Saturday, May 30, 2015

Special Assistance and Services

Transport of people with disabilities (NON-MEDICAL CASES)

Non-Medical Cases

Non-Medical Cases

  • What does Non-Medical cases means?

    The Height when flying may worsen certain illnesses, although very few prevent a person from flying.

    Disability is the condition under which certain people have any physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment affecting in the long term the way in which they fully interact and participate in society.

    The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities approved by the UN (United Nations) in 2006 generically defines those who have one or more disabilities as a Person with a disability or People with disabilities.

    For the WHO (World Health Organization), "a person with a disability is someone who has restrictions on the class or amount of activities it may perform due to current difficulties caused by a physical or mental condition which is permanent or greater than six months".

    The terms, names and categorization of situations and conditions used by Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral, while they are those acknowledged by the UN, the WHO and local standards, in some cases may differ due to conventions and codes established at international level in the commercial airline industry.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral uses the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) -both instruments from the World Health Organization (WHO)- as guides to properly categorize each situation.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral considers and includes people with disabilities within a group defined as NON-MEDICAL CASES, which in most cases do not have specific requirements for flying.

    Note: When a limitation has recently occurred or appeared (less than 30 days), those cases may be initially considered by Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral as MEDICAL CASES in which the intervention of the Medical Department of the company will be required.
     

     

  • What aspects does Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral take into account for the transport of people with disabilities?

    While a person with a disability is that having a physical or mental limitation on performing daily basic activities or complex activities for the interaction with the environment, for Commercial Air Transport, disabilities only become relevant when, due to the physical, mental, intellectual or sensory condition of the person, such person requires special assistance at Airports during the time spent there and needs individual assistance from the airlines for boarding and disembarking, during the flight and in case of a possible emergency evacuation of the aircraft.

    The limitations that are considered pertinent for the purposes of Commercial Air Transport among the Basic Activities of Daily Living (BADL) are related to Functional mobility (ambulation and handling, sitting, remaining sit, moving on the seat, repositioning, any type of transfer, functional changes), and among the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) those issues related to and interfering with Responses to Emergencies and Safety Procedures (strategy knowledge and development to maintain a safe environment and know how to act and have the means necessary for emergency situations, which makes people with difficulties in receiving or understanding the instructions and people with problematic behaviors to be considered within this group of limitations).

    Another fundamental aspect that the commercial airline industry and Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral take into account for the transport of passengers with disabilities is if the PERSON WITH A DISABILITY IS TRAVELING INDIVIDUALLY or if THE PERSON WITH A DISABILITY IS TRAVELING IN GROUP.

    In the last case, it is essential that the passenger contact the Airline prior to the flight in order to duly inform it about those restrictions that may arise in relation to the size of the aircraft, the maximum amount admissible of people with disabilities in the same flight and the possible requirements from any accompanying person.

    Regarding the Attributes of Activity and Participation of people with disabilities, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral takes into account the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF):

    Changing basic body position (d410)
    Maintaining body position (d415)
    Transferring oneself (d420)
    Walking short distances (d4500)
    Moving around using equipment (d465)

    In order to assess the degree of difficulty in mobility, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral uses the Qualifiers of the abovementioned ICF, ranging from a minor to a major limitation, from 0 to 4, described below:

    Without difficulty (0)
    In one attempt but with more time in relation to how it did it before the condition or in the last month; it performs the activity (1)
    In 2 to 3 attempts/more time/it fails to complete part of the activity (2)
    In 4 or more attempts/unreasonable time/it does not complete most of the activity (3)
    It does not perform the activity (4)

    Thus, any person with a disability, its family, its representative and travel agents may know in advance and check the guides used by Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral for each case.

     

  • Do people with disabilities need to make any specific arrangement for flying with Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral?

    In Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral, most of our passengers with disabilities do not need to make special arrangements for booking, purchasing tickets and flying.

