Passengers with special needs
Passengers with special needs are those persons who, due to a physical or mental disability, are limited in their capacity to carry out various activities, either on a temporary or permanent basis, or who have a history of a limitation. Please let us know if you require any special assistance and we will do everything possible to meet your needs and make your flight an enjoyable one.
Blind and/or hearing-impaired customers
- Passengers who are either visually or hearing impaired may fly alone.
- Customers that have both conditions but can establish some form of communication with personnel that is adequate for understanding safety instructions will be accepted.
- Those customers that suffer from both disabilities but cannot establish any form of communication must travel in the company of an escort or assistant. The customer must pay for the assistant’s flight at the applicable rate.
- Use of aid devices will be permitted provided that they comply with hand luggage requirements and they will not be counted as an additional piece of luggage.
- Wheelchairs are considered ‘priority devices’ before the rest of the luggage and cargo.
Customers with mental disorders that travel with assistants
Those customers with mental disorders that are hospitalized must travel with a certified assistant for the entire length of the trip.
- The assistant must present credentials from their place of employment, including an authorizing signature.
- Medical certification must be issued a maximum of 12 hours before flight departure.
- Customers with mental disorders must sit in the window seat and the assistant will sit next to that customer.
- The customer and the assistant must make confirmed reservations leading to their final destination. Reservations must be made with at least 24 hours of anticipation.
To ensure the safety of all passengers, including those with special needs, some passengers need to travel with an escort. Situations that are required escorts are:
- Passenger with mental disabilities who cannot understand and respond to the safety procedure of the crew.
- A passenger with severe impairment to move or help himself in an evacuation of emergency.
- Passenger hearing and visually impaired who cannot establish a means of communication with ground staff and crew.
- Passenger who cannot make their physiological needs alone.
It is important to remember that the escort needs to be able to look for all the special and medical needs of the passenger. The escort must be over 18 years old.
Copa Airlines offers the travel companion an 80% discount on the fare taking as reference the value of the air ticket purchased by the PNAE. In order to apply the discount, passengers should bring a medical certificate or document stating the need to travel with an escort at the sales offices.*
*Discount applies to sales made in Brazil for flights departing from Brazil.
Assistance at the airport
Most airports to which Copa Airlines flies have Flight Information Display System (FIDS). Our personnel at the boarding gate provide verbal information about flights; including announcements prior to boarding and regarding any delays. We ask that our customers with sensory handicaps let a member of our personnel know of their special needs at each contact point in the airport.
Assistance during the flight
Safety card in Braille
Every Copa Airlines airplane has safety instruction cards in Braille for sight-impaired customers. Our onboard crew will also provide individual safety instructions for customers needing special help prior to take-off. Please inform our boarding area personnel should you require this information, in order that they might convey this information to our on-board personnel.
Individual safety instructions
Passengers may request individual safety instructions to ensure that they understand the safety instructions. These individual instructions include an explanation of where and when to exit the airplane and a questionnaire about the best way to help the customer.
Our onboard crew will provide assistance passengers with special needs in the following situations:
- Going to and leaving their seat during boarding and deplaning.
- Going to the bathroom and returning to their seat while on the airplane.
- Loading and unloading carry-on luggage and any orthopedic equipment stored in the airplane.
- During food preparation, including opening packages and identifying items.
Our onboard crew cannot help with any medical services, in the bathroom, with meals or feeding as such.
The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the security officials at the different destinations to which we travel require airport security screening for all passengers, including disabled passengers.
For flights to and from United States
To download and obtain a copy of the ACAA Final Rule (Air Carrier Access Act) 14 CFR Part 382 of the Department of Transportation (DOT), Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel please click here.
If you require a copy of this regulation in an accessible format, you can get it directly from the Department of Transportation (DOT) by any of the following means:
1. By telephone: Toll – free hotline for air travels with disabilities from the United States:
- 1-800-778-4838 (voice)
- 1-800-455-9880 (TTY)
2. By telephone: Calls to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division
- (202) 366-2220 (voice)
- (202) 366-0511 (TTY)
3. By regular mail to the Air Consumer Protection Division
Consumer protection division aviation
U.S. Department of Transportation,
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
4. By web: website of the Air Consumer Protection Division