Planning

Mobility Assistance

Booking Your Flight

Your safety and comfort is important to us, so to make your flight as enjoyable as can be, we need to know about your special assistance needs in advance.

Guests whose special assistance needs requirements are listed below and who are not flying within the next 24 hours can now book direct via the Virgin Australia website.  

If booking mobility assistance online please ensure you complete the Special Assistance section on the passenger page.

  • Wheelchair required as unable to walk long distance but can use stairs and walk to seat
  • Wheelchair required as unable to walk long distance, use stairs or walk to seat
  • Wheelchair required as guest is completely immobile and unable to negotiate stairs or distance; may not be able to self transfer
  • Wheelchair required for onboard use
  • Travelling with own electric wheelchair in hold powered by non-spillable battery
  • Travelling with own electric wheelchair in hold powered by lithium battery
  • Travelling with own manual wheelchair in hold
  • Travelling with another form of Mobility Device

Please note, however, that Velocity Reward and Redemption bookings must still be booked via the Membership Contact Centre.

If you are travelling within the next 24 hours, you must make your booking via our Guest Contact Centre where your booking will be made at no additional cost and will enable us to best accommodate your requirements. Should you fail to advise us in advance, your request for mobility assistance may not be assured.

It is important that you provide us with as much information as possible at the time of booking. Key information we need to know includes:

  • Whether you are travelling alone or with a Safety Assistant or Carer. To travel independently you must meet the Independent Travel Criteria.
  • Whether you are able to self transfer in and out of a wheelchair and/or an aircraft seat. Due to our Occupational Health and Safety regulations, Guests who weight more than 130kg*, and require to be transferred into or out of a wheelchair and/or an aircraft must arrange a Safety Assistant or Carer to assist with the lift.
  • Whether any medical assistance will be required.
  • The type of mobility aid you are travelling with (electric or non-electric).
  • If the mobility aid is electric, what type of battery is used (non-spillable (Gel type or Sealed Lead Acid) or Lithium-ion battery).
  • Whether the mobility aid is collapsible.
  • The dimensions (height, width and length) in adjusted or disassembled state and weight of mobility aid.

*Transfers from your wheelchair to an airport/aisle wheelchair and from an airport/aisle wheelchair to an aircraft seat are performed using an option of approved methods of transfer provided by Virgin Australia.

Important: If you have a connecting flight with another airline, you will need to check and comply with their guidelines for guests with special assistance needs.

Wheelchair Assistance

Virgin Australia accepts guests requiring wheelchair assistance, however the number of such guests accommodated on any specific flight may vary depending upon operational and safety requirements.

Where you envisage that wheelchair assistance is required on your flight, we highly recommend you to notify us as soon as possible about your specific requirements.

In determining how many passengers requiring wheelchair assistance we are able to carry on each flight, we take into consideration the following:

  • The aircraft hold space available for that flight;
  • The access limitations associated with specific airports;
  • The extent of guests’ abilities and the level of assistance they require from airline staff;
  • The level of assistance for any other guest's already booked on the flight;
  • Whether the passenger is travelling with a personal wheelchair or mobility device and if so the nature of that wheelchair or mobility device (including weight, size, features);
  • Whether the guest is travelling with a colleague/friend/family member on the requested flight;
  • The availability of alternative flights; and
  • Whether there are any compassionate or other reasons a particular flight is requested.

Where Virgin Australia is unable to accommodate your needs or your accompanying equipment, we will offer an alternative Virgin Australia flight.

Mobility Aid Size Restrictions

To reduce the risk of damage to your mobility aid, and to our aircraft, the following restrictions apply:

  • Please ensure you provide us with the weight of your mobility aid at the time of booking so that we can work with you to get your mobility aid in the aircraft where feasible.
  • Refer to our ‘maximum dimensions’ table below. If your mobility aid is greater than the size restrictions specified (in either a folded or unfolded state), we may be unable to carry the item.
  • All electric mobility aids must travel in an upright position.
  • Electric mobility aids must travel in the ‘free wheel’ mode.
  • Depending on size limitations, only 1 electric mobility aid is normally carried on our ATR aircraft.
Maximum Dimensions Table

Wheelchair/Aircraft

B777

A330, B737, E190

A320

F70, F100

Height

84cm 

84cm

65cm

65cm

Width

100cm

100cm

89cm

100cm

Length

125cm

125cm

125cm

125cm

 

If your mobility aid does not fit within these allowable dimensions (after being adjusted or disassembled) you will have to travel with an alternative mobility aid (such as a manual wheelchair) that fits within the above dimensions.

Mobility Aid Equipment Available at the Airport

Dependent on port specific capabilities,we may only be able to provide assistance in certain circumstances. The following mobility assistance equipment is available when travelling with us, provided that it has been previously arranged at the time of booking:

  • Aisle wheelchairs (boarding/disembarking aircraft)
  • Manual self-propelled wheelchairs; may be used independently or with assistance from team members or companions whilst in the terminal environment
  • Motorised wheelchairs to assist guests boarding/disembarking aircraft and may be used within the terminal environment. Motorised wheelchairs must be operated by trained team members
  • Slide boards and slide sheets to support safe transfer of guests between wheelchairs and/or aircraft seats
  • Eagle lifts and manual transfer slings to support safe transfer of guests between wheelchairs and/or aircraft seat. (Selected airports only)

If you fit within our health and safety weight requirements for transferring our team members can assist by transferring you from your wheelchair to an airport/aisle wheelchair and from an airport/aisle wheelchair to an aircraft seat (and vice versa) with use of the slide board and slide sheet or manual transfer sling or Eagle where available.