    In general, it is not required to make any extraordinary arrangement in advance or to complete any form except in those cases where passengers request the provision of services that are not usually available to all travelers, whether on land, in the pre-boarding, in the connection and/or arrival points, when boarding or disembarking, or on board the aircraft.

    In those situations, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral will make every effort to provide passengers with the special service requested, provided that such service depends on the airline and is required at least 48 hours before departure.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral will provide the assistance and will limit its restrictions and demands to the maximum extent so as to contribute to the air transport of all people, provided the safety issues imposed by commercial aviation and its regulations are met.

    Based on these issues, the Company preserves the authority to require its passengers, in some cases, to meet certain conditions for flying or may, in exceptional cases, deny transport if so determines based on the safety issues imposed by commercial aviation and its regulations.
    People with disabilities who neither require medical authorization for transport nor must satisfy any other requirement, and who are those able to ascend, descend or move within the aircraft without any help from another person, are categorized as AMBULATORY.

    Regarding those people with disabilities due to recent conditions or who are experiencing acute, outbreak and exacerbation periods of their underlying condition, the feasibility of the flight at the time should be analyzed and, if the airline so decides, such people may need to be evaluated by the Medical Department of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral according to the criteria applicable to MEDICAL CASES.

    There are differences between the air transport of People with disabilities traveling in groups and that of People with disabilities traveling individually. If you are traveling in group, you must consult with Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral well in advance.
     

     

  • Is there any difference if people with disabilities are traveling alone or in groups?

    The answer is yes. A maximum number of people with disabilities traveling alone on the same flight has been established according to the type and size of aircraft and the number of emergency exits in such aircraft. Some people with disabilities might require traveling with an accompanying person to assist and support the disabled person in emergency procedures and to move on board.

    For those people with disabilities who are part of a group with other people with disabilities traveling on the same flight of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral (e.g., athletes, tourist trip, field trip, etc.), there is a maximum number of people with disabilities who may travel in groups depending on the flight and the aircraft, and they are often required to travel with accompanying people, whose quantity is adapted proportionally to the number of people who are part of the group concerned, as indicated in specific procedures. The representatives, delegates, travel agents or institutions of the group of people with disabilities who travel on the same flight of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral must consult with the Company when organizing the travel, well in advance of the scheduled date, in order to know all conditions applicable to such flight. 

     

  • Must people with disabilities submit a medical certificate to be able to fly with Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral?

    The answer is no. People with disabilities do not need to complete or submit any medical documentation. Neither the intervention nor the authorization by the Medical Department of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral are required, though sometimes it may be necessary to consult such department when it is difficult to classify the case or when there is evidence that the person's health has been seriously compromised or its general condition has deteriorated in such a way that it raises reasonable doubts as to the possibility of flying safely without any risk of worsening or death during transport or as a consequence of such transport. These last situations described are considered among MEDICAL CASES and have specific requirements.

    Only those people with a disability due to recent conditions or who are experiencing acute, outbreak and exacerbation periods of their underlying condition may be evaluated by the Medical Department of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral according to the criteria applicable to medical cases.
    There are differences between the air transport of People with disabilities traveling in groups and that of People with disabilities traveling individually. Conditions may be viewed here.
     

     

  • When, why and what for is necessary for a person with a disability to provide Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral with information?

    People with disabilities who need special support or assistance on land and/or by the crew during an emergency evacuation or during the flight (those with reduced capacity and/or mobility which are not able to ascend, descend or move within the aircraft without any help), categorized as NON-AMBULATORY, and PEOPLE WITH DIFFICULTIES TO UNDERSTAND, receive or comply with emergency instructions and the aircraft evacuation, in order to go on board and fly, must complete an internationally approved form of commercial aviation, known as INCAD (Incapacitated Passangers Advise Handling).       

    The purpose of completing this form is to share information between the passenger and the airline, and between the different airlines involved in the booking of the ticket and air travel, regarding the assistance required, in order to analyze availability or otherwise consider adaptation alternatives and reasonable adjustments, coordinating in due time and manner  the provision of the service requested. Accessibility and adequate transport are thus guaranteed to all people equally.

