Special Needs

Passengers with Disabilities

  • An individual with a disability means any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • A “qualified individual with a disability” is defined as an individual with a disability who obtains a valid ticket, comes to the airport for a flight, and meets the nondiscriminatory contract of carriage requirements that apply to all passengers.

General Prohibition of Discrimination

  • Island Air does not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability in the provision of air transportation.
  • The amended rules to implement the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 contain certain requirements designed to address issues that have arisen in providing air travel to individuals with disabilities. The regulations are intended to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to air transportation and that carriers not impose restrictions on such passengers except those necessary to the safe carriage of all passengers.

Refusal to Transport

  • Island Air may refuse transportation to any passenger on the basis of safety, and may refuse to provide transportation to any passenger whose carriage would violate FAA regulations. In exercising this authority, Island Air personnel may not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability on the basis of disability.
  • Island Air shall not refuse to provide transportation to a qualified individual with a disability solely because the person’s disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience crewmembers or other passengers. Passengers with disabilities shall not be refused transportation because they are not reasonably clean or free of offensive odors.
  • Island Air may not refuse to provide transportation to qualified individuals with a disability by limiting the number of such persons who are permitted to travel on a given flight, except when such carriage would be in violation of FAA safety regulations.

Advance Notice Requirements

  • Except as noted below, Island Air may not require a qualified individual with a disability to provide advance notice of his/her intention to travel or of his/her disability as a condition of receiving transportation.
  • Island Air may require up to 48 hours advance notice and one-hour advance check-in concerning a qualified individual with a disability who wishes to receive any of the following services:
    • Transportation for an electric wheelchair.
    • Hazardous material packing for a battery for a wheelchair or other assistive device.
    • Accommodation for a group of 10 or more qualified individuals with a disability, who make reservations and travel as a group
  • It should be noted that even if a passenger does not comply with the advance notice and advance check-in requirements, personnel should make a reasonable attempt to accommodate the passenger without delaying the flight.
  • If a qualified individual with a disability provides advance notice to Island Air and the individual is forced to change to the flight of another carrier because of the cancellation or delay of the original flight, Island Air personnel will provide rerouting assistance to the individual. This may include, but is not limited to, assistance with reservations and ticketing, the provision of ground transportation to the second carrier, and/or assistance in securing appropriate services from the other airline.

Unavailable Services

  • Island Air is unable to accommodate passengers who require an incubator, a respirator, or a stretcher.


  • Island Air may not require a qualified individual with a disability to travel with an attendant, except in certain limited circumstances dealing with safety.
  • Island Air will require that a qualified individual with a disability, meeting any of the following criteria, travel with an attendant as a condition of carriage on the grounds of safety.
    • A person who, because of mental disability, is unable to comprehend or respond appropriately to safety-related instructions.
    • A person who has both severe hearing and severe vision impairments, and cannot establish some means of communication with carrier personnel adequate to permit transmission of the required safety briefing.
    • A person with a mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to assist in his/her evacuation of the aircraft.
  • Under the attendant provision, if Island Air personnel determine that a person meeting one of the above criteria must travel with an attendant, contrary to the individual’s self-assessment that he/she can travel independently, Island Air shall not charge for the transportation of the attendant. In this case only, Island Air must bear the cost of the attendant’s transportation. In all other instances that require an attendant, the appropriate fare should be collected.
  • Once a determination has been made by Island Air that an attendant is required for safety reasons, the Supervisor should solicit a volunteer from any off-duty employees traveling on the same flight. Attendants may also be of the passenger’s choice, or a volunteer from the revenue passengers may be solicited. In this event, a revenue passenger should be approached individually and in a discreet, professional manner.
  • Revenue passengers who agree to volunteer as an attendant will be offered a refund for the segment of travel that he/she accompanies the person with a disability. Under these conditions, both the attendant and the person with a disability must be advised that the volunteer attendant will only be required to assist the person with a disability in the event of an emergency evacuation. Personal service duties such as assistance with dispensing of medication should not be expected, nor are they required.
  • If there is not a seat available on a flight for an attendant whom Island Air has determined to be necessary and, as a result, a person with a disability with a confirmed reservation is unable to travel on the flight, the person with a disability will be paid denied-boarding compensation. For purposes of determining whether a seat is available for an attendant, the attendant shall be deemed to have checked in at the same time as the person with a disability.
  • If it is not possible to secure an attendant and it has been determined that the person with a disability must have one, the person with a disability will be denied transportation until an attendant is available. Denied-boarding compensation will not apply in these circumstances. It is essential that these situations be handled as tactfully as possible. A written explanation by the local station is required to be submitted to the Customer Services Manager, Director – Airport Services and the Customer Relations Department.

