disability assistance. However, it is better to inform the Southwest Employees once you arrive at the airport so they can prepare your accommodation beforehand.
- Non-Passenger Escort- If you wish to get Gate Passes for someone who is not a passenger so they can escort you to the plane, then they must show their government-issued ID and Customer’s itinerary to the TSA officers at the various checkpoints.
- Wheelchair Assistance- Southwest provides mobility aid to disabled passengers during boarding, landing, and in between connecting flights. You can apply for the Southwest Airlines wheelchair assistance request when booking or arriving at the airport.
- Blind and Low Vision Passengers- You can mention your visual aid issue while booking the seats through the website or mobile phone. Southwest Airlines special assistance is available at the departure gate, onboard, at any connection points, and on landing at your destination.
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing- The same process applies to those with hearing disabilities; you must notify the Gate Agent and Flight Crew after mentioning your aid while booking. They will provide Southwest Airlines assistance from arriving at the airport until reaching your destination.
- Cognitive and developmental disabilities- The skycap will provide Southwest Airlines special assistance if you suffer from a severe mental disability or mobility impairment. However, the airlines do not guarantee a personal escort, so if passengers need 24*7 aid, they can bring their custodial care.
- Traveling with Medication- Passengers can bring their medicines on board as carry-on items to take their dosage during overnight flights as per the Southwest Airlines medical assistance. Inform the Flight Attendant if you have syringes to inject the medication so they can provide you with a disposal container.
- Allergies- If you have food allergies, carefully read the food label to learn whether the meal contains an allergen. In case of animal allergies, you must inform us at the departure gate so you can sit as far away from the animal as possible. The airlines do not take responsibility for any other kinds of allergens.
Security Check for Mobility Aid
If you are an individual who needs Southwest Airlines special assistance, follow the guidelines before going through security checks inside the airport. The security measures are slightly flexible for disabled individuals.
- Inform the Transportation Security Administration about your disability before the checking.
- Verify your medical certificates or TSA notification card to the security officer.
- You must stand with your hands above your head for about 7 seconds for a thorough inspection.
- If the method is too complicated according to your condition, you can inform the officer to take another measure.
- If you can not go through the Screening technology, you can request a pat down from an officer of the same gender in a private area with a companion.
- Southwest TSA will inspect your walkers, crutches, canes, wheelchairs, scooters, or mobility aids with an X-ray machine.
- Security officers will also carefully scan the seat cushions, non-removable containers, or waste bags.
Southwest Airlines has a thorough policy for disability-related assistance. Those in need should be quick to inform the authorities before they fly. Customers can request wheelchair assistance while booking the flight or arriving at the airport. Passenger can bring their wheelchair as well, as a carry-on item in their cabins. One can request Southwest Airlines senior assistance if they can not walk or have trouble boarding or deplaning. Southwest is always eager to please its customers.
Commonly Asked Questions
You can request special aid while booking your tickets, after the reservations, or at the airport.
As per Southwest Airlines elderly assistance policy, you can request a wheelchair to navigate within the airport and during boarding and deplaning.
Yes. If you are disabled and need a hand while moving from one part of the airport to another or while boarding and deplaning, Southwest Airlines assist you with wheelchair facilities.
You can request wheelchair assistance while booking the flight online or at the airport on arrival at the ticket counter.
The passengers in need of wheelchair aid should arrive at least two hours before the flight departure so that they get their assistance on time.
No. The airline does not charge any fees for wheelchair assistance to special passengers.