Special Assistance
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We believe that every customer is special. At Vistara, we ensure you travel without any worry and are here to assist you at every step.

Special Assistance


When assessing a patient's fitness for air travel, the effects of typical aviation factors are to be considered. Although each case will be considered on its merit, the detailed guidelines are laid down for treating physician’s and customer’s reference. These are mere guidelines and cannot be considered as company policy. For detailed description, please refer to the ‘Medical Clearance Guidelines for Air Travel’ document available here. Some typical conditions are described below:

Epilepsy

  • Customers with this condition can travel only if they are carrying their medication in their hand baggage and a Fit to Fly certificate, which has been issued within 48 hours prior to departure.
  • If customer has suffered from an epileptic fit or convulsion during the 24 hours preceding departure, he/she will not be allowed to travel on the flight.

 


Psychiatric Conditions

  • Customers who have a diagnosed psychiatric illness are required to provide a Fit to Fly certificate, issued within 48 hours of scheduled departure time.
  • If the customer has suffered from any psychiatric conditions which required hospitalization or sedative medical treatment within the last 14 days prior to travel, then MEDA clearance will be required.
  • We request customers suffering from epilepsy or psychiatric disorders to carry extra medicine to cover unexpected situations and advise them to avoid alcohol consumption prior to traveling and during their travel, ensure they are properly rested and avoid sleep loss, fatigue, exhaustion and excessive consumption of tea/coffee/any caffeine containing drink.

Spinal Support Equipment (SSE)

  • Customers must bring their own Spinal Support Equipment and should be fully responsible for installation, usage and removal while on board.
  • Customer supplied spinal support equipment will be carried free of charge.
  • If you are planning to travel with Spinal Support Equipment, we recommend that you contact Vistara Call Center, at least seven working days prior to departure and inform us of your SSE specifications (exact dimensions, size, material, weight, instructions regarding how it is used, photographs, technical brochure etc.). We will get the same checked with our engineering team to ensure that your equipment can be safely accommodated in the aircraft.

Internal Medical Devices

If you are travelling with an internal medical device, such as a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator, kindly inform us while making the booking, and also to the security personnel at the airport before the screening begins.


Stretcher case travel/requirement on board

Vistara currently accepts customers travelling on a stretcher on Vistara operated flights only. Travelling on a stretcher is subject to prior MEDA clearance approval.

Customer should submit the duly filled MEDIF form at least 48 hours in advance from the date of travel, so that the necessary arrangements can be made and feasibility can be confirmed for final confirmation/denial of stretcher. MEDIF form needs to be complete in all aspects. 48 hours timeline will be applicable from the time MEDIF form completed in all aspects is received. If incompletely filled MEDIF form is received, it will lead to delays and it will be the responsibility of the customer.

Stretcher case travel approval can only be issued for specific flight. Customers will need to provide exact travel details to ensure the same is duly arranged for. Due to logistical arrangements required (which sometimes may even involve rescheduling flight timings), such clearance cannot be issued as generic clearance applicable for any flight on that sector. If travel plan changes after obtaining MEDA clearance for stretcher case, then such clearance will have to be obtained again, keeping in mind the minimum 48 hours timeline required for such clearance before travel date.

Stretcher cases are accepted only on direct flight or on multiple flight sectors, if it does not involve change of aircraft at transit stations.

Only 1 stretcher case per aircraft will be permitted as per standard stretcher fitment location, which will depend on aircraft type.

Charges/fares applicable for stretcher case travel, cancellation charges (wherever applicable) etc. can be sought from Vistara Call Center. Exact charges will be calculated and informed to the customer after medical clearance is issued.


Medical oxygen (onboard oxygen)

Vistara currently accepts customer travelling on a stretcher on Vistara operated flights only. Travel on a stretcher is subject to prior MEDA clearance approval.

Cases requiring upliftment of additional oxygen cylinders should submit the duly filled MEDIF Form at least 48 hours in advance (at medical.clearance@airvistara.com), so that necessary arrangements can be made. Limited number of oxygen cylinders can be made available on the aircraft for use. Such additional therapeutic oxygen can be provided on request only if 48 hours advance notice is given. Note: Aircraft oxygen cylinders can deliver oxygen only at fixed flow rates of 2 or 4 liters/minutes only.