    If a flight is operated by an allied airline or if it is made in code share with another airline, there may be differences of criteria and restrictions, hence people with disabilities who need services and support must contact the airline in advance to make arrangements for those needs and avoid last minute inconveniences.
    Note: When the limitations have recently occurred or appeared (generally within 30 days prior to the scheduled flight date), these will be considered initially as medical situations or MEDICAL CASES. In these cases, the intervention of the Medical Department of the Company will be necessary.
    There are differences between the air transport of People with disabilities traveling in groups and that of People with disabilities traveling individually. Conditions may be viewed here.

     


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What kind of information may Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral require from a person with a disability?

What kind of information may Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral require from a person with a disability?

  • INCAD (Incapacitated Passengers Handling Advise)

    For the purpose of coordinating in due time and manner the provision of the service requested, ensuring adequate transport and/or facilitating or allowing the correct categorization of doubtful cases, taking into account Aviation Safety and the safety of the Passenger, on certain occasions, people with disabilities may be required to complete by themselves and sign -or, if they are not able to do so, sign on their own behalf through a third party representing them- a form called INCAD (Incapacitated Passengers Handling Advise). Such form may be viewed and printed from here, to be completed in handwriting.  
    It is an exchange of information to facilitate and guarantee the travel of the person with a disability to the maximum extent.  Due to said remote management, due inquiry into the health status and condition of the passenger with a disability will be possible, in order to determine the recommendations or conditions required to ensure the travel for such person.
    In such cases, there is no need to consult or request the intervention of any physician to complete the INCAD, since the information on special needs provided as an affidavit by the person with a disability is sufficient.
    Together with the affidavit, the person with a disability will be required to provide data on the assisting professional who knows about its situation, for the Medical Department of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral to consult with such professional, if the company so determines.
    It is worth noting that all items in the form must be answered. This will avoid mutual delays during the passage booking or at the airports, and will even avoid postponing the travel date.

    The person must contact the Special Services sector through the Call Center of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral in order to provide the relevant information on its needs and to coordinate the assistance and support of the case.
    On the day of the flight, passengers must take with them in an accessible place (in hand or in hand luggage, not in the luggage to be dispatched), together with the personal documents required (IDENTITY CARD, PASSPORT, VISA, etc.), the original INCAD form and two additional copies which will be required when Checking-In, in order to compare and validate them against the information previously provided. Upon ratification and validation of the documents, the original of the INCAD form will be withheld.
    One of the copies of the INCAD form may be required by the crew when boarding, while the other copy will be extremely useful to the passenger at the airports, during stopovers and at destination, and must be exhibited when returning from such destination.

    There are differences between the air transport of People with disabilities traveling in groups and that of People with disabilities traveling individually. Conditions may be viewed here.

     


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Kind of disabilities

Kind of disabilities

  • What kind of disabilities and situations are frequently consulted to be able to fly?

    People who can move on their own and are able to ascend, descend or move within the aircraft without any or little help from another person (AMBULATORY) 

    People with reduced mobility

    For example:


    -Paresis or lack of strength or feeling in lower limbs
    -Paraplegia or paralysis or absence of limb movement
    -People with monoplegia or paralysis affecting only one limb
    -People with hemiplegia or paralysis covering one side of the body
    -People with amputation of one or part of their lower limbs
    -Multiple Sclerosis
    -Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
    -Parkinson

     


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Wheelchair transport

Wheelchair transport

  • Traveling with your own wheelchair

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION: In case the wheelchair intended to be transported is battery powered you must complete and submit a form at the airport. It will have the character of sworn statement (the information provided in such statement implies taking responsibility for any inconvenience that the chair would produce due to an incorrect statement)

    WHEELCHAIR TRANSPORT FORM

    Passengers with reduced mobility may transport their wheelchairs with no additional cost.
    To those traveling with their own wheelchairs, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral will provide a courtesy service. This service allows to transfer the passenger from the check-in area to the aircraft and from the aircraft to the arrivals area.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral only transports manual wheelchairs and fixed or folding  wheelchairs powered by non-spillable batteries.

