Conditions that require advance notice and medical approval
Some circumstances and medical conditions require that you provide advance notice and obtain medical approval for travel.
Choose from the options below to view the specific medical approval requirements as they apply to your itinerary:Itineraries between Canada and the U.S. All other itineraries
Which conditions require advance notice and medical approval for travel?
Advance notice and medical approvalYou must provide at least 48 hours’ advance notice (72 hours for certain destinations) and obtain medical approval before travel if:
- You require medical oxygen or need to use an approved Personal Oxygen Concentrator (POC).
- You have chronic obstructive lung disease (e.g. emphysema) or a chronic heart condition.
- A change in cabin pressure at high altitude may worsen your medical condition.
- You have an infectious or contagious disease (e.g. tuberculosis) that could pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on your flight.
- You suffer from an unstable medical condition (physical or psychological).
- You have suffered from a recent major medical incident (e.g. heart attack, heart failure, stroke, respiratory failure).
- A change in cabin pressure at high altitude may affect your condition.
- You have undergone surgery or have suffered a fracture in the 2 weeks preceding your scheduled flight.
- A cast was placed on a part of your body less than 48 hours before your scheduled flight.
- High altitude may cause increased swelling which may, in turn, affect circulation.
- You have a full leg cast, a leg that cannot bend or flex and/or must remain extended at all times, or severe back problems.
- You have a blood disorder (e.g. anaemia or leukemia).
- High altitude may affect the oxygen concentration in the blood.
- You have thrombophlebitis (inflamed blood vessels and/or blood clots).
- Prolonged postures, such as sitting, may aggravate such conditions.
- You have epilepsy or a history of seizures.
- You require the use of battery-powered medical equipment (e.g. CPAP/BPAP machine) during the flight.
- You are travelling with an attendant.
- Your attendant must be 16 years of age or older and capable of assisting you with your personal and physical needs during the flight.
- You have had an incident on board a previous flight or at the airport and may require medical attention.
- You are an Unaccompanied Minor and have a medical problem. An attendant may be required.
- View important information if it is determined that your child must travel with an attendant.
- You have a cognitive or medical impairment (e.g. Down syndrome, Alzheimer's disease).
- We offer a Service for Unaccompanied Adult Requiring Assistance. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.
- You are travelling with an infant aged 7 days or less, a premature infant, or an infant less than 12 months old with a significant medical condition, who has recently undergone medical treatment.
- You are disabled by obesity.
- View Special seating information.
- You have a severe allergy to peanuts or nuts, or are severely allergic to cats, and would like to request a buffer zone in order to help avoid the risk of exposure.
- The buffer zone option is available only to passengers who are severely allergic to cats, peanuts or nuts.
- You have both a severe hearing and severe vision impairment with only residual hearing or vision and wish to travel without an attendant.
Even if your situation does not require advance notice and medical approval, but you feel you need special assistance at the airport or in flight, please let us know in advance. Contact Air Canada Reservations and we’ll make sure your needs are met.
When and how do I request medical approval for travel?
Medical approval for travel must be requested at least 48 hours before departure (72 hours before for certain destinations)
Air Canada will also make a reasonable effort to accommodate requests made within this time frame.
HowIf any of the medical conditions listed in the question above apply to you, you will need to request medical approval, as follows:
- Book your flight at aircanada.com, with Air Canada Reservations, or with a travel agent.
- Print a copy of the Air Canada Fitness for Travel form and:
- Complete Section A by entering your name, contact information and flight details;
- Have your attending physician complete all other sections that apply to your medical condition.
- Email* your completed Fitness for Travel form to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make sure the subject line of your email contains your date of travel (day, month and year), family and first name, and Booking Reference. E.g.: 26/SEPT/2012, Jones, Mary, N3EI4E
- We will need to receive your completed form at least 48 hours before your departure (72 hours before for certain destinations).
- The Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk will review your request and confirm if you are deemed fit for travel, with or without conditions.
*If you prefer, you can also fax your completed form to us at:
1-888-334-7717 or 514-205-7567
What is long-term medical approval and who can obtain it?The Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk assigns long-term medical approval only on a case-by-case basis. Such approval may be awarded only to certain customers with a permanent, stable disability, including customers who have:
- a disability caused by obesity
- cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- severe nut/peanut allergies
- severe allergy to cats
- contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk once you have booked your flight, and
- provide the long term medical approval number that will have been assigned to you when you got your medical approval.
The medical information you will have provided on the Fitness for Travel form will be on file. However, it is your responsibility to advise Air Canada of any changes to the information you provided on the Fitness for Travel form.
You may get long-term medical approval for travel with an attendant.
You must keep the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk advised of any changes to the information you have provided in your Fitness for Travel form, or of any new medical condition.
- It is your responsibility to inform the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk of any new medical concern or of any significant changes to the information you have provided in Section 3 of the Fitness for Travel form.
Every 2 years, you can renew your long-term medical approval by having a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a nurse practitioner, or your attending physician complete section 3 of the Fitness for Travel form, provided there is no other medical concern.
If there are new medical concerns, all sections of the Fitness for Travel form must be completed by your attending physician.
The validity period of long-term medical approval is determined on a case-by-case basis.
When it is time to renew your long-term medical approval, you must repeat the steps outlined in the ‘When and how do I request medical approval for travel?’ section above. Remember that the Fitness for Travel form must be completed by your attending physician.For passengers who are disabled by obesity only:
- renewal of the Fitness for Travel form may be completed by a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a nurse practitioner, or your attending physician, when there is no other medical concern.
- If there are new medical concerns, the Fitness for Travel form MUST be completed by your attending physician.
How may I contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk?
1-800-667-4732 (Toll-free between Canada and the U.S.)
1-514-369-7039 (long distance charges apply)
- Hours of operation (Eastern Time):
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 6pm