Accessible transportation for persons with disabilities regulations
As an airline operating in Canada, we comply with the Canadian Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations.
KLM will ensure that services are provided to a person with a disability when a request for such services is made at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled departure. Such request should be made by the person with a disability at the time of reservation and as far in advance of travel as possible. The person shall advise the carrier of the nature of his/her disability, the nature of the assistance required and check whether it will be necessary to take the trip with a support person. KLM will make a reasonable effort to accommodate persons with a disability who fail to make reservations 48 hours in advance. However, if a person with a disability makes a request for a service referred below, KLM will provide the service even if the request is made less than 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure:
- assisting with checking in at the check-in counter; in addition, express passage for passengers with disabilities minimizes the waiting time at check-in; KLM recommends to be 3 hours prior departure at the airport unless longer times are applicable
- assisting with proceeding through security checks at the airport and to the gate prior to boarding
- transferring a person between the person's own mobility aid and a mobility aid provided by the carrier
- transferring a person between a mobility aid and the person's seat
- assisting in boarding and deplaning
- assisting in storing and retrieving the carry-on baggage and retrieving checked baggage
- describing to the person with disability the layout of the aircraft and providing a briefing on emergency procedures
- assisting in moving to and from an aircraft lavatory
- inquiring periodically about a person's needs when waiting to board an aircraft or during the flight
- assisting in proceeding to the general public area or, in some cases, to a representative of another carrier
Note: if the request for a service is received less than 96 hours before the scheduled time of departure and KLM informs the person that further information or documentation is required to allow it to assess the request, the required information must be provided more than 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure.
Medical certificates and other documents
If a person with a disability requests a service, except a service referred to in the paragraph above, KLM may require that the person provide any information or documents, including a medical certificate, that are reasonably necessary to permit the carrier to assess the person’s request. However, KLM will make a reasonable effort to provide any service requested by a person with a disability, no matter when it is received if: (1) the person does not provide the information or documents required by the carrier within the period of 48 hours or the information and documents provided are not reasonably sufficient to permit the carrier to assess the request, or (2) KLM is not able to complete its assessment of the request within the period of 48 hours because it includes at least one day that is not a business day. While medical clearance is not always necessary, KLM recommends to consult a doctor to determine whether the person fits for air travel in the following cases:
- recent surgery
- a member in a cast
Medical clearance delivered by KLM medical department is mandatory in the following cases:
- person is traveling on a stretcher or in incubator
- person needs medical oxygen provided by the airline during the flight
- person may need extraordinary medical assistance during the flight due to their state of health
- person has a contagious disease
In order for us to best meet the person with a disability needs, the assistance request should be done at the time of booking the ticket, at least 48 hours before the departure. The person can book either:
with KLM CARES ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
- with a travel agency
- directly online at KLM.com
Online booking enables the person to book the ticket and assistance directly on KLM.com. Certain assistance requests (traveling with a personal wheelchair, an assistance animal, etc.) require that the person provides additional information. Note 1: some KLM flights may be operated by another airline in accordance with a code share agreement. In such cases, the operating company's rules will apply and, in some situations, could be more restrictive than KLM's rules. Therefore, KLM may not be able to confirm the requested assistance. The person should request special assistance via that airline. Note 2: to book flights that connect through Amsterdam airport, we strongly recommend to anticipate a minimum 1.5 hour transit time between flights.
Accessible seats or cabins
Where the nature of the disability is identified, KLM will inform the person with a disability about seats available in the class of service the person has requested that might best meet the accessibility needs of the person, such as a seat that has additional leg room, a larger seat pitch or movable armrests. Passengers with a disability will not be permitted to occupy seats in designated emergency exit rows, bulkhead aisle seat, or otherwise in accordance with applicable safety-related rules and regulations.
Where a person with a disability requests assistance in boarding or seating or in stowing unchecked baggage, the carrier will allow the person, upon request, to board the aircraft in advance of other passengers whenever possible. The carrier may also require a person, even in the absence of a request to do so, to board the aircraft in advance of other passengers in order that it has sufficient time to provide the requested assistance.
To make their trip as comfortable as possible, we ask the passengers with disabilities to leave the aircraft after all the other passengers. If passengers are arriving after a long-haul flight, their baggage and wheelchair (if this was placed in the hold), as well as a second personal mobility device if necessary, will receive priority delivery.
Note: If requested, the carrier will make arrangements for assisting persons with disabilities with outbound/inbound governmental clearance and with baggage delivery.
Transportation of mobility aids and other assistive devices
Passengers in wheelchairs must retrieve their boarding pass at the Air France or KLM check in counters in order to obtain the necessary assistance. Beyond the baggage allowance associated with the person’s ticket, following items can be transported at no extra cost, as priority- checked baggage:
- one additional baggage up to 23kgs (50lbs) for medical equipment, and
- two personal mobility devices (wheelchair, electric scooter, personal transporter, etc.); the type of device or wheelchair, its dimensions, its weight, as well as whether it is foldable should be specified during booking.
