Recommendations for travellers with allergies
Travellers who have allergies should pack any necessary medication they require in their carry-on baggage, not in their checked baggage.
Travellers who are not comfortable with the possible exposure to allergens in the aircraft cabin may wish to consider an alternate means of transportation in order to avoid the risk of a reaction.
Options available when allergens are on board
Although Swoop is unable to provide compensation or make special provisions for travellers who have severe allergies, we do offer the following options if the traveller identifies that their allergen will be present on their flight (confirmed visually by the traveller on board the aircraft) and they:
- are not comfortable travelling on their reserved flight, Swoop will book them on the next available Swoop flight to their original destination at no additional cost; or
- elect to not travel at all, in which case Swoop will provide a full refund for the cost of the flight (base fare plus all taxes and surcharges applicable to the fare). Swoop will not issue a refund for the flight after it has departed.
Food allergens in the cabin
Swoop cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment. We recommend that travellers with severe allergies to food products bring their own food items.
While our food items do not contain nuts or peanuts, some of Swoop’s on board snacks may contain traces of nuts or peanuts, or be processed in a facility that also processes nuts or peauts, nut products or tree nuts. We cannot screen food items brought on board by other Swoop travellers. As such, nut residue, oils or other allergens may be present on tray tables, seat cushions or elsewhere in the cabin, and may not be removed despite regular grooming.
We also carry a selection of products onboard that make gluten free claims that meet the requirements outlined in the Food and Drugs act as detailed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. These products are required to meet the regulations which state that a gluten free product is required to have less than 20ppm.
We understand the medical implications of severe nut or peanut-related allergies. Travellers who inform a flight attendant or member of the flight crew about having a severe nut or peanut-related allergy will be asked if they have an epinephrine auto-injector (eg. EpiPen®, Allerject®) with them.
Swoop will request that other travellers within two rows of a traveller with a severe allergry to nuts or nut products refrain from consuming food product(s) with nuts, nut products or peanuts that the allergic traveller may react to. It is important to note that Swoop cannot enforce compliance.
In addition, a public address Allergy Announcement will be made on board when a traveller self identifies as being allergic to nuts or nut products and requests a cabin-wide announcement to be made.
By notifying us a minimum of 48 hours before your flight's departure, we can support your request to travel:
- with a service or emotional support animal
- using a wheelchair, including assistance in getting to your gate and transferring you to your seat
- with a portable oxygen concentrator
- if you are blind or partially sighted, deaf or have partial hearing
Please note: all special requests, including travelling with a service animal, require a minimum of 48 hours notice before departure. We will make a best effort to accommodate requests made with less notice.
In addition to preparing for the above requests, we also have other assistive services you may wish to use:
Priority medical seating — Priority medical seating is blocked near the front of the aircraft, if you self-identify that you have a special seating need. This service is offered when space is available and can be requested at check-in.
Gate passes – At participating airports, a family member or friend may escort you to the departure gate, but only after obtaining a gate pass. The person requesting the gate pass must have valid government-issued photo identification that is not expired.
Pre-boarding assistance – Pre-boarding assistance is available if you need assistance getting to and from the aircraft using a wheelchair and/or assistance in transferring to/from your seat using an onboard wheelchair.
Special safety briefings — Special safety briefings are available if you have a physical, sensory or comprehension limitation. These individual safety demonstrations/briefings can be given on:
- operation of seat belts
- placement of any service animals
- use of fixed oxygen system
- seat backs and chair table
- stowage of carry-on baggage
- life vest (if required)
- description of preferred, alternate exits
- Engligh/French Braille and large print safety briefing cards
Transferring to/from a wheelchair to/from a seat – We can also assist in transferring you to the lavatory using an on-board wheelchair. You must be able to attend to your own personal needs while in the lavatory. Privacy necessitates that our crew will not assist inside the lavatory, other than to offer stability as you enter and exit the lavatory.
If we are not able to provide the level of assistance you require because you are not self-reliant, you are required to travel with a personal attendant. Self-reliance is defined as independent, self-sufficient and capable of taking care of all personal needs during flight; such as eating, using the lavatory or taking medication.
Swoop does not require you to travel with an attendant unless your needs exceed the assistance services we provide. If you require more assistance, please have your physician complete the Swoop medical information form to get approval to travel with a personal attendant.
Swoop requires a personal attendant to:
- be 18 years of age or older
- be able-bodied
- not personally require any assistance from Swoop or others
- not be responsible for the needs of any other traveller on the flight including an infant or child
- remain with, and be seated next to, the traveller with a disability
- be fully capable of attending to the physical and mental care needs of the traveller with a disability and themselves. It is not necessary for this person to be medically trained, and they are not expected to assist the traveller with transferring to and from a wheelchair and/or their seat.