If you weigh more than 130kgs and require assistance with transfers you will need to arrange a Carer for travel on domestic and international flights. Where required, team member may assist with guidance of the torso and/or legs while transferring.

Note: A transfer is defined as movement between your wheelchair to an airport/aisle wheelchair and from an airport/aisle wheelchair to an aircraft seat (and vice versa) utilising the slide board and slide sheet, or manual transfer sling or Eagle where available. Guidance includes guiding your upper torso (shoulders) and legs while they are being transferred during transfer.

We are unable to perform transfers other than in accordance with our slide board and slide sheet, manual transfer sling or Eagle methods.

Upper Torso Harness

Most Virgin Australia aircrafts can be equipped with upper torso harnesses to provide additional support and restraint in the aircraft seat. The harness is suitable for use for adults and children over the age of two years. Due to safety reasons the use of upper torso harnesses are only available in selected cabins and we cannot allow guests to supply their own harness. If you require the use of this harness please contact our Guest Contact Centre to make your booking.

At the Airport

Virgin Australia may provide mobility assistance to the airport terminal from kerbside. This will be subject to the availability of wheelchairs and staff on duty. Virgin Australia staff is unable to provide kerbside check-in or vehicle transfer assistance. Upon arrival at the airport, the guest must be accompanied by a companion who can notify Virgin Australia staff that a wheelchair is required at kerbside.

Check-in

To allow us sufficient time to take care of your travelling and seating requirements, and transfer you between wheelchairs/aircraft seat, we ask that you check in at least:

  • 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time for domestic flights
  • 2 hours before the scheduled departure time for international flights

Travelling with a Manual Wheelchair

You can either check in your manual wheelchair or self-propelled wheelchair for use within the airport – and we will provide you with an airport aisle wheelchair – or you can choose to take your own manual wheelchair to the boarding gate (where possible). Your wheelchair will then be stowed in the aircraft hold.

Due to security restrictions, only wheelchairs/mobility aids that have been taken through security screening on departure can be returned at the arrivals gate at your destination, otherwise you can collect your wheelchair at the arrivals carousel. This option is for manual (non-motorised) wheelchairs only, as motorised wheelchairs will be handled as follows.

Travelling with a Motorised Wheelchair or Mobility Aid

You can check-in your motorised wheelchair or mobility aid and after your chair has been packed, we will provide you with an airport wheelchair or our team members will assist you in a motorised wheelchair to the boarding gate. In addition at our international ports, you may request to take your own motorised wheelchair to the boarding gate (where possible). At your destination, your motorised wheelchair can be collected from the arrivals carousel or if applicable at an intenrational port, it will be provided at the arrivals door. Please ensure you advise us at the time of booking that you need to use one of our motorised wheelchairs.

Wheelchairs and similar mobility aids with batteries are permitted providing:

  • Battery(s) are non-spillable or lithium ion. Virgin Australia does not permit spillable batteries.
  • A non-spillable battery must not contain free or unabsorbed liquid.
  • The battery is securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid.
  • Battery terminals are protected from short circuit – e.g. enclosed within a battery container.
  • Electrical circuits have been inhibited - e.g. a key switch turned off and the key carried by the guest and/or an isolation switch fitted.
  • Switching off a device with a push-button on/off switch alone is not sufficient and additional measures are required – e.g. isolation switch.

Wheelchairs and similar mobility aids specifically designed to allow the battery(s) to be removed by the user (e.g. collapsible) and travelling in a collapsed state are permitted providing:

Non-spillable battery powered collapsible mobility devices:

  • Removal of the battery(s) from the device must be performed by following the instructions of the manufacturer.
     The removed battery(s):
    • Must be protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals. (e.g. by taping over exposed terminals).
    • Must be carried in strong rigid packaging.
    • Will be loaded in the cargo hold.

Lithium Battery powered collapsible mobility devices:

  • Removal of the battery(s) from the device must be performed by following the instructions of the manufacturer.
  • The removed battery(s):
    • Must be protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals. (e.g. by taping over exposed terminals).
    • Must be protected from damage by placing each battery in a protective pouch.
    • Must be carried in the passenger cabin.
    • A battery must not exceed 300Wh, or for a device that is fitted with two batteries required for operation, each battery must not exceed 160Wh.
    • An additional one spare battery not exceeding 300Wh or 2 spares each not exceeding 160Wh may also be carried.
    • Any mobility devices with batteries less than 100Wh - Guest are permitted to carry a reasonable amount of spare batteries for their personal use.
    • Any spare batteries must be in carry-on baggage and be protected against short circuiting and damage.

On the Aircraft

Transferring to the Aircraft

You will be transferred into an aisle wheelchair to board the aircraft as close as possible to the aircraft door. At an airport without an aerobridge, you will transfer into our aisle chair at the check-in counter or on the tarmac, to be boarded onto the aircraft via the Disabled Person Lifter (DPL).

Onboard Wheelchairs

Virgin Australia have equipped and stowed an onboard wheelchair on all our aircrafts across the fleet. Cabin crew can assist with escorting you to and from the aircraft seat and the aircraft toilet door. Cabin crew is unable to provide assistance with the transfer from onboard wheelchair to the aircraft toilet as well as assisting guest’s toileting requirements. If the guest is unable to meet these requirements, then a carer is required to travel with the guest.

On Arrival

On arrival you will be supplied with a wheelchair (manual self-propelled or motorised where available) or your own manual wheelchair upon request (see above).

Virgin Australia staff can provide assistance to the baggage carousel, to connecting flights/carriers and between terminals if required or even to the closest drop off. This includes taxi ranks, bus stop or drop off bay.

Important (domestic only): Only wheelchairs/mobility aids that were taken through security screening on departure can be returned at the arrivals gate at your destination.