Exact number of oxygen cylinders required will be decided by Vistara Medical Department, based on flow rate advised in MEDIF form submitted by the customer, exact flight duration and coverage required for unanticipated situations (like diversions, flight delays, air traffic congestion etc.). Hence while calculating amount of oxygen required, we calculate approximately for 150% of the scheduled flight duration. If the numbers of oxygen cylinders required on board are more than the logistical limitation of maximum number of oxygen cylinders which Vistara engineering team can place safely on board the aircraft, the MEDA clearance maybe denied owing to logistical limitations.

Important Note: With onboard oxygen cylinder provided by airline, only standard accessories/mask available/provided by airline can be used (like oxygen pipe and mask which are pre-attached with the cylinder). No other/outside/personal accessories like piping system, masks etc. can be fitted to this airline provided oxygen cylinder.

Charges will be applicable for the oxygen bottles provided on board, and will be informed to you by Vistara Call Center upon confirmation of MEDA clearance. Please find below the details:

  • Only in-flight oxygen will be provided by the airline; customers will have to make their own arrangements for oxygen on ground at departure and arrival station and/or on-ground at transit station (like airport ambulance and its charges, ambulift/towable ramp for direct boarding and its charges, if applicable).
  • The charges for oxygen cylinders will also apply to customers using stretchers on-board and requiring oxygen additionally.
  • The abovementioned provisions are applicable only on Vistara operated flights. For interline and codeshare, the ‘Operating Carriers' rules will apply, please confirm well in advance with airline in such cases.

 


‘Portable Oxygen Concentrator’ (POC) and other ‘Portable Medical Electronic Devices’ (MPED)

Carriage of life saving medical equipment (POC and MPED) on board will be permitted only after getting clearances from Vistara’s Engineering and Security departments; if it is applicable and deemed required as per opinion of Vistara medical team. All equipment on board must be secured for takeoff and landing. Please ensure the following:

  • All equipment are battery operated (dry, non-spillable, sealed batteries only).
  • The battery does not require to be charged in flight.
  • The use of equipment should be validated from medical point of view and it should not emit any electromagnetic radiation which could interfere with the communication/navigation of the aircraft or aircraft equipment.
  • There is an adequate supply of fully charged batteries. Approximately additional batteries should be able to last for about 150-200% of maximum expected flight duration.
  • For any self-powered medical devices like, but not restricted to Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC), Automated External Defibrillators (AED), Nebulizer, Continuous or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP or BIPAP) and any other MPED, additional batteries carried on board must be packed in accordance with the relevant IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and requirements for safety, security of hazardous material. You can contact the Vistara Call Center for further guidance on maximum quantity of additional batteries acceptable on board, special packaging instructions etc.
  • Advance notice (for POC and any other MPED): If you intend to use any medical portable electronic device (including respiratory assistive devices) while on board, please advise at least 48 hours before the schedule date of travel. The information required includes the make, model number and physical dimensions of your device. POC or any other MPED user must provide a ‘Physician Statement for Medical Equipment’ form completely filled, minimum 48 hours before date of travel. Customer should get this form filled from minimum MBBS qualified doctor and submit to medical.clearance@airvistara.com. This form can be submitted maximum 10 days before the date of travel. This form states that the customer is able to operate the POC appropriately, confirms the use of POC for valid medical reasons (which is confirmed by the minimum MBBS qualified doctor) and indicates the flow setting and whether it is required during all phases of the flight. This form also advises whether the doctor believes the customer “is capable of completing the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight” or “travelling with the person who is technically capable to operate the POC equipment”. Please note that the cabin crew are not trained to use/handle any POC/MPED, and hence will not be able to help in this regard, while on board.
  • ‘PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR’ (POC) – Customers may also bring and use their own Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) on board and also for use on ground. Please note: Vistara accepts only Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved POC equipment on board, which are acceptable from safety and security point of view for airline travel. List of FAA approved POCs can be checked on FAA website, before planning your travel.
  • Please note that, as with all portable electronic devices carried on board an aircraft, the operating captain has the right to request that any device be turned off if he/she believes is affecting the aircraft systems. If such a request is made, the device must be turned off immediately.
  • If you are a POC or any other MPED user holding a valid FREMEC (Frequent Medical Travelers) card; no ‘Physician Statement for Medical Equipment’ form is needed before taking a flight, provided there has been no change in your condition or the assistance required as per details mentioned on FREMEC card and the card is within its validity period on the date of travel. It will be customer’s responsibility in case there are any changes in medical condition and same is not informed in advance. The airline or its staff cannot be held responsible for withholding any information or providing wrong information and submitting falsified/forged documents.