    Wheelchairs are transported as hold luggage only.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral does NOT transport wheelchairs powered by non-spillable batteries or lithium batteries as luggage.

    On the day of the flight, the person with a disability must be at the airport 120 minutes before the departure of its domestic flight and 180 minutes before the departure of its regional or international flight.

    It is important to consider that the Staff of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral must visually verify the battery in order to confirm if it is suitable for transport by air.  If it is necessary to disassemble any part of the chair, the disabled person must appear at the airport with the necessary tools to do so and have the appropriate tools for the disconnection and removal of the battery from the wheelchair, which must be done by the person or any accompanying person, since the airline staff is neither allowed nor authorized to do so.

    Fixed or folding wheelchairs powered by non-spillable batteries will be carried as hold luggage, provided that the battery is perfectly placed in the wheelchair, that it is disconnected and that its terminals are isolated, in order to prevent any short circuit or accidental operation of the wheelchair.
    "Manual" wheelchairs will also be dispatched as hold luggage.
    We recommend keeping in the hand luggage all the accessories that could get lost: any cushion, footrest or anti-sore items, among others.

    Generally, all types of electric and/or manual wheelchairs must be carried as hold luggage, thus it should be considered that the wheelchair may not be recovered during long connections or immediately after disembarking. The wheelchair will be delivered in the arrival area.
    If necessary, the acting staff will provide the passenger with a wheelchair or will help the passenger transfer itself to a provided wheelchair (STAFF WILL NOT TRANSFER THE PASSENGER) if it is using its own wheelchair, and will then embark such wheelchair in the hold.


    NON-SPILLABLE BATTERIES
    NON-SPILLABLE batteries are those identified with such legend.
    In case the battery does not have this "legend", then it should be considered as WET OR SPILLABLE.
    Legends of NON-SPILLABLE batteries.
    Any battery which does not have the "identification" of NON-SPILLABLE (or any variation) will be considered as WET OR SPILLABLE.

     

    WET OR SPILLABLE BATTERIES
    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral DOES NOT CARRY as luggage wheelchairs powered by WET OR SPILLABLE BATTERIES. The wheelchair may only be dispatched without its battery.
    WET OR SPILLABLE BATTERIES may only be transported as CARGO. For Domestic flights, contact us by email at jetpaq@aerolineas.com.ar or by phone at +54-11-4130-4000, and for International flights, contact us by email at aerolineascargo@aerolineas.com or by phone at +54-11-4480-6396/ 6264.
    Any battery which does not have the "identification" of NON-SPILLABLE (or any variation) will be considered as WET OR SPILLABLE.

     

    LITHIUM BATTERIES
    Aerolíneas Argentinas / Austral transport LITHIUM BATTERY powered wheelchairs as baggage.

    In case you need to transport LITHIUM BATTERIES you will have to consult with the Cargo Area. For domestic flights please contact jetpaq@aerolineas.com.ar or call + 54-11-4130-4000 and for international flights please contact aerolineascargo@aerolineas.com or call + 54-11-4480-6396 / 6264.

     

  • Request for provision of wheelchair

    It is the responsibility of the airport operators to assist any person with a disability during the time spent in the terminal, from its arrival until its departure, including intellectual disabilities and other impairments such as age or any other cause of limitation.

    Airlines may provide the airport operator with information in advance for a proper service provision. For your request to arrive on time, contact us at least 48 hours before the flight.
    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral has wheelchairs available to facilitate the transfer and movement of passengers with disabilities, who may travel alone or with an able accompanying person, depending on the degree of their disabilities. They must be requested when booking at least 24 hours in advance.
    The acting staff, if necessary, will provide the passenger with a wheelchair for this type of passengers to move within the airport.

