1. Home
  2. Trip info
  3. Guests with special needs
  4. Wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids

Wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids

Air travel with any type of mobility aid requires a bit more preparation, not just for you, but for WestJet, too. If you are bringing your own wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid, everything you need to know is right here.

Although some mobility aids are marked by the manufacturer as “Airline approved” or “Safe for air travel,” this stamp does not automatically mean it is approved by WestJet.

We will make every effort to accommodate you and your mobility aid, and if necessary, we will remove any cargo or baggage in order to accommodate your mobility aid.

Services and amenities for guests with special needs in international destinations/hotels:

Travelling abroad with a special need can pose unique challenges. International accessibility services and amenities may not meet Canadian or American standards, and may differ from location to location. We strive to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made to make your travel a remarkable experience, however, we are unable to guarantee the availability of or access to accommodations, or other third-party services for guests with special needs in destinations outside of Canada and the U.S. If you are travelling on a WestJet Vacations package booking, we will make our best effort to provide acceptable arrangements and will commit to disclose any arrangements in advance when possible. Please call us at 1-877-737-7001 so that we can help ensure that your vacation needs are met, and provide you with a list of our current hotel partners that may be able to meet your travel needs.

One medically required wheelchair is accepted per guest at no charge in addition to the checked baggage allowance. Guests travelling with more than one wheelchair should be prepared to identify their primary wheelchair. Charges will apply to any additional wheelchairs, including wheelchairs used for sporting events such as rugby, basketball, tennis or racing, etc. Please be aware that wheelchairs used for sporting events are considered to fall within WestJet's limits of liability for sporting equipment.

On a first-come, first-served basis, we will accept up to two guest owned folding wheelchairs (one per guest) to be stored, in the cabin of our Boeing 787 Dreamliner. While your wheelchair cannot be used on board the aircraft, we do have an onboard wheelchair to assist you.

You should be aware that there are strict criteria for travelling with a battery. Please see our information about batteries for complete details, and to avoid your battery being denied for your flight.

If you intend to transport your wheelchair in the cargo compartment of the aircraft, it must fit through the cargo door and, depending on the aircraft operating your flight, may be required to be turned onto its side to fit through the entrance. If your mobility aid cannot be turned on its side for loading and unloading, or if it will jeopardize safety or weigh more than the lift or ramp permits, we cannot accept it for transport.

Most mobility aids will be transported in an upright position. Depending on the type of wheelchair battery that your mobility aid uses, the battery may need to be removed. We recommend you check that WestJet can accommodate your wheelchair's dimensions before you book travel.

Aircraft Cargo Door Dimensions (Clearance)

Aircraft typeForward hold
Width x Height
Max weight
Aft hold
Width x Height
Max weight
Dash 8 (DHC-8-400) 24 in x 54 in
61 cm x 136 cm
300 lb / 136 kg
51 in x 59 in
130 cm x 150 cm
300 lb / 136 kg
Boeing 737 (600, 700, 800 and MAX) 33 in x 48 in
84 cm x 122 cm
300 lb / 136 kg
33 in x 48 in
84 cm x 122 cm
300 lb / 136 kg
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 64 in x various sizes*
162.4 cm x various sizes*
300 lb / 136 kg
64 in x various sizes*
162.4 cm x various sizes*
300 lb / 136 kg

*WestJet preloads items into a container, then loads the container into the aircraft cargo compartment. Containers measure 64 in. (162.4 cm) in height, while depth and width vary by container.

 

Please note, that due to operational requirements, we may change the aircraft operating a specific flight without notice. We will do all we can to accommodate your mobility device, however, we may need to change your reservation to ensure your mobility aid can be accommodated. If your mobility aid does not fit, we will work with you to identify alternative arrangements. If you decide to travel on an alternative itinerary to the same destination you will be charged the lower fare of the two trips.

We make every effort to accommodate guests travelling with a mobility aid, and mobility aids are always handled as a priority. You may keep your mobility aid until it becomes necessary to store it, and we will return it as quickly as possible upon arrival at your destination.

We recommend that you notify WestJet at least 48 hours before departure so that we are better prepared for your arrival.

If you are reserving travel on westjet.com please be sure to use the correct option from the three wheelchair service to/from the aircraft available for selection on the "Guest details page" (where you enter your name). You can also call us at 1-888-937-8538 (1-888-WESTJET) and we can add this detail. This is especially important in cases where you are travelling on a WestJet Encore flight, as most Encore flights are ground-loaded.