Blind or partially sighted/Deaf or partial hearing
If you notify us of your requirement during booking, or at least 48 hours before your flight departure, you will be automatically seated (at no charge) into a seat that is most appropriate for your needs. Our aircraft are equipped with tactile row markers located on the overhead bins or on the aisle seats. Tactile row numbers are in raised characters and/or Braille.
Some of our airport locations may provide a gate pass to a family member or friend, which allows them to escort you to the gate for departure. Please note; a gate pass is not permitted for meeting a traveller at the gate upon arrival. The airport has the final approval of this request based on the current security level. Be sure the person requesting the gate pass has valid government-issued photo identification that has not expired.
You may request that a member of our inflight crew help guide you to your seat, to and from the lavatory, or to assist you with your baggage.
We recommend that you review our Service animals page if you are travelling with a service animal.
Once onboard the aircraft, our inflight crew will provide an individual safety briefing. Supplemental briefing cards are also available in Braille or large-print format in English and French.
Medication and medical equipment
Medication should be left in its original packaging to ensure it is clearly labelled with the medication’s information and manufacturer’s name. This includes over the counter medication.
Always bring your medication in your carry-on item, as your checked baggage is not accessible in the event of a delay.
We are unable to refrigerate medication or administer it for you.
Needles and syringes are accepted in your personal carry-on item, only if you require them to administer medication and must be accompanied by the medication as follows:
- the medication must be labelled with a pharmacy-dispensed label that includes the traveller’s name.
- the syringes must have protective needle guards and be carried in a proper medical container.
- dispose of any used needles in the sharps container. Our crew can provide you with the information about the onboard location if required.
Although Swoop doesn’t require identification for medical professionals travelling with a medical kit, regulatory or customs authorities may. A medical bag is considered a carry-on bag and is subject to applicable fees.
Portable medical devices (PMEDs)
All batteries must be transported in carry-on baggage, as they are not permitted in checked baggage, and 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.
We recommend that you check with the security agency for the country you are travelling to/from to ensure your device is approved for travel. In Canada, you can search the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) “What Can I Bring” tool.
In all cases, acceptance of medical equipment is at the sole discretion of Swoop.
Swoop provides travellers with disabilities information and documentation in multiple formats regarding the services Swoop provides. All information is offered free of charge, and can be provided in more than one format, if requested, and multiple copies may be requested of any available format. If we are not able to provide the information or documentation you request, we may offer alternate formats, when available and appropriate to do so. However, some information may not be immediately available.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Although Swoop does not provide medical oxygen for purchase on board, we accept portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) during all phases of flight as follows:
- A POC bearing a manufacturers label stating in red text that "The manufacturer of this POC has determined this device conforms to all applicable FAA acceptance criteria for POC carriage and use on board aircraft"
- Any of the following approved models, even if they are not labelled as outlined above:
- AirSep – FreeStyle, FreeStle 5, Focus, LifeStyle
- Delphi RS-00400 (EVO Central Air)
- DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo
- Inogen – One, One G2, One G3
- Inova Labs – LifeChoice, LifeChoice Activox
- International Biophysics LifeChoice
- Invacare – Solo2, XPO2, XPO100
- Oxlife LLC Independence
- Oxus RS – 00400
- Precision Medical EasyPulse
- Respironics – EverGo, Simply Go
- SeQual – Eclipse (all generations), SAROS, eQuinox (Claire)
- Oxywell (model 400)
- VBox Trooper
Other portable oxygen concentrators not bearing the manufacturer’s label mentioned above or included in the approved list above may be carried on board, but may only be used during the cruise portion of the flight.
Your oxygen concentrator may only be used in the battery-operated mode. Extra batteries are accepted in carry-on baggage only and 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. When bringing extra batteries, please consider your total travel time, including any unanticipated delays, to ensure you have enough charge.
Service animals provide assistance to a person with a cognitive, physical or emotional disability. Swoop only allows fully trained and certified service animals in the cabin of the aircraft at no charge, when on duty. To ensure adequate time to assign appropriate seating, we require a minimum of 48 hours notice.
We may require a Registered Certificate Identification card or other written documentation in situations where we question the verbal or physical indicators, which may include but are not limited to harnesses or tags, as proof that the dog is a service animal. We strongly recommend some form of physical restraint device for the animal as the animal must be under your control at all times. Furthermore, some agencies within the airport may require your animal to be harnessed.
Many service animals can travel on the floor at your feet. One service animal may be held on the lap of the traveller with a disability, provided it is no larger than a two-year old child. If your dog requires additional floor space to ensure its comfort and safety on board, we require a minimum of 48 hours advance notice to determine the seating needs.
Animals which pose any type of threat to the health and safety, to crew members or other travellers, may be denied transport as a service/emotional support animal.
Emotional support animals
Emotional support animals provide comfort to a person with a psychological disability. Swoop accepts emotional support dogs only.