    In addition, if circumstances so require and if the airport has the means, a lift to access the aircraft may be used.

     


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People with mental, sensory or motor disabilities

People with mental, sensory or motor disabilities

  • People with sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech, communication, etc.)

    -Visual impairment
    -Hearing impairment
    -Impairment, traveling with guide animals (seeing eye animals)

    People with difficulties in understanding or following instructions
    Difficulty in following emergency instructions and addressing and completing aircraft evacuation, and/or problematic behavior (violent, risk, self-injurious, disruptive, annoying or irritating behavior which interferes with the environment, lacks appropriate control of stress reactions and the physical and social environment, and are difficult to modify by verbal orders).
     

     

  • People with mental disabilities

    -Developmental Delay
    -Severe Mental Disorders
    -Epilepsy

    People who cannot walk, go up or down stairs, move neither on land nor on board, or who are not able to ascend, descend or move within the aircraft without significant help or without depending on others (NON-AMBULATORY).

    People with motor disabilities

    For example:

    -Paraplegia or paralysis involving lower limbs only
    -Hemiplegia with paralysis covering one side of the body
    -Quadriplegia or tetraplegia with paralysis involving all four limbs
    -Amputations or absence of both lower limbs
    -Amputations or absence of all four limbs
    -Cerebral palsy
    For additional and specific information on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), you may visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs352/es/

     

    People with other situations and disabilities

    -Senior and elderly people
    -Corpulent people
     

     

  • People with motor disabilities

    People who cannot walk, go up or down stairs, move neither on land nor on board, or who are not able to ascend, descend or move within the aircraft without significant help or without depending on others (NON-AMBULATORY).

    People with motor disabilities

    For example:

    -Paraplegia or paralysis involving lower limbs only
    -Hemiplegia with paralysis covering one side of the body
    -Quadriplegia or tetraplegia with paralysis involving all four limbs
    -Amputations or absence of both lower limbs
    -Amputations or absence of all four limbs
    -Cerebral palsy
    For additional and specific information on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), you may visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs352/es/

     

    People with other situations and disabilities

    -Senior and elderly people
    -Corpulent people

  • When may Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral require a person with a disability to travel with someone?

    For its own safety and that of others during an emergency evacuation of the aircraft, a person with a disability must travel with an accompanying person if it is unable to perform the following actions:
    - walking
    - ascending, descending and moving within the aircraft
    - sitting and standing
    - reaching an emergency exit without help
    - communicating with the crew on safety issues
    - fastening or unfastening the seat belt
    - retrieving and donning the lifejacket
    - placing its oxygen mask


    The duty of the accompanying person is considered Safety Assistance (role of guide, assistant or aide).
    The guide dog is considered a valid companion for a blind or deaf passenger with severe hearing loss.
    On some occasions, when the status or condition of the person with a disability and the assistance and support needs are such that it is impossible for only one person to provide such help (e.g., transferring the person from one seat to another, transferring the person from or to a wheelchair, standing, sitting or holding the person, taking the person in wheelchair up or down the aircraft stairs when the airports do not have a ramp or an elevator), Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral may require more than one able accompanying person per passenger. Regardless of this, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral will make all reasonable efforts to cooperate with the mobilization of the passenger with a disability, but without neglecting those restrictions that prevent the company from mobilizing persons by hand, exceeding the maximum weight limit established per worker for loading and unloading, or forcing the ergonomic positions that must be observed to avoid staff injuries.
    By requiring a person with a disability to travel with an accompanying person, despite the right of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral to take different risks, the company prioritizes issues related to Aviation Safety and emergency evacuation of the aircraft.

     

  • May a passenger with a disability freely choose its location on the aircraft?

