Understanding Aviation SSR and Why Are They Important

When reading the title of this article, you might wonder what this article is about. SSR stands for Special Service Request and covers a wide variety of different services for any passenger.

These services are any information that helps a passenger to receive a special service or highlights a special fact on this passenger. Below a sample of some of these codes:

  • UMNR – Unaccompanied minor (a child travelling alone needs special support and lots of documental work)
  • INFT – Infant accompanying adult passenger
  • WCHR – Wheelchair to Ramp (a passenger who cannot walk longer distances)
  • WCHS – Wheelchair to top of stairs (a passenger who cannot walk stairs – might need ambulift)
  • WCHC – Wheelchair in cabin (a passenger who needs support to the seat in the cabin)
  • WCMP – Wheelchair Manually powered (mentioned for arrival handling staff to prepare)
  • PETC – Pet in Cabin (a small dog or cat, that can travel with the passenger in the cabin)
  • AVIH – Animal vivant in hold (a larger animal that is loaded in the cargo compartment of the aircraft)
  • FQTV – Frequent Traveller (the bonus program and the status is indicated to give a special warm welcome to some passengers on board)
  • BLND – Blind passenger (a passenger who might need help to find the way)
  • WEAP – This passenger has checked-in a weapon (NOT in the cabin)
  • MEDA – Medical Assistance (oxygen or other needs)
  • MAAS – Meet and Assist (a passenger who needs support at the airport)
  • ESAN – Passenger travelling with an emotional support animal
  • CHML – Child Meal requested
  • GFML – Gluten free meal requested

These information are crucial for many service providers and are shared with them. The crew on board does need to know, if any passenger suffers from a condition and might need special attention. These information are also relevant in case of an emergency, as these passenger might need more support in such a situation.

The airport’s PRM (Passenger with Restricted Mobility) provider needs these information to dispatch staff to meet and assist the passenger upon arrival and secure smooth handling at the airport.

AVIH is taken care of before travel (photo: Travelling with animals | Transported in comfort | SWISS)

How does the crew get these information you might ask. Well, in today’s digital and well-developed world, most of the crews receive these information – still on paper! Only few airlines have their crews equipped with tablets. Tablet or paper list, in the end the information remains the same and the crew has an easy overview about all special passengers on board.

The next time you see the passenger next to you receive a special meal without having asked for it, you will know that it was requested before and the crew checked the list to provide an excellent service on board.


Cover photo: Passengers with restricted mobility (PRMs): definitions and airline rights (internationalairportreview.com)

Sources:

Special Service Request Codes.pdf | Wheelchair | Visual Impairment (scribd.com)