Travelling should be stress-free for all travellers regardless of your age or medical condition. Many airports across the world accommodate travellers with all kinds of special needs including our own Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
This special care helps one travel comfortably without any worries for example if one has a wheelchair. Below is a list of people who receive special care at airports.
1. Infants and Toddlers
Infants and toddlers receive special care at airports. In most cases, neonates ( less than 28 days old) are not allowed to travel through but newborns who are fit and healthy can travel at 48hrs but preferably at 7 days but clearance should be done before travelling.
All infants shall be held on the lap of the accompanying passenger during takeoff and landing and the infant shall only be put in his/her baby cot when the “fasten seat belt” sign is not on. Infants who seat on a seat will be given supporting pillows by the airline and many airlines provide free baby cots free of charge on request but the weight of the toddler must not exceed 11kgs in the cot.
2. Expectant Mothers
Expectant mothers are allowed to travel by air but women who are over 36 weeks pregnant are advised against flying including the first week after delivery including the baby.
If you have a single uncomplicated pregnancy, you may need a clearance certificate after 27/28 or more weeks from the airline’s doctor. The same applies to multiple uncomplicated pregnancies and complicated pregnancies.
If travelling abroad, ensure your travel or health insurance cover includes pregnancy-related issues
You will be required to download and fill this medical form for Kenya Airways
3. Unaccompanied Minor
Minors are children between 5-14 years who are travelling alone and is willing and fully capable of taking full responsibility for the trip and has confirmed a reservation for the same flight as a minor. Children under 5 years cant travel unaccompanied since airlines don’t provide escort services.
For a minor to be accepted, he/she must have made reservations at least 24 hours before departure.
Restrictions of Unaccompanied Minor acceptance:
- No Unaccompanied Minor under 5 years
- No overnight stopover/connection
- No connections on ‘flights’ operated by train/ bus
- No Unaccompanied Minor will be accepted if itinerary involves a connecting flight on American Airlines (AA) for travel to/from the United States
- No change of airport allowed
- No overnight stopover/connection
- No connection longer than 5 hrs
- Minors travelling with parents and booked in different cabins will be required to pay the full Unaccompanied Minor fee
Download the Unaccompanied Minor Form here for Kenya Airways
4. Passenger With Reduced Mobility
Passengers with reduced mobility are those with a medical, physical or mental condition which requires attention, especially when disembarking and embarking, during emergency evacuations, during the flights or on ground handling.
Many airlines provide wheelchair services to passengers for free but after making a reservation. You may also bring your own wheelchair free of charge but after making reservations 48 hours earlier. Other types of wheelchairs will be transported as check-in baggage.
5. People With Medical & Special Needs Assistance
If you have a medical condition like you are visually impaired, hearing impaired or will be travelling with your special medical equipment on board, then you will be required to book a special assistance request as early as 2 days before departure.
6. Older Passengers
Older passengers need to travel stress-free and comfortably. Many airlines have many services and offers to make it easy and convenient for older passengers to travel, from booking seats they are comfortable with and an enjoyable onboard stay. For many older people, a special diet is important. on many flights, they can be served a special meal. From food suitable for diabetics and reduced-calorie meals through to dishes low in cholesterol or sodium – the desired meal can be ordered up to 24 hours before departure.
Onboard there is always a fully equipped doctor’s bag and the cabin crew receive special training to deal with medical emergencies just in case.