Passengers requiring special assistance are welcome on-board AAT Kings tours providing they are accompanied by an able-bodied companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from AAT Kings personnel or anyone else on the tour.
However, in order to help you decide if a coach tour is a suitable holiday, we would like to draw your attention to some areas of difficulty that are frequently experienced by passengers requiring special assistance. It is impossible to list all potential areas of difficulty, but the following are ones that have been highlighted by past passengers and Travel Directors.
- Coaches stop on average 6-7 times a day, often for half an hour only. Passengers need to be able to climb on and off coaches reasonably quickly.
- During stops, the coach has to be left empty and locked to comply with legal regulations for driver's hours.
- Steps into the coach are high, minimum of three, sometimes many more, depending on design of coach.
- Steps are narrow so assistance can only be given from below or above, not at the side.
- Seat rotation is enforced, so passengers must be able to walk down the coach aisle.
- Many hotels do not have disabled rooms and many do not have special facilities for passengers with disabilities such as elevators, ramps, wide doors, etc.
- As triples are usually a twin room with a third bed, they are not suitable if one of the passengers is using a wheelchair.
- Very few hotels have separate showers but usually shower facilities in the bath.
- There is quite a lot of walking on all AAT Kings tours, frequently on uneven ground and rough terrain. For those tours which visit remote areas (e.g. Western Australia, Northern Territory) a good level of fitness is required.
- Collapsible, pushable wheelchairs can be accommodated in coach lockers. Please note that motorised wheelchairs/ scooters cannot be accepted.
- Passengers bringing special medical equipment need to check on space availability and be prepared to carry it themselves.
- On AAT Kings Camping tours, there is no electricity power points available for passengers to use in their tents for sleeping devices (e.g C Pap machines)
- Tour directors and drivers are not allowed to assist passengers physically, i.e. in and out of the coach, pushing wheelchairs, etc.
- Passengers travelling alone need to be able to look after themselves in every respect, especially in twin-share, as roommates are frequently not willing to provide assistance with washing, dressing, etc.
- Passengers who request disabled rooms and are travelling on their own cannot share and must pay the single supplement.
- For deaf or hearing impaired passengers, the Tour Directors do not face passengers whilst giving commentary. Many instructions are given verbally. Specially designed alarm clocks for the deaf are recommended.
- Passengers who are blind or sight impaired need to be aware that neither AAT Kings personnel nor hotel staff are available to conduct them to their room or to explain room layout, that coaches do not always pick up where they set down, that they cannot expect other passengers to accompany them everywhere or describe sights and also that information is often given on hotel noticeboards.
AAT Kings wants to make sure that our clients have an enjoyable holiday and we believe it is important that people requiring special assistance are aware of potential areas of difficulty prior to confirmation of travel.
AAT Kings reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach tour travel because of the need for services or facilities that AAT Kings cannot guarantee will be available.
Prior to booking confirmation, clients will need to complete a Special Assistance Form and return it to AAT Kings so that we can request confirmation of travel. Please note that AAT Kings cannot confirm its approval of the passenger's participation on the tour until this form has been submitted for authorisation to the AAT Kings operations office in Australia and consent received.Download Special Assistance Form