Sick and Disabled

I. General Provisions

For sick and disabled travellers who have mobility difficulties and need to use wheelchair services, the staff will assist them in using the wheelchair without charging additional fees. Our staff will help you move from the airport to the gate or board (depending on the airport facilities).

i. Definition

The disabled refer to persons who are abnormal in or lose a certain tissue, function in terms of mental, physical, or body organizations, and lose all or part of the ability to perform a certain activity in a normal manner. The disabled include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments. Such impairments interact with obstacles and may hinder the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in social activities on the basis of equality with others. In specific, there are people with vision, hearing, speech, physical, intellectual, mental, multiple and other disabilities.

A disabled person eligible for flying refers to a disabled person who has purchased or holds a valid ticket, uses the facilities and services provided by airline, airport and airport ground service agents to arrive at the airport by taking the flight listed on the ticket, and meets the requirements of transport contracts that are applicable to all passengers, reasonable and non-discriminatory, but excluding stretcher passengers.

ii. When to apply

Sick and disabled travellers applying for the following special services should make requests at the time of seat reservation and no later than 48 hours before the departure time of the flight:

  • a. Transportation of an electric wheelchair;
  • b. Use wheelchair onboard service (WCOB) or request for a wheelchair to/ from the aircraft (WCHC) ;
  • c. Serving groups of persons with disabilities who meet the conditions for taking flights.
  • d. Service Dogs as Carry-on Baggage.

iii. Quota

  • 1. Each flight has a limit on the number of disabled passengers who require special assistance and services to ensure a good service for other passengers. Apart from US-bound routes, the following are the limits on the number of unescorted disabled passengers requiring assistance services, including passengers using wheelchairs, passengers with seriously deformed legs who do not have artificial limbs, blind passengers with service dogs, or mentally handicapped passengers who cannot understand instructions from the cabin crew, but excluding stretcher passengers.
    Number of flight seats Permissible capacity of people Number of flight seats Permissible capacity of people
    51-100 2 101-200 4
    201-400 6 Over 400 8
  • 2. If the number of disabled passengers exceeds the above limits, escorts shall be added at a ratio of 1:1. However, the number of disabled passengers must not exceed twice the number specified above.
  • 3. Each flight can only carry one stretcher passenger unless specifically approved otherwise. The stretcher passenger must also be accompanied by at least one medically trained person or family member during the flight.
  • 4. The restriction on the number of disabled passengers on CSN’s routes between the US and China has been lifted. This means that these routes no longer have any limits on the number of disabled passengers who can board them.

iv. Tips on storing assistive devices

  • 1. We provide storage for disabled passengers’ devices on a first-come, first-served basis. If storage facilities and space are not available, the devices will be checked in free of charge. Eligible disabled passengers are also allowed to check in an additional assistive device at no extra cost. Storage of these devices should conform with the relevant regulations on security and air transportation of dangerous goods as set out by the Civil Aviation Administration.
  • 2. The following assistive device may be treated as belongings:
    Category Assistive device
    Handicapped Walking aid Walking stick, foldable wheelchair
    Deaf Hearing aid Electronic cochlea and hearing aid
    Blind Tactile stick Multi-function, simple typoscope and blind glasses

v. Travel Tips

  • 1. To use special services, sick and disabled passengers shall apply in advance as per the time specified by China Southern Airlines, and they are allowed to be carried only after confirmation by China Southern Airlines. In case of failure to meet the requirements of time limit, quantity limit and travelling, China Southern Airlines has the right to refuse transportation. Passengers should ensure that the information and certificates submitted are true, valid and complete, otherwise the responsibility shall be borne by themselves.
  • 2. Electric wheelchairs must be checked in for transportation 2 hours before the check-in time for regular passengers closes, and their shipment must conform with the relevant regulations on the carriage of dangerous goods.
  • 3. Eligible disabled passengers must check in 2 hours before the check-in time for regular passengers closes if they need the airline to provide assistance with boarding and disembarking.
  • 4. Special passengers are able to carry qualified service dogs without additional fees, which will be brought and transited in passenger cabins or cargo compartments. At the time of ticket purchasing and checking in, the passengers are required to produce the identity and health certificates of dogs, as well as entry or transit permit of animals by destination or transit countries for international and regional flights. If the destination countries prohibit the entry of animals, we have the right to decline checking the pets. And we shall not take any responsibility in the case that service dogs be refused entry because of uncompleted procedures, insufficient certificates or the violation of provisions of the destination countries. Guide dogs in passenger cabins should be muzzled and collared with a leash before boarding. They shall remain being collared throughout the flight, and not permitted to take seats or run at their will. During the transit, in case of any hurt, illnesses and deaths occurring to the service dogs, we shall not bear any responsibility.