 


Personal oxygen cylinders and cans

For safety and security reasons, personal oxygen cylinders/cans brought by customers are strictly not accepted on board. For carriage of personal oxygen cylinders/cans in cargo/check-in baggage (though same is not a medical issue and hence no medical clearance is required/issued for this purpose) will still be subject to ‘Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)’. For more information, please contact the Vistara Call Centre. Visit the Contact Us page at the bottom of the page for more information.

 


Medications and needles

Generally customers are permitted to carry medications and associated supplies (including needles, syringes, and auto-injectors etc.) for the treatment and control of their medical conditions on board. The same will still be subject to local airport security checks at departure station, transit station (if applicable) and customs clearance at arrival station. Airport security/customs is/are handled by an independent agency and any airline or its staff cannot influence their decision. Please note that in case of international travel, different countries may have different rules and regulations regarding controlled substances, prescription medicines and needles or injections carriage. As we do not have any control over the same and cannot claim any responsibility, customers are advised to obtain relevant information from applicable authorities well in advance from the date of travel.

Regulations from different countries

The legal status of different types of medicine can vary from country to country and the carriage requirements are not consistently enforced. This applies to both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Hence it will be the responsibility of the customer to obtain correct information regarding legal status of medicines in particular country, from relevant official sources of that particular country before carrying such medications. Airline or its staff cannot take any responsibility for the same. Also, to ensure a smooth transition through local airport security or customs, you are recommended to carry a letter from your doctor confirming that you require such medication and have them clearly labelled along with their generic names, if possible.


Needles and syringes

Bringing needles on board may be subject to the local country’s safety and security clearance procedures at airport (which is handled by airport security agency) and it is beyond the control of the airline and its staff. Please check with the specific country’s security and customs agencies you are transitioning or arriving. It is recommended that the syringes and injectable medications are carried together and be clearly labelled to identify your name and the medication or that you carry a medical certificate or supporting letter from your doctor indicating your name and the medication.


Refrigeration of medication inflight

For hygiene reasons, we will not be able to refrigerate your medication on board. If you are bringing medication which requires refrigeration, you should pack them into a cool bag or vacuum flask along with dry ice in quantities which are allowed as per Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). Also in such cases, it will need to be suitably packed to allow the carbon dioxide gases to evaporate freely. Please check the rules and regulations and inform our airport staff that you are carrying dry ice onto the flight when you check-in. Ice/gel packs if used for cooling purpose should conform to local airport security agency’s guidelines concerning maximum amount of liquid/gels allowed to be carried on board. These are subject to security checks by local airport security agency, which is beyond control of airline and its staff.


Advice for customers

  • Review medication regulations with the relevant authorities, especially for travel with controlled drugs, needles, syringes etc.
  • Carry medicines in a correctly labelled container as issued by the pharmacist.
  • Carry a copy of all prescriptions, including generic names for drugs, along with the actual medication in the hand baggage, especially for controlled substances and injectable medicines.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of medication are carried in both hand and checked-in baggage.

MEDA CLEARANCE (MEDICAL CLEARANCE TO FLY)

Customers with conditions that are likely to deteriorate during a flight or may aggravate and pose a safety/security risk to self/others require special clearance as per standard aviation regulations.

For medical clearance, customers are required to fill a MEDIF form as per detailed instructions mentioned therein and submit the same to medical.clearance@airvistara.com.

Any decision of the TSAL medical team related to additional medical assistance, type of escort required (as and if applicable) will be final.

MEDA clearance timeline:

  • Minimum time for MEDA clearance (including stretcher case approval/handling) application is 48 hours before the date of travel; from the time MEDIF form complete in all aspects is received. In case incompletely filled form is received, then 48 hours will be from the time complete MEDIF form is received. We recommend that you plan your travel with due consideration to minimum time required for MEDA clearance.
  • Maximum duration before the date of travel when such application can be made is 10 days.