We require a signed letter to be emailed to [email protected], dated no more than one year before travel, from your licensed mental health professional a minimum of 48 hours prior to your flight. The letter must be on your attending mental health professional’s letterhead, and must state:
- You have a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM V).
- You require the emotional support animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for an activity at your intended destination.
- The type of license held by your mental health professional and the jurisdiction in which it was issued.
We strongly recommend that your emotional support animal wear its identification (e.g. vest) at all times while on the aircraft. We suggest that you travel with identification as some agencies in the airports may require it.
Many emotional support animals can travel on the floor in a kennel. Only one emotional support animal may be held on the lap of a traveller with a disability, provided that the dog is no larger than a two-year old child. If your dog requires additional floor space to ensure its comfort and safety on board, we require a minimum of 48 hours advance notice to determine the seating needs.
The dog is required to be under your control at all times when on-board the aircraft and we strongly recommend some form of physical restraint device, such as a harness or leash.
Swoop may deny applications which appear to be questionable, or animals which exceed a safe size and weight, pose any type of threat to health and safety, or have not been trained to behave properly in a public setting.
Special seating for travellers with a disability
Based on a case-by-case assessment, we may provide a specific seat type or location onboard Swoop operated flights if you:
- cannot safely travel without seating accommodation due to a medical disability
- require a specific seat due to a fused or immobile lower limb
We do not provide specific seating if you are requesting additional legroom due to height. If you are booked with another traveller that is not your personal attendant, you may not be seated together, as seating accommodations are only for the traveller with the special need.
We require your physician to complete and submit the Swoop medical information form to us via fax at 1-844-212-5513 a minimum of five business days prior to your flight. Any charges incurred for the completion of this form will be at your expense.
Our medical team reviews each form to determine if you are fit to fly, and any accommodation that is required. Please note:
- we do not review incomplete applications. If you have not heard back from us within five business days, please review your application to ensure it is complete and re-submit.
- we may need to contact your physician for more information. As such, we cannot guarantee that the form will be reviewed before you travel if we are waiting to receive more information from your physician.
- no refunds or compensation will be provided if you have flown before approval. If you choose to reserve travel in anticipation of approval, please be aware that if approval is not received before the scheduled flight, the fees and guidelines for the itinerary purchased will apply.
Wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids
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 Swoop. Please review the information below to identify how it applies to your mobility aid. Swoop has the final decision as to whether or not a mobility aid will be accepted for transport.
Wheelchair service to/from the aircraft
Swoop offers three different wheelchair services to get you to and from check-in to the aircraft as follows:
- Wheelchair; can walk up steps. The primary purpose for the wheelchair is for distance. You can walk up and down stairs unassisted and move to/from your seat to the aircraft door/lavatory.
- Wheelchair; no steps. This request indicates that you cannot walk up/down stairs, but can move to/from your seat to the aircraft door/lavatory.
- Wheelchair; carry on. This request indicates that you require a wheelchair upon check-in to get to/from the aircraft and require transfer services up/down stairs, into the cabin, into your seat and to/from the lavatory.
Travelling with your own wheelchair/scooter
If you are travelling with a mobility device, we recommend that you notify Swoop at least 48 hours before departure. If you do not provide 48 hours notice, we will make our best effort to accommodate, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you. Be prepared to answer the following questions (as applicable):
- Does your mobility device have a battery and 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?
Each traveller with reduced mobility is permitted one medically required wheelchair or scooter at no charge. While it cannot be used on board the aircraft, we do have an onboard wheelchair to assist you.
Please be aware that the cargo door 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. 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.
Please review 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. Swoop strictly adheres to the individual manufacturer recommendation for proper disassembly and stowage as described in the owner's manual when provided. 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.
Please be aware that if a battery cannot be deactivated or disconnected, it will be denied transportation.
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.
- 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. Consider the duration of the flight, all ground time before and after flight and any unexpected delays in the terminal, during the flight or before landing.
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. Swoop is not liable for any injury, harm or damage to the equipment caused by a traveller attempting to use this power supply for batteries or portable medical electronic devices.
Information on battery acceptance and packing
- Non-spillable dry cell battery-powered wheelchair
- Checked baggage only
- Battery terminals must be protected from short circuits
- Battery must be attached securely to wheelchair
- Wet cell battery-powered wheelchair have the same restrictions as for dry battery-powered devices PROVIDED the wheelchair or mobility device can always be maintained in an upright position. Otherwise:
- Battery will be removed and packed in a strong, rigid, leak-proof container impervious to battery fluid.impervious to battery fluid.
- Battery will be stored upright in container, surrounded by special absorbent material sufficient to soak up total liquid contents.
- Batteries should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps.
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.
Canes, walkers and other items
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.
Swoop accepts the FAA certified Special CARES systems for adults that require core support or stability.