vi. Helpful Tips

  • 1. Booking system for passengers with a hearing impairment
    If you are hearing impaired, please book your ticket at the local office of China Southern Airlines according to the contact information provided inContact Uson this website.
  • 2. Pre-booking extra services
    To offer you a better service experience, if you need special travel services, please contact the direct sales departments of China Southern Airlines in advance. If you fail to make reservation in advance, we will try our best to meet your needs as the case may be.
  • 3. At the Airport
    Should a flight be delayed or canceled, or a change in flight schedule occur, CSN will inform you and all other passengers about the situation and your accommodation arrangements at the boarding gate or customer service counter.
    We have prepared the wheelchairs for you to use at the airport and get on and off the plane. You may use them if you request in advance and receive our approval.
  • 4. In-flight
    We will do our best to arrange the most suitable seat for you according to your needs.
    On our flights, 50% of our aisle seats have movable armrests. You can use these according to your own needs and various special circumstances.
    If the flight on which you are traveling has more than 100 seats available, you can take your own manual foldable wheelchair with you. We will be very happy to provide storage space on our flight for your wheelchair on a first-come, first-served basis. However, we highly encourage you to inform us about your wheelchair specifications in advance so that we can let you know whether enough space is available for storing your wheelchair. Currently, accessible toilets are not available on some flights due to the limitations of certain aircraft types. Furthermore, we cannot always guarantee that an on-board wheelchair will be available. If you require an on-board wheelchair, we recommend you submit an application in advance in order to ensure your travel experience goes smoothly.
    The informational and safety movies provided during your flight use high-contrast subtitles with both English and Chinese versions for your convenience.
  • 5. Complaints
    If our service(s) fails to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may submit a complaint using the following methods:
    Call CSN sales service hotline on 95539 (from within China) or +86-20-86682000 (from overseas);
    Or send an email to:
    Click here to download a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act

II. Wheelchair Passengers

i. Wheelchair on the Ground

We provide wheelchairs in every airport so that you can use them inside the airport terminal(s) and when you get on and off the plane. If you are travelling alone, please apply for the wheelchair at the time of ticket purchase or call 95539. If you are accompanied by family members, you can apply to us at the airport on the day of departure. However, the guarantee capability of each airport is different, so we sometimes need to know the wheelchair providing situations at the departure airport or destination airport in advance. We suggest that you tell us your request when you purchase the ticket, so that we can do our best to guarantee the service you need.

ii. On-Board Wheelchair

For international long-haul flights operated by China Southern Airlines’ wide-body aircrafts, we provide wheelchair onboard service (WCOB) for passengers who cannot walk on both legs to use in cabin aisles.

  • a. US routes
    Guangzhou - Los Angeles - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - San Francisco - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - New York - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Wuhan - San Francisco - Wuhan - Guangzhou.
  • b. Australia routes
    Guangzhou - Sydney - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Melbourne - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Perth - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Brisbane - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Adelaide - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Christchurch - Guangzhou, Shenzhen - Sydney - Shenzhen, Shenzhen - Melbourne - Shenzhen
  • c. New Zealand route
    Guangzhou - Auckland - Guangzhou.
  • d. European routes
    Guangzhou - London - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Amsterdam - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Paris - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Moscow - Guangzhou, Guangzhou - Changsha - Frankfurt - Changsha - Guangzhou, Guangzhou-Wuhan-Rome-Wuhan-Guangzhou, Shenzhen-Moscow-Shenzhen
  • e. Canada route
    Guangzhou - Vancouver - Guangzhou, Guangzhou-Toronto-Guangzhou
  • f. Middle East routes