MEDA Clearance to fly is generally required in the following scenarios:

  • Customer suffers from any disease, which is believed to be actively contagious and communicable;
  • Customer, because of certain diseases, or incapacitation may have or develop an adverse physical condition which could have an adverse effect during flight and on safety and emergency evacuation procedures like a customer’s fitness to travel is in doubt as a result of recent illness, hospitalization, injury or surgery and there is reasonable doubt that they can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight e.g. breathing difficulties, unstable angina, terminal illness etc.
  • Customer would require medical attention and/or special equipment to maintain their health during the flight;
  • MEDA Clearance is required for customers who:
    • Would be travelling in a stretcher on-board or with an incubator
    • Needs medical oxygen during the flight
    • Needs to carry specialized medical equipment on board for medical treatment/oxygen (like POC and/or any other medical equipment)
  • Complicated (single/multiple) pregnancy cases between 29-32 weeks
  • In case of an infant, within first 48 hours of childbirth/delivery. Also, in any other case if newborn suffers from serious illness which may be covered in abovementioned points.

Scenarios in which case MEDIF (Medical Information) Form is not required

  • Guests requesting for wheelchair due to old age, arthritis, post-poliomyelitis, muscle weakness condition, locomotor disability or joint sprain etc. in the absence of any other significant medical condition or illness.
  • Guests with chronic, stable, controlled disorders like Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension etc.

Instructions for completing MEDIF Form

For medical clearance, MEDIF form will need to be filled and submitted as per instructions mentioned. However, some salient points are as follows:

  • Part 1 of MEDIF form: To be filled by trade partner or customer themselves. All travel details are to be completely and compulsorily filled. Declaration in Part 1 is also compulsory and should be signed by customer or his/her relative/representative. Without this declaration, MEDA clearance request cannot be processed.
  • Part 2 and 3 of MEDIF form: To be filled and signed with stamp of doctor (minimum MBBS qualified doctor’s signature and stamp only will be accepted). All columns to be filled. If any column is not relevant, please mention ‘Not Applicable’ therein.
  • The MEDIF form which will be submitted by the customer needs to be complete in all aspects. Incomplete or casually filled MEDIF forms may cause delay in processing medical clearance. Minimum MEDA clearance timeline will be followed from the time MEDIF form complete in all aspects is received. Incompletely filled form will mean delay in processing.

Cautionary Note:

  • Cabin attendants are not authorized to give special sanitary assistance to any particular customer, to the detriment of their services to other customers; as they are authorized food handlers. Additionally, they are trained only in providing basic first aid and are not permitted to administer any injections, give medication from medical kit or advanced medical treatment/procedures.
  • As a safety regulatory requirements, feet/lower limbs should not be extended towards the aisle or on adjoining seat/seats. If it is not possible, then the customer must opt for a stretcher.
  • Customer should be able to travel while utilizing normal aircraft seat with seat back upright and knees bent. If it is not possible due to any reason, then the customer must opt for a stretcher.
  • Do note in rare case if medical condition of the customer suddenly/unpredictably deteriorates at the time of boarding (despite obtaining MEDA clearance in advance) then boarding may be denied and will cause offloading of the customer for further assessment and treatment at airport medical center, in the interest of health and safety of the customer. Boarding may also be denied in case it becomes apparent that customer cannot be seated in the normal upright and knees bent position (due to any reason). Prior MEDA clearance does not guarantee carriage if the condition of the guest has deteriorated after clearance has been obtained. It will be the responsibility of the customer or their representatives to inform the airline, in case of change or deterioration of medical condition after obtaining MEDA clearance.

Customers who do not need to fill the MEDIF form

Guests requesting for wheelchair due to old age/arthritis/post-poliomyelitis/locomotor disability/joint sprain etc. in the absence of any other significant medical condition.

  • Guests with chronic, stable, controlled disorders like diabetes mellitus, hypertension etc.
  1. MEDIF Form
  2. Fit to Fly for expectant mother
  3. Physician's Statement for Medical Equipment
  4. Medical clearance guidelines for air travel