Option 1 – Wheelchair; can walk up steps

This request indicates that you primarily require a wheelchair for distance, including a wheelchair from check in to/from the aircraft, but that you:

  • can walk up and down steps unassisted
  • will be able to walk unassisted to and from the door of the aircraft to your seat
  • will be able to walk unassisted to and from your seat to the lavatory


Option 2 – Wheelchair; no steps  

This request indicates that you cannot walk up or down steps, but that you will be able to walk unassisted to/from:

  • the door of the aircraft to your seat
  • your seat to the lavatory


Option 3 – Wheelchair; carry on

This request indicates that you are completely immobile and you:

  • require a wheelchair upon check-in to get to/from the aircraft
  • must be transferred up/down stairs
  • require transfer assistance into the cabin, into your seat and to/from your seat to the lavatory. Please be aware that you must be self-reliant or travel with a personal attendant if you require assistance with personal needs.


Wheelchairs of all kinds require special handling. In order to provide you with the most stress-free travel experience, we strongly recommend that if you will be using a mobility aid that you:

  • include this information at the time of booking or advise us a minimum of 48 hours before travel. We will make every reasonable effort for requests made within 48 hours before flight departure.
  • ireview your owner's manual so that you are familiar with how your mobility aid should be prepared for transport, and bring it with you to the airport. If you have had any modifications made to your mobility aid the detailed instructions on how to prepare this equipment for transport must also be provided.
  • iare aware that if a battery cannot be deactivated or disconnected, it will be denied transportation.
  • ibe aware that there are strict criteria for travelling with a battery. Please see our information about batteries for complete details and avoid your battery being denied for your flight.
  • iIn any case of a denial, we will provide you with notification at the time of the denial, and in writing within 10 days of denial.


Please be aware:

  • depending on the aircraft operating your flight, the cargo door/container configuration may require your mobility aid to be turned onto its side to fit through the entrance. If your mobility aid cannot be turned on its side for loading and unloading, we cannot accept it for transport. Please note, that due to operational requirements, we may change the aircraft operating a specific flight without notice.
  • if you are travelling with another airline, or one of WestJet's partner airlines, you will be required to contact all carriers on your itinerary to confirm this process and their notification and reservation requirements. We do not transfer or arrange transfer of mobility aids.

Upon request, we will:

  • Provide you with assistance to and from the door of the aircraft
  • Assist in transferring you between your wheelchair or other mobility aid to our wheelchair and the aircraft seat (before and after the flight)
  • Bring you to the entrance of an airport washroom using a wheelchair. Please note, our agents will not enter or provide assistance within the washroom. If you require assistance for personal care, you may need to travel with a personal attendant.
  • Allow for you to use your personal wheelchair or mobility aid until it becomes necessary to store it, and we will return it to you promptly upon arrival
  • Bring you to a designated location near the gate and periodically check on you
  • Allow you to board before other guests in order to help you locate your seat and store your personal item and carry-on baggage. Once general boarding begins, you will be required to board after other passengers.

If you have limited or reduced mobility and indicated this on your reservation by selecting or requesting a special service request of "Wheelchair; carry on" we offer the following transfer options:

  • If you can self-transfer, please advise the person assisting you
  • Eagle transfer device: this mechanical lift device is used to transfer guests with limited or reduced mobility. The devices have a maximum lift capacity of 200 kg (440 lbs).
    • To ensure your safety and the safety of the person assisting you, if you require us to transfer you, and if this lift is available, it must be used.

If the Eagle transfer device is not available, we will use a transfer kit which includes a sling, a transfer belt, and a transfer board. If you exceed 200 kg (440 pounds) we cannot accept you for travel. Please contact WestJet's Special Care Desk as we may be able to assist in making alternative arrangements.

If you have provided 48 hour's-notice, we will be able to assist you, if necessary, by disassembling your battery-powered mobility aid, packaging it and reassembling it upon arrival.

To ensure this is done correctly, you are required to:

  • check in for your flight at least one full hour before the recommended check-in time to ensure we have adequate time to prepare your mobility aid for the flight.
  • provide detailed instructions on the disassembly and reassembly of your mobility aid. If you don't have your owner's manual or cannot provide instructions on how to deactivate the battery power and we cannot deactivate or disconnect your battery, we will not accept your mobility aid as this presents a safety risk.