    Passengers with disabilities may travel alone occupying one or more seats as provided in the Policy of Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral, and sometimes they must do so with an accompanying adult over 18 years, as determined by the company.
    Air transport companies are required to determine, on a non-discriminatory basis, if a passenger can fulfill the role necessary from any person occupying a seat located in the row of an emergency exit.

    Passengers occupying a seat located in the rows of the emergency exit must be able to perform the following duties:
    • Understand the instructions for operating the emergency door.
    • Follow the instructions given by a crew member.
    • Must have sufficient mobility, strength or dexterity in both arms, hands and legs.


    The passenger occupying a seat located in the row of the emergency exit must:
    • Be over 15 years old
    • Be able to perform the relevant duties without the help of an accompanying person, parent or other adult relative.
    • Be able to read and understand the instructions related to emergency evacuation provided by Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral.
    • Have sufficient visual and hearing capacity to perform the relevant duties without assistance.
    • Be able to adequately provide verbal information in English to other passengers.
    The passenger occupying a seat located in the row of the emergency exit must not:
    • Require or use supplemental oxygen.
    • Need an extension to fasten its seatbelt.
    • Have a condition or a responsibility, such as caring for small children, which may prevent it from performing the relevant duties.
    The airline cannot deny transport to a person with a disability under certain conditions, but it can refuse to assign a seat in the row of the emergency exit to such person or a specific location to a passenger who is unable to perform the duties described.

    Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral cannot allow the transport of people who are not able to permanently use the seat upright at 90 degrees (without reclining it) during the entire flight, since in certain circumstances, due to operational issues, this may be mandatory.

    When Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral requires a person with a disability to travel with an able accompanying, the latter should always travel next to the disabled passenger, which may be in the same row or in the immediately next front, back or side row, in the same class. In general, the location of the accompanying person is assigned, and often required, next to the person with a disability in order to assist it on board and during the flight.

    When a person with a disability travels with an accompanying person by choice without Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral having required an able accompanying person, the latter may travel in any location, independently from that of the passenger with a disability, even in a different class. Generally, both people are assigned seats together or next to each other, and we are often requested to do so.
    If the aircraft makes a stopover, passengers with disabilities may stay on board, provided it is authorized by the company or contemplated in fueling standards.

     

    People with disabilities traveling in Groups:

    If the transport involves a group of passengers with disabilities (including 10 people or more), they must contact the Special Services sector of the company, which will coordinate the service.

    These passengers must always be accompanied by able people, designated by the same association or group.

    Ambulatory passengers with reduced mobility and hearing or communication impairments must have an accompanying person every twelve members.

    Groups of passengers of categories A3, A4 and B will require an able accompanying person for each passenger with a disability.

    Groups of passengers with a visual impairment must travel with an accompanying person every two people.

     

    People with disabilities traveling individually:

    The maximum amounts of passengers with full or partial ambulatory difficulties admissible per aircraft are as follows:
    A340/A320:   5 (five), (only two non-ambulatory)
    B737:    5 (five), (only two non-ambulatory)
    Embraer:   5 (five), (only two non-ambulatory)

    For calculation purposes, passengers with visual, hearing or communication impairments are not included in the maximum amounts per aircraft type.

    The maximum number of passengers with disabilities traveling individually per flight is not considered as a "Group" by the company.

    The guide dog is considered a valid companion for a blind or deaf passenger.

     

  • What happens if a person with a disability thinks it is able to travel alone (unaccompanied) but AEROLÍNEAS ARGENTINAS/AUSTRAL thinks otherwise?

    In some exceptional cases, where the impossibility of a person with a disability to perform certain activities without help is not clearly and indisputably evident or when, due to the nature of the disability and the development of sufficient skills compensating the functional limitations of the person, there is reasonable doubt to consider that such person is able to travel alone in a commercial airliner and, despite these two previous issues, Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral decides, by taking into account the requirements of air transport, that such person with a disability must travel with an accompanying person, the company (upon due intervention, proper advice and opinion of the Medical Department) may consider the alternative of assuming a portion of the ticket cost of the accompanying person.

     


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