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Japan to require airlines to accommodate wheelchair users from Oct


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Good decision.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's excellent! Great to read this airline apparently puts people ahead of profit. I'm sure their business will pick up during and after the Olympics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


What airline? It was a directive from the government. If you are referring to Vanilla , they told the man he could not board because of lack of equipment.

It should be mandatory now. The Japan government wants to be seen as a progressive one, yet it has taken them until they get the Olympic Games to finally get their butt moving. If it wasn’t for that, these poor guys would still be sitting on the tarmac.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

About five years ago, my grandmother (who is wheelchair-bound) and I made trips to Japan, Okinawa, U.S., Panama, Bolivia and Brazil. When I booked the tickets in advance, I made it very clear to the airline booking agent that the person accompanying me is unable to walk and would require wheelchair assistance from check-in to boarding the aircraft and into the seat. They said everything would be available upon check-in.

At every airport check-in, my grandmother's wheelchair was checked in as "check-in baggage" and the airline had the aircraft aisle wheelchair available to transport her to the aircraft, boarding and to the assigned seat. The airline and staff took care of everything and made sure connecting flights were aware of the special needs requirement.

We had no problems, even in South America. At one particular airport in Bolivia, the airplane was parked on the tarmac. The airline (GOL Airlines, a low cost South American carrier) had a airport stair climber wheelchair on hand and personnel available to assist my grandmother up the stair and into the aircraft.

Again, you have to make arrangements in advance and notify the airline staff of the wheelchair assistance requirement prior so the airline will have it on hand when you check in at the airport. All airlines we used were very accommodating and did everything they could to make my grandmother's flight a comfortable experience.

By the way, I looked at Vanilla Air website. In the FAQ section of the website, subsection "Other FAQ", "Special Assistance", you'll find information for customers with walking disabilities. All airlines have similar boilerplate statements.


Regrettable that Mr. Kijima had that unfortunate experience, but I doubt he did his due dilligent. Perhaps he didn't book his flight in advance or made the special assistance request in advance. So naturally they weren't prepared to accommodate his needs that departure day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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