We ask that you:

  • check the size restrictions for mobility aids before you reserve travel, as this may restrict how and when your mobility aid can travel.
  • confirm you are able to travel with the battery type your mobility aid uses before you arrive at the airport. To identify your battery type, check your user manual or check with your mobility aid's manufacturer. Once you know what type of battery your mobility aid uses, check your battery allowances and restrictions.
  • take any easily removable pieces that are within the carry-on baggage dimensions, such as baskets, joysticks, cushions, headrests, etc. on board.

There are strict criteria for travelling with a battery or battery-operated equipment. To avoid your battery being denied for your flight, please review the information about batteries on our restricted items page.

Our cabin crew will assist you with transferring you between your seat and the washroom using an onboard wheelchair, but you must be able to stand, pivot and weight bear.

We will also offer you stability as you enter and exit the washroom, however, you must be able to attend to your own personal needs as our cabin crew members are not permitted to assist with personal hygiene. If you need more assistance, you may need to be accompanied by a personal attendant.

Guests that require the use of the onboard wheelchair, assistance from a personal attendant, or service animal will be allowed to use the washroom with the most amount of space. Note: only the washroom on the 787 Dreamliner is large enough for the onboard wheelchair, an attendant or a service dog.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, items including mobility devices may be damaged or delayed. When a mobility device is damaged or delayed with WestJet, we do our best to care for your interim mobility needs, at our expense, and ensure that the repair of the damage is completed as quickly as possible. In the event of a delay, we will work to reunite you with your mobility device as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will make every effort to provide you with an equivalent model, but unfortunately - sometimes due to specific customization of the device or the particular WestJet destination - there may be significant challenges doing so. Sourcing appropriate rental mobility devices and/or the qualified technicians to service mobility equipment, especially those that are custom and computerized may take more time, or in some cases not be possible.

We take the delay or damage of a mobility device very seriously, and we follow up on every mobility file reported to us. This helps us to learn and understand the reason for each occurrence and work to prevent future occurrences. It is because of our sincere care for our guests, and because we recognize the importance of a mobility device for our guests that these processes are in place. In some respects, we are regulated in how we manage these situations. For details you can review this information in our Tariffs and conditions of carriage.

If a damaged aid cannot be repaired or is delayed and cannot be located within a reasonable period of time after arrival, we will replace it with a comparable item, or work with you to bring the matter to a mutual resolution. We will also reimburse you for any expenses you may incur because your mobility aid was damaged, destroyed or lost or if it was not made available to you at the time of your arrival at your destination.

Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations require us to offer the option to make a special declaration of interest under Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention or under Article 22(2) of the Warsaw Convention. However, because the repair or replacement of the mobility aid does not require a special declaration to be covered, we deem this option unnecessary.

In addition to the checked baggage allowance, WestJet accepts one medically required scooter per guest at no charge, subject to size restrictions. Any detachable parts that fit within the carry-on baggage sizing is accepted in the cabin.

Scooters are transported in the cargo compartment of the aircraft, and therefore can only be accepted for transport if its size permits access through the cargo door.

Scooters over 83 centimetres (33 inches) in height may need to be turned on their side or angled to fit through the opening. Scooters that are too large to fit through the opening, turned on their side, or otherwise angled to fit through the cargo door opening, cannot not be accepted for carriage.

If you are travelling with a medically required scooter, we recommend that you notify us at least 48 hours before departure. The earlier you tell us, the better prepared we will be, as this gives us time to process your service request and make the most suitable arrangement. In cases where notification is not provided 48 hours before departure, we will make our best effort to accommodate.

We do not require advance notice for non-medically required scooters; however these scooters are only accepted on a space available basis and are subject to all baggage fees.

There are strict criteria for travelling with a battery or battery-operated equipment. To avoid your battery being denied for your flight, please review the information about batteries on our restricted items page.

We do not require advance notice for non-medically required scooters; however these scooters are only accepted on a space available basis and are subject to all baggage fees.

Depending on the type of battery your medically required scooter uses, you may be required to remove it and carry it with you in the cabin of the aircraft. Please see our information about batteries for complete details, and to avoid your battery being denied for your flight.

