Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility travelling from airports in the EU and for flights from third countries to an airport in a Member State, are entitled to protection and assistance according to the provisions of Regulation 1107/2006 .
A passenger may not necessarily have a permanent disability, nor such a disability need to be of a physical nature in order to avail of such assistance. Hence this regulation applies to anyone who has mobility problems, owing to age, disability or even a temporary injury. Any person to whom this Regulation applies and who wishes to receive assistance is requested to indicate his or her particular requirements to their travel agency or airline as soon as possible. Although it is not compulsory to do this, it should be done at least 48 hours before departure if the person wishes to be given assistance adapted to their needs.
Free assistance in all EU airports
European airports provide a number of services for persons with reduced mobility from the moment they enter the airport to the boarding gate, at both the airport of departure and the airport of the passenger’s destiantion. These passengers are thus able to use airport infrastructure in the same way as any other passenger. They enjoy priority boarding, under the best of conditions and with the necessary equipment.
Assistance on board
On flights from EU airports and from airports in a third country to an EU airport, if the air carrier is European airlines are obliged to provide certain services, such as carrying wheelchairs and guide dogs, free of charge
Refusal on grounds of disability or impaired mobility
An air carrier or its agent or a tour operator must not refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility:
- to accept a reservation for a flight departing from or arriving at an airport to which this Regulation applies;
- to embark a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility at such an airport, provided that the person concerned has a valid ticket and reservation.
In order to meet applicable safety requirements, the airline may refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a booking from or to embark a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility or if the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of such a person physically impossible.
However the air carrier, its agent or the tour operator must propose an acceptable alternative to the inconvenienced passenger in question.
A disabled person or a person with reduced mobility who has been denied embarkation on the grounds of his disability or reduced mobility and any person accompanying him shall be offered the right to reimbursement or re-routing as provided for in Regulation 261/2004. The right to the option of a return flight or re-routing shall be subject to safety requirements.
The airline or tour operator may require that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person who is in a position of providing the assistance required by that person.
Damaged wheelchairs or other mobility equipment
Where wheelchairs or other mobility equipment are lost or damaged whilst being handled at the airport or transported on board aircraft, the passenger to whom the equipment belongs shall be compensated.