Seat Assignments and Seating Accommodations

  • Island Air may not exclude any qualified individual with a disability from any seat or require that an individual with a disability sit in any particular seat on the basis of disability EXCEPT in compliance with Exit Seating regulations.
  • Island Air will not require qualified individuals with a disability to sit on blankets or seat covers.
  • A passenger with any involuntary behavior (i.e. physical or verbal behavior such as Tourette’s Syndrome) may only be denied boarding for safety reasons.
  • Island Air shall provide seating accommodations for individuals with disabilities by allowing them to board the aircraft before other passengers, including other “pre-boarded” passengers, so that the individuals needing seating accommodations can select seats that best meet their needs if they have taken advantage of the opportunity to pre-board.
  • Island Air is not required to furnish more than one seat per ticket.

Service Animals

  • Island Air will permit a service animal to accompany a qualified individual with a disability at any seat in which the person sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed in order to facilitate an emergency evacuation.
  • If the service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat location chosen by the qualified individual with a disability whom the animal is accompanying, Island Air will offer the passenger the opportunity to move with the animal to a seat location where the animal can be accommodated, as an alternative to having the animal travel in the cargo compartment of the aircraft.

Passengers Using Wheelchairs

  • Passengers using wheelchairs will be accepted unaccompanied. One personal collapsible wheelchair will be transported free. The wheelchair must be stored in the baggage compartment in its upright position when possible in such a manner/location to be easily accessible at the destination station. If it is necessary to collapse the wheelchair due to space restrictions, special care must be taken to assure that other cargo/baggage will not shift causing damage to the wheelchair.
  • Caution must also be exercised while transporting wheelchair passengers to/from the aircraft on the ramp. Sudden jolts/bumps may cause severe discomfort to the passenger. If the wheelchair is equipped with a seat belt, it should be used.
  • Island Air will not leave a passenger with a disability unattended in a ground wheelchair, boarding wheelchair, or other device, in which the passenger is not independently mobile, for more than 30 minutes.

Passengers Using Crutches/Walkers

  • Passengers using crutches or walkers are acceptable for carriage and, depending upon the extent of their disability, may or may not need assistance; however, Island Air personnel will always extend an offer to give assistance as needed.
  • Crutches or canes can generally be stowed in the cabin (under the passenger’s seat, in the overhead compartment or wardrobe), but must never be stowed in the path to or adjacent to an emergency exit. Walkers may be stowed in the baggage compartment due to their size/shape. Care must always be exercised to avoid damage by shifting cargo, and should always be loaded for easy access at the destination station.

Boarding Assistance

  • Island Air shall provide boarding assistance to individuals with disabilities using mechanical lifts, ramps, or other suitable devices that do not require employees to lift or carry passengers up stairs.
  • Hand-carrying of passengers is permitted only for emergency evacuations.
  • Island Air may require that passengers requiring the use of a lift, ramp or other suitable device check in for the flight one hour before the scheduled departure time for the flight. If the passenger checks in after this time, Island Air shall nonetheless provide the boarding assistance by lift or ramp if it can do so by making a reasonable effort without delaying the flight.
  • When boarding assistance cannot be provided (e.g. because of mechanical problems with the lift or ramp), boarding assistance shall be provided by a carry on/off chair with the passenger’s consent.
  • Carry On/Off Chair
    • Each station will provide at least one carry-on/off chair to be used until a lift, ramp, or other suitable device is provided as noted above or if the boarding device cannot be provided (due to mechanical problems). The carry on/off chair may be used to transfer the passenger from the boarding device to the passenger seat.
    • The carry-on/off chair is equipped with both chest and lap belts which must be secured at all times while a passenger is seated on it. Care must be exercised when transferring the passenger to the carry-on/off chair to assure it does not tip over. If it is necessary to physically lift a passenger onto the carry-on/off chair, always ask the passenger what part of their body you may grasp.
    • At least two able-bodied persons are always required when transporting a passenger on the carry-on/off chair. One person must stand behind the chair. Grasp the upper hand holds and tilt the chair to approximately a 45-degree angle. The second person will walk in front of the chair grasping the foot rest handholds. Very special care must be taken while going up or down stairs or airstairs. Go one step at a time, lifting from both ends of the chair. To avoid back injury, the person on the bottom end should always squat when lifting.

Stowage of Personal Equipment

  • Island Air may not count any assistive device brought into the cabin by an individual with a disability as part of his carry on baggage allotment.
  • Individuals with a disability must be permitted to stow canes and other assistive devices, including wheelchairs, on board the aircraft in close proximity to their seats, consistent with the requirements of FAA safety regulations for carry-on items.
  • Island Air must provide for the checking and timely return of passengers’ wheelchairs and other checked assistive devices as close as possible to the door of the aircraft.
  • The baggage liability limits do not apply to liability for loss, damage, or delay concerning wheelchairs or other assistive devices. Compensation for a lost, damaged or destroyed wheelchair or other assistive device shall be the original purchase price of the device.