Scooters that are up to 45 kg (100lb.) and have a battery that must be removed in order for the device to fully collapse (batteries not encased at the base of the scooter), are considered a powered collapsible mobility device. These collapsible scooters and detachable parts are accepted in the cabin, or as checked baggage. This applies to lithium and non-spillable battery operated units.

Scooters that require a key to start and operate should have the key removed and you should keep the key with you.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, items including mobility devices may be damaged or delayed. When a mobility device is damaged or delayed with WestJet, we 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, we will work to reunite you with your mobility device as soon as possible. In the meantime, we would like to provide you with an equivalent model, but unfortunately - sometimes due to specific customization of the device or the particular WestJet destination - there may be significant challenges in doing so. Sourcing appropriate rental mobility devices and/or the qualified technicians to service mobility equipment, especially those that are custom and computerized may take more time, or in some cases not be possible.

We take the delay or damage of a mobility device very seriously, and we follow up on each and every mobility file reported to us. This helps us to learn and understand the reason for each occurrence and work to prevent future occurrences. It is because of our sincere care for our guests and because we recognize the importance of a mobility device for our guests that these processes are in place. In some aspects, we are regulated in how we manage these situations. For details you can review this information in our Tariffs and conditions of carriage

If a damaged aid cannot be repaired or is delayed and cannot be located within a reasonable period of time after arrival, we will may replace it with a comparable item or work with you to bring the matter to a mutual resolution.

Medically required mobility devices (for example braces, canes, etc.) will be accepted free of charge in the cabin if they are within the carry-on baggage size allowance.

If you do not medically require these items yourself, you may transport them in checked baggage, however, all applicable checked and excess baggage fees will apply.

 

We do not require advance notice or for these items to be added to your reservation.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, items including mobility devices may be damaged or delayed. When a mobility device is damaged or delayed with WestJet, we 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, we will work to reunite you with your mobility device as soon as possible. In the meantime, we would like to provide you with an equivalent model, but unfortunately - sometimes due to specific customization of the device or the particular WestJet destination - there may be significant challenges in doing so. Sourcing appropriate rental mobility devices and/or the qualified technicians to service mobility equipment, especially those that are custom and computerized may take more time, or in some cases not be possible.

We take the delay or damage of a mobility device very seriously and we follow up on each and every mobility file reported to us. This helps us to learn and understand the reason for each occurrence and work to prevent future occurrences. It is because of our sincere care for our guests and because we recognize the importance of a mobility device for our guests that these processes are in place. In some aspects, we are regulated in how we manage these situations. For details you can review this information in our Tariffs and conditions of carriage

If a damaged aid cannot be repaired or is delayed and cannot be located within a reasonable period of time after arrival, we will may replace it with a comparable item or work with you to bring the matter to a mutual resolution.

 

If you are planning on travelling with a larger item, such as a personal lift, these items are only accepted on a space available basis, and are subject to all applicable fees, including overweight and oversize fees. You should be aware that there are limits of liability which may not cover the replacement cost if damaged. As such, we strongly recommend that you investigate rental options for these items at your destination, and caution that if you do not provide adequate notification, or these items are not packaged appropriately for air travel, these items will not be accepted. We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance for any equipment that is over the limited liability amount. Please be sure to check with your product's manufacturer, as many models provide only packing instructions for land transport, which does not meet aviation packing requirements.

There are strict criteria for travelling with a battery or battery operated equipment. To avoid your battery being denied for your flight, please review the information about batteries on our restricted items page.

WestJet has a maximum liability for all items transported.

For domestic travel only, WestJet's maximum liability as a result of damage and/or loss is 1,131 Special Drawing Rights per item (approximately $1,800 CAD).

For international travel, WestJet's liability will be limited by either the Montreal Convention or the Warsaw Convention, as applicable. In most cases, the limitation amount will be 1,131 Special Drawing Rights. If you have purchased excess valuation ‑ which is available at the airport, prior to departure, for a fee ‑ the maximum liability is $3,000 CAD/USD (which includes the standard 1131 SDRs).

You may wish to consider the purchase of travel insurance for items valued exceeding WestJet's maximum liability.

WestJet accepts orthotic positioning devices (OPD) for use on board the aircraft. If you are planning to use an OPD on board, you will be seated in a location that doesn't restrict the exit of any other guest.