Except on US routes, there is limited number of wheelchairs that can be carried on each flight. To book this service, please apply to the ticket office affiliated with China Southern Airlines at the place where the flight originates or call the Customer Service Center 95539 48 hours before the flight departure. If your application is accepted through our reply, please visit the CSAir counters of the airport 2 hours before the check-in deadline for ordinary passengers. If you are accompanied, please declare at the time of seat reservation and check in together with your companions so that we can arrange adjacent seats for you.

iii. Boarding Lift

If you are unable to use the stairs on your own, we will do our best to provide you with a boarding lift for flights which do not have docking via a jet bridge.

iv. Wheelchair as Checked Baggage

If you need to take a wheelchair (either manual or electric) during your journey, or you require another mobility aid such as a walking stick, a crutch, a walking frame, or a mobility scooter, please inform us of your requirements at the time of booking.

Unfoldable, manual or battery-powered wheelchairs may be transported as check-in baggage. Battery-powered wheelchairs shall be delivered 2 hours before the check-in deadline for regular passengers and shall conform to the corresponding regulations for the transportation of dangerous goods. The wheelchairs may be checked at the check-in counter or boarding gate, and claimed at the boarding gate or baggage claim area. It would be of great help to us in the handling of your wheelchair if you could bring the following materials or equipment to the airport:

  • a. Manuals for your wheelchair and batteries
  • b. Special tools required for assembling your wheelchair
  • c. For lithium-ion battery-powered wheelchairs, UN recognized testing documents proving that the battery meets the testing requirements stated in Section 38.3, Part III of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria

Transporting wheelchairs for disabled passengers is free of charge.

If you are using a battery-powered wheelchair or an electric mobility aid, please check in in advance (2 hours before the check-in time for regular passengers closes) so that we have sufficient time to arrange for your wheelchair to be loaded onto the aircraft.

The cabin has storage space for foldable wheelchairs according to a first-come, first-served basis. If there is no storage space available, wheelchairs will be transported free of charge.

III. Stretcher Passengers

CSN can provide a stretcher upon receiving the request from a passenger. In order for us to confirm whether the flight can provide a stretcher, and in order to be able to process the health certificate and arrange loading and boarding with the stretcher, please contact a CSN direct sales office located in your departure city, or call our customer service center on 4006695539 to make your request as early as possible. This should be done no later than 72 hours before your flight’s departure time.

Each flight can only carry one stretcher passenger. Our stretcher equipment will be made available in the economy class cabin.

A stretcher passenger must be accompanied by at least one doctor or caregiver. He/she may also be accompanied by family members or guardians subject to medical certification stating that he/she does not require medical care during his/her flight.

i. Charging for stretcher use

Stretcher passengers must pay additional fees for relevant services. Please obtain more details about these fees by contacting a CSN direct sales office located in your departure city, or by calling our customer service center on 4006695539. Please note that additional fees do not include the following:

  • 1. Calling an ambulance, being hospitalized, or other relevant expenses.
  • 2. Airfares and other expenses for escorts.

ii. Baggage Allowance

The baggage allowance of a stretcher passenger is 180 kg. The baggage allowance of the escort is calculated according to the seat class defined by the airfare paid.

iii. Change and refund

If you voluntarily cancel your booking before departure, you are required to pay 5% of the fares corresponding to a stretcher passenger (including the individual airfare and the additional stretcher fee) as a refund fee. You cannot apply for a refund or to amend your ticket after your scheduled flight has departed. This type of booking cannot be changed at passengers’ own discretion. Any such changes shall be handled as a refund at the passengers’ own discretion.

Note: The method used to calculate the airfare above is only applicable for flights operated by CSN. For stretcher passengers, taking a flight operated by other airlines or for passengers whose flight includes flights operated by other airlines, the airfare will be calculated and charged according to the rules of the relevant operating airlines.