Introduction of ANA’s Approach
Initiatives on Accessible Air Travel for Customers who request special assistance in Response to COVID-19
When providing assistance to customers with disabilities, elderly customers and others requiring assistance, we implement appropriate measures to prevent them from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection so they can travel with greater peace of mind.
Efforts toward Inclusive and Universal Services
With a super-aging society awaiting us in 2020 and beyond, ANA will pour its efforts into providing pleasant air travel for all. To this end, it will continue connecting Japan and the world and embracing challenges that create new value.
Introduce "Assistance Information Registration Service" for ANA Mileage Club members.
We now offer a service that allows ANA Mileage Club members with impairments such as illnesses, injuries or disabilities to register information on the assistance they will require for their journey. After using this service, you will be able to enjoy a smoother reservation process by simply providing your ANA Mileage Club membership number.
Various Wheelchairs Provided at Airports
At all airports, we provide airport wheelchairs for customers who have difficulties in walking. At some airports we also have reclining wheelchairs and larger wheelchairs for customers with special needs.
For smooth boarding of customers in wheelchairs, passenger boarding lifts, wheelchair stair lifts, and boarding ramps are available.
Introduction of Assisted Stretcher upon Customer Request
In December 2011, a customer who could not climb stairs proposed to equip airports who have no passenger boarding lift or wheelchair stair lift with designated stretchers to assist the embarking and disembarking of customers requiring assistance. We have responded to this proposal by equipping airports especially those that serve small aircraft with assisted stretchers, a special type of wheelchair designated to be used for climbing up and down stairs. This is an example of our effort to realize a practical barrier-free travel environment in response to feedback from our customers.
For information on the availability of wheelchairs at airports and the provided assistance for customers with walking disabilities, please refer to Customers with Walking Disabilities.
Telecommunication Relay Services for ANA (Japanese and English only)
We have been giving customers with disabilities not only boarding support but also support for making reservations and inquiries. On February 1, 2010, we started Telecommunication Relay Services for ANA for customers with hearing and speaking disabilities with the cooperation of Plus Voice Co., Ltd., a welfare solution enterprise.
This service which is free of charge (excluding the internet access fees) allows Plus Voice operators to call ANA on behalf of the customer with hearing or speaking disabilities. Previously, reservations and inquiries for hearing- or speaking-impaired customers were restricted to emails and FAX. The introduction of web-chat and videophones (sign language) has allowed for timely interaction, answering the many needs of customers with disabilities.
For more information, please refer to Telecommunication Relay Services for ANA.
ANA's Original Sorapass Book
One of our latest initiatives to support an inclusive travel environment is the Sorapass Book made with help from medical specialists. This booklet is a result of valuable feedback from a customer with a child with a developmental disability saying: "We would like to travel by airplane, but not knowing what to expect holds us back. Is there any way you can help us prepare for the trip?"
The Sorapass Book guides customers including children who are flying for the first time through the air travel experience, allowing them to learn about the whole process of using an aircraft. It is designed to be used for preparation as well as on the day of the flight using pictures to help readers visualize the steps that are involved from boarding to disembarking, including airport procedures, security checks, and time on board.
We believe that the information in this booklet will be helpful to many more who may feel anxious about flying, or who are flying for the first time, beyond those with disabilities.
The Sorapass Book is available for download below. It can be printed out and made into a booklet. (Please print it on A4 paper and use double-sided printing and short-edge binding.) Booklets can also be sent by post. Please call the ANA Disability Desk to request a copy.
- Sorapass: Your Passport to a Trip in the Skies
ANA's Original Sorapass Video
This video provides an even more realistic image of air travel than in the Sorapass Book. Tsubasa Sorano, a character from the Sorapass Book, talks about her experience of traveling by airplane for the first time.
In the Sorapass Video, she explains the 5 basic steps you must go through in order to fly on an airplane. (Length: 12 minutes)
1. Check-in/Boarding Procedures (Length: 2 mins 20 secs)
Tsubasa talks about check-in and baggage procedures at the airport.
2. Security Checkpoint (Length: 2 mins 18 secs)
Tsubasa talks about how to go through security.
3. Boarding Gate (Length: 1 min 20 secs)
Tsubasa talks about how to get on the airplane.
4. After Boarding (Length: 5 mins)
Tsubasa talks about what to do on board. She explains how to fasten your seatbelt, ask for drinks, and use the toilet.
5. Arrival (Length: 45 secs)
Tsubasa talks about what to do after landing and at baggage claim.
ANA Disability Desk
On January 8, 1997, we established the ANA Disability Desk (Sky Assist Desk at the time of establishment) for customers with anxiety on their flight due to physical challenges caused by disease, injury, or disabilities in order to answer inquiries about the usage of aircraft and other requests.
If you require special attention or service due to physical limitations or medical treatment, including the use of medical equipment on board, please do not hesitate to contact the ANA Disability Desk.
The ANA Disability Desk assists over 1,500 customers yearly, with inquiries such as borrowing of assist seats and support belts for customers who are unable to sit upright due to a disability, and consultation for customers requesting the usage of special assistive devices on board.
For customers who cannot sit upright and need to lie down during the entire flight, we accept consultation to board with stretchers, mainly for customers who are transferring between hospitals. For more information, please refer to Customers with Limited Ability to Sit.
Regarding in-flight medical support
To provide peace of mind to our customers, ANA provides a support system for passengers suddenly falling ill on board.
- MedLink 24-hour Medical Service (International Flights)
- ANA Doctor on Board (International Flights)
- ANA Communication Board
About correspondence to law
About hardware and software initiatives under the barrier-free law
Based on the Barrier-Free Law (Act on Promotion of Smooth Travel for Elderly and Disabled Persons), we have prepared a plan for both hardware and software.
The US Air Carrier Access Act
In compliance with the US Air Carrier Access Act, we provide various types of support to enable comfortable travel for customers with disabilities on all ANA flights operating on US routes. If you have any requests or concerns about the service, you can inform the airport staff and they will put you through to the Compliant Resolution Official (CRO). The CRO is specially educated on legal and other matters regarding people with disabilities and will sincerely try to resolve your concerns.
Please visit the website of the US Aviation Consumer Protection Division for more information on provisions regarding air travelers with disabilities in the US. For direct inquiries please refer to the contact information below.
The US Air Carrier Access Act
Toll Free Hotline For Air Travelers With Disabilities
By Telephone to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division
By Mail to the Air Consumer Protection Division
C-75, U.S Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building, Room W96-432, Washington, DC 20590
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the ANA Disability Desk.