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
Virgin Australia aircraft are equipped with upper torso harnesses to provide additional postural support and restraint in the aircraft seat. The upper torso harness is suitable for adults and can be modified for children over the age of two years who are less than 122cm (4ft) tall. Due to safety reasons, the use of an upper torso harness may be restricted to selected seating and is capped at two per aircraft. Guests are only permitted to use an upper torso harness supplied by Virgin Australia on the aircraft however, Virgin Australia permits guests to bring other approved support devices onboard. If you require the use of an upper torso harness, please contact our Guest Contact Centre to make your booking.
Pre-approved support devices
Virgin Australia does not provide, but permits use of the selected Support Devices onboard for infants, children and guests with disabilities. Pre-approved devices have been tested for fitment and safety compliance within the aircraft for use during flight. These devices must have the original label intact and must be used in accordance with operating instructions.
The Pre-Approved Support Devices are approved for use in most seats, pending legislative and fitting limitations. Additional information regarding pre-approved devices and seating requirements can be found in our Pre-Approved Support Devices List (PDF - 37KB).
More information regarding support devices can be found on the Kids Fly Safe website.
Talk to Us
If you are planning to travel with a Support Device onboard a Virgin Australia flight, we encourage you to contact our Guest Contact Centre at least 24 hours before departure.
At the Airport
A visual assessment of all devices will be conducted at check-in and onboard. All labels, supporting paperwork and operating instructions must be clearly visible and available for inspection by Virgin Australia staff, at all times.
Our priority is the safety of you, your family, our guests and crew. If it is determined that a particular device does not meet our requirements it must be carried as checked baggage.
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.
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 battery powered mobility aid (e.g. wheelchair)
If your battery powered mobility aid (e.g. wheelchair) meets the Dangerous Goods requirements (e.g. measurements and battery types), you can check-in your battery powered mobility aid (e.g. wheelchair) for travel in the cargo hold. After your mobility aid has been checked in, we will provide you with an airport wheelchair or our team members will assist you in a motorised wheelchair to the boarding gate. At some international ports, you may also request to take your own battery powered mobility aid to the boarding gate (where possible). At your destination, your mobility aid can be collected from the arrivals carousel or if applicable at an international 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, by completing the Specific Service Request form and selecting "wheelchair assistance".
Mobility aids with batteries (e.g. wheelchairs)
Batteries that power mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs) are considered dangerous goods when carried by air. To be carried safely on an aircraft, the mobility aid must be correctly prepared.
Battery types permitted in mobility aids which we accept on Virgin Australia Group aircraft are:
- Non-spillable types such as Sealed Lead Acid (SLA), Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) and Gel batteries, which must not contain free or unabsorbed liquid
- Dry type batteries such as alkali-manganese, zinc-carbon, nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.
- A lithium battery (includes polymer, Li-Po and Li-ion) which must meet the requirements of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3.
When preparing the mobility aid for air transport:
- The battery terminals must be protected from short circuit. This may be achieved by enclosing the battery within a non-conductive battery container/case/transport box as part of or separate to the device.
- The battery and container must be securely attached to the mobility aid unless the batteries are required to be removed for air transport.
- The electrical circuits must be isolated/inhibited. That is, the mobility aid cannot be accidentally turned on and moved by operating the controls. Isolating/inhibiting the electrical circuits must be done by following the manufacturer’s instructions
Where a battery is not adequately protected by the mobility aid design or must be removed to allow the device to be folded or otherwise prepared for air transport, it must be done in accordance with the instruction of the manufacturer.
Non-spillable or dry type batteries removed for transport must have the battery and terminals protected from damage and short circuiting and be carried in strong, rigid packaging provided by the user. The packaged battery will then be loaded in the cargo compartment with the mobility aid. One spare non-spillable battery or two spare dry mobility aid batteries suitably packaged is also permitted.
Lithium-ion batteries removed from the mobility aid (e.g. wheelchair) for transport must not exceed 300 Wh (watt-hours). One spare battery not more than 300 Wh, or two batteries, not more than 160 Wh each, are also permitted. The removed and/or spare batteries and terminals must be protected from short circuit and damage by placing each battery in a protective pouch and carried in the cabin.
Watt-hours (Wh) = Voltage (V) x Amp-hours (Ah)
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 where an aerobridge is not available, you will transfer into our aisle chair on the tarmac, to be boarded onto the aircraft via the Disabled Persons Lift (DPL).
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 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, subject to the availability of staff on duty, 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.