This restriction means you will generally be seated in a window seat, and you will not be allowed to sit in an emergency exit row.

All orthotic positioning devices must:

  • be medically required;
  • fit within the aircraft seat - it may not extend above the back, impede the recline of seat in front and must allow the armrest to be fully lowered;
  • use the aircraft seatbelt as the primary means of restraint (you must use the seatbelt for take-off, landing and when instructed by the cabin crew);
  • not be a booster seat or unapproved child restraint system;
  • not be labelled with restrictions for use on board the aircraft or by the individual using it;
  • not require a cabin crew member to assist in its use in any way.

WestJet accepts the FAA certified AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) and the Special CARES systems. This system is available for:

  • children between 22 and 44 pounds occupying their own seat that weight.
  • adults that require core support or stability.

If you require the use of any other restraint system, WestJet requires notification and must assess and approve the restraint system before it may be used. Any other item used which would require attachment to the seat. In all cases, the restraint item MUST be used in conjunction with the seat belt.

There are strict criteria for travelling with a battery or battery operated equipment. To avoid your battery being denied for your flight, please review the information below:

  • batteries are classified as dangerous goods – we take the handling of batteries very seriously and will not accept batteries which are not prepared properly for transport.
  • some batteries must be removed from the object they are in, or deactivated. For larger items like wheelchairs and mobility aids, we can assist if you provide the manufacturer's or verbal instructions.
  • WestJet strictly adheres to the individual manufacturer recommendation for proper disassembly and stowage as described in the owner's manual when provided.
  • Most batteries must be transported in carry-on baggage. See our restricted items page for information on whether your battery is permitted in checked baggage.
  • All battery terminals must be either recessed or packaged to protect them and prevent contact with metal objects (short circuit), including the terminals of other batteries.
  • Ensure you bring an adequate supply of approved batteries to meet your specific needs. As applicable, this may include, the duration of the flight, all ground time (before and after flight and during connections) and any unexpected delays in the terminal, during the flight or before landing; a good practice is to calculate this full amount of time and bring 1.5 times that total time.
  • For limitations on the number of batteries you are permitted to bring for your device, please check our restricted items site for information specific to your battery type.

Although there are charging ports on the aircraft, you may not use them to charge medical devices or batteries used for medical devices or mobility aids as they are not designed for this use. WestJet is not liable for any injury, harm or damage to the equipment caused by a guest attempting to use this power supply for batteries or portable medical electronic devices.

Prepare for travel:

  • Review your owner's manual and the information below so you are prepared to remove or instruct us on how to remove your battery or confirm that accidental activation cannot occur.
  • If you cannot remove, provide manufacturer’s information or provide verbal instruction on how to remove, deactivate or prevent activation, or properly prepare the battery for transport, the battery will be denied.
  • Notify us at least 48 hours before departure. If you do not provide 48 hour's-notice, we will make our best effort to accommodate, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you.
  • When you call us, please have the information pertaining to the type of battery you are using and the proper stowage method to ensure safe transport. Be prepared to answer the following questions (as applicable):
    • Is the battery removable?
    • What type of battery are you travelling with? Examples include spillable (wet cell) non-spillable (sealed lead acid), or lithium).
    • What is the height, weight, width, and length of your mobility aid?
    • Do you have any items that are detachable, which should be brought in the cabin of the aircraft to avoid damage?


If you still have questions you can call us at 1-888-937-8538 (1-888-WESTJET).

Air travel with any type of mobility device requires a bit more preparation for us both. In order to provide you with the most stress-free travel experience:

  • be aware that it is your responsibility to remove the battery, or provide manufacturer's instructions on how to remove the battery. If you cannot remove the battery properly for transport, or provide the required manufacturer's information on how to remove the battery, or provide verbal instruction the battery will be denied transport.
  • WestJet strictly adheres to the individual manufacturer recommendation for proper disassembly and stowage as described in the owner's manual.
  • Check in at least one full hour before the recommended check-in time for your flight.

 All airlines maintain individual criteria for battery acceptance; if you are travelling with WestJet and/or another airline, please confirm the acceptance policy for each airline on your itinerary.

 
Seat maps

Seat maps

You will find that our seats differ depending on the aircraft you are flying on, the fare you booked and the location on board. The information below should help you get acquainted with our seat layout.

Learn more