In the cabin, the person may transport a single hand baggage item whose weight does not exceed 12kgs / 26lbs and whose dimensions do not exceed 55 x 35 x 25 cm / 21.7 x 13.8 x 9.8 in. KLM handles the baggage starting at check-in. It will be affixed with a specific label to facilitate its identification. (a) Manual wheelchair Where facilities permit, the person will keep it up to the boarding gate where it will be checked in and loaded in the hold except in the case of a foldable wheelchair; if the foldable wheelchair dimensions do not exceed 27cm/11in length, 94cm/37in height, 90cm/35in width, 65cm/26in for the wheel diameter and 15 cm /6 in for the wheels’ cumulative thickness (one on top of the other) and that its weight does not exceed 12kgs/26lbs, the person may be able to keep it in the cabin, where it will be placed in an area as close to the person’s seat as possible. Note 1: the request should be done during booking. Note 2: the wheels must be able to be disassembled and stored in a slipcover. (b) Electric wheelchair Regardless of the kind of electric wheelchair, as a general rule, it must be checked in as baggage. In addition, we strongly recommend to make the electric wheelchair transport request no less than 48 hours before the flight; if not, transportation may be declined if the wheelchair’s battery type does not allow for safe transport. (c) Safety rules regarding wheelchair batteries The following 2 types of batteries can be transported:
- so-called “invertible” batteries (also called “dry-cell batteries”): lithium batteries are considered invertible
- So-called “non-invertible” batteries (also called “wet-cell batteries”)
(d) Transport conditions for invertible batteries
- the battery may remain attached to the wheelchair or mobility device if it is well affixed
- the terminals need not be disconnected if they are already inside of a cell case or isolated (to avoid any short circuits
- the motor is disengaged.
(e) Transport conditions for wheelchairs with non-invertible batteries Because these batteries can compromise the safety of the flight, their transport requires special precautions and can be refused on board if preliminary information is not provided. Passengers are required to consult their conditions of transport during booking. (f) Small assisting devices KLM will allow persons with disabilities to bring on board smaller assistive devices they require during travel, such as canes, crutches, communication devices or portable oxygen concentrators. (g) Onboard wheelchairs All the aircrafts operated by KLM are equipped with an onboard wheelchair designed to circulate in aircraft aisles and to access the restrooms during the flight. Although our flight attendants will assist the person with disability with the use of this wheelchair, they are not permitted to lift or carry the person. The persons with disabilities will not receive any assistance within the restrooms.
Transportation of support persons
KLM may require the presence of a support person for transport if, because of the nature of their disability, the person, after departure and before arrival, needs:
- assistance with eating meals, taking medication, using the washroom
- assistance with transferring to and from a passenger seat
- assistance with orientation or communication
- physical assistance in the event of an emergency, including in the case of an evacuation or decompression.
A support person is required in the following cases:
- if the person has a severe mental disability that prevents him or her from understanding and applying safety instructions
- if the person is both blind and deaf, thereby preventing the possibility of communication with the crew
- if the person has a motor-based disability that physically prevents him or her from participating in an evacuation. Most paraplegics and people with paralysis or who are missing both arms can therefore travel without a travel companion. However, a travel companion is mandatory for most quadriplegics.
KLM will provide a passenger seat for the support person that is adjacent to the passenger seat of the person with a disability. A support person must meet the following requirements:
- be over the age of 18 and autonomous
- not taking care of a disabled person while also taking care of a child under the age of 5, or another disabled person.
The fare available at the time of booking will apply to the support person.
Transportation of service dogs
Damaged or delayed mobility devices
If the mobility aid of a person with a disability is not retained by the person during transport and is damaged or delayed with KLM, we will do our best to care for your interim mobility needs, at our expense, and ensure that the repair of the damage is completed as efficiently as possible. In the event of a delay, the carrier will provide the person with a temporary equivalent replacement mobility aid. If a damage cannot be repaired or is delayed and cannot be located within 96 hours after arrival, KLM will replace it with a comparable model or reimburse the person for the full replacement cost of the mobility aid.
Special declaration of interest
If a person with a disability who uses a mobility aid makes a reservation for transportation on KLM, the person has the option to make a special declaration of interest, under Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention* that sets out the monetary value of the mobility aid and a description of its identifying features. KLM will permit a person with a disability to make the special declaration of interest at any time before the mobility aid is removed for storage in the aircraft’s baggage compartment. * Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention: “In the carriage of baggage, the liability of the carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay is limited to 1,288 Special Drawing Rights for each passenger unless the passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case the carrier will be liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum, unless it proves that the sum is greater than the passenger's actual interest in delivery at destination.”