Persons with Hearing Impairments

  • The Island Air Reservations Department can accommodate persons with hearing impairments who are in need of flight reservations or flight information.

Communicable Diseases

  • A person with a disability, who has a communicable disease or infection, will be accepted for transportation unless the individual’s condition poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. “A direct threat” means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. Exception: A person with a contagious disease may be accepted for transportation under the following condition:
    • If the passenger with the communicable disease or infection presents a medical certificate stating that the disease or infection will not be transmitted during the normal course of the flight, the passenger must be accepted for transportation. The medical certificate must include any conditions or precautions that would have to be observed to prevent the disease or infection from being transmitted. If it is not possible to ensure that the guidelines outlined in the medical certificate can be met, the passenger may not be accepted for transportation. If such action occurs, the passenger may postpone his travel (up to 90 days) at the same fare or be given a refund for any unused flights.

Medical Certificates

  • Island Air will require a medical certificate dated within ten days of the date of the flight for which it is presented for the following:
    • Passengers whose medical condition is such that there is reasonable doubt that the individual can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight.
    • The passenger has a communicable disease or infection, which can be transmitted to other passengers during the normal course of the flight.
    • Island Air will not require a medical certificate for any reason other than those listed above.

Oxygen for Medical Use by Passengers (FAR 121.574)

Island Air will provide oxygen for medical use to accommodate passengers who require oxygen for planned medical purposes. Passengers requesting this service shall be assessed the appropriate charges. It is essential that we be in compliance with the following procedures:

Notification Process:

  • Request must be made through Reservations at least 48 hours in advance of flight. Passenger will indicate if they will use the cannula or nose/mouth mask.
  • The Aero-Med bottle will be maintained by the Maintenance Department and at least two cylinders will remain at Honolulu Station.
  • After a request is made for Aero-Med the Reservations Department will notify Island Air.
  • Maintenance personnel will ensure that the Aero-Med is positioned at the airport by the date of passenger’s travel.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Portable oxygen concentrators (POC) can be allowed for use by passengers on an Island Air aircraft. Island Air will transport a POC with a ticketed passenger provided the POC is one of the following models:

  •  OXUS RS-00400

The POC will be carried in the aircraft passenger cabin and does not count against the passenger personal item allowance.

Passenger must present a physician’s certificate issued and signed on the physician’s letterhead in order to use the POC onboard.

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

  • Constant Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) units are not yet FAA approved for use onboard Island Air flights.
  • The CPAP unit may be carried in the aircraft passenger cabin and does not count against a passenger’s personal item allowance.

Flight Services

  • The Flight Attendant is responsible to conduct an individual safety briefing to each person who may need the assistance of another person to move expeditiously to an exit in the event of an emergency. The safety briefing will be given to each individual with a disability and attendant prior to takeoff.
  • A person with a disability will be offered, but is not required, to pre-board. If the person with a disability takes advantage of the opportunity to preboard, he will have priority use of designated space for assistive devices.
  • Island Air personnel will provide assistance to individuals with a disability in enplaning and deplaning and also in moving to and from seats. If Island Air is the delivering carrier, Island Air shall be responsible for assistance in flight connections and transportation between gates.
  • The Flight Attendant will provide routine assistance inflight, such as:
    • Assistance in preparation for eating, such as opening packages and identifying foods.
    • Assistance to a semi-ambulatory person in moving to and from the lavatory, not involving lifting or carrying the person.
    • Assistance in loading and retrieving carry-on items, including mobility aids and other assistive devices stowed on-board.
    • Services not provided:
      • Assistance in eating.
      • Assistance within restroom.
      • Provision of medical services.

Complaint Resolution Official (CRO)

  • The CROs for the Company are the Customer Relations Managers. The CRO at each airport location is the Customer Service Manager. Island Air may make the CRO available via telephone, at no cost to the passenger, if the CRO is not present in person at the airport at the time of the complaint.
  • The CRO has the authority to resolve problems or complaints of alleged violations on behalf of Island Air. If Island Air refuses to provide transportation to a qualified passenger with a disability on the basis of safety, the local CRO must immediately provide a written explanation to the Director-Airport Services and the Company CRO (Customer Relations Department). The Flight Attendant shall also submit an Incident Report to the Director Flight Services. The Company CRO (Customer Relations Manager) must provide a written response to the passenger within 10 calendar days of the incident.

Passenger Information

  • The Department of Transportation requires that carriers maintain a copy of these rules at each airport it services and that it should be made available for review on request.
  • Island Air will make available, on request, information concerning facilities and services related to air transportation for passengers with disabilities. This information will pertain to the type of aircraft used to operate Island Air flights.