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My partner had a hemorrhagic stroke 18 months ago and occasionally requires a wheelchair (for long distances) but is otherwise fine. Now he's going on a vacation to Southeast Asia via Qatar Airways from London. His doctor has verbally cleared him to fly. Apart from a travel insurance policy, is he gonna need a doctor's note/ report/ certificate or any form of medical clearance to board his flight? Or a simple request for a wheelchair will do?

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There’s unfortunately a huge amount of discretion on the part of checkin counter agents, gate agents, and cabin attendants as to whether you’ll need to show a doctor’s certificate.

Basically if any of them are concerned about the health and safety of a passenger being fit to fly, they can ask for further proof. They’re used to seeing disabled and elderly passengers and can usually tell the difference between someone who only needs a walker or wheelchair and someone who is at risk of a medical emergency on board but they do have discretionary power to ask for proof. Avoiding the checkin agent by online or kiosk checkin may bypass at least one level of scrutiny.

They’ll usually start off with a verbal inquiry. Explaining that the “disability” happened almost “two years ago” should put them at ease as to the stability of the condition. I wouldn’t get into more details than are necessary.

In any case, the safest would be to have a doctor’s note.

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