If you have reduced mobility
Under EU regulations, if your mobility is reduced, you are guaranteed improved access and assistance when flying.
Under these rules, all airlines and airports in the EU must provide:
- Equal treatment of passengers with disabilities/reduced mobility
- Free assistance in all EU airports
- Free assistance on flights from non-EU destinations to EU airports
- On-board assistance
- Airports and air travel
People with disabilities or reduced mobility get free assistance to help them through all EU airports and they must not be discriminated against.
The airport must look after you and your luggage until your luggage is stored and you are seated on the aircraft. After that, the airline takes over. When you are booking your flight you should tell your airline, tour operator or travel agent that you will need assistance. This should be done at least 48 hours before your flight.
You do not have to have a permanent disability or a physical disability to receive assistance. Anyone who has difficulty moving around, for example because of age or a temporary injury (such as a broken leg), can receive help.
Airlines cannot refuse to carry wheelchair users or reduced-mobility passengers or charge you extra, but the airline must be informed of your need for assistance at least 48 hours in advance.
Airlines must be able to carry up to two items of mobility equipment per person (either with a disability or with reduced mobility) as well as any medical equipment needed on a flight. They must also allow you to bring assistance dogs (guide dogs or hearing dogs) in the cabin, if required.
The airline should give boarding priority to people with reduced mobility and accompanying people or assistance dogs. They must also make a reasonable effort to arrange seating to meet the needs of individuals with reduced mobility if asked to do so, and must assist them in getting to toilet facilities if required.
Where a person with a disability has a care assistant, the airline must make reasonable efforts to seat them nearby.
Remember to check your airline for its full rules. For example:
- Some operators will only carry a maximum of four persons with reduced mobility on any one flight
- Wheelchairs with wet-cell batteries or stretchers may not be permitted
Air Travel Tax
Air Travel Tax does not apply to people with disabilities who have requested assistance from the airline 48 hours in advance, or to people travelling with them.
If you have a disability or reduced mobility and feel that your rights have not been respected, you should complain first to the airport management or airline.
If you are not satisfied with the response, you should contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation, the enforcement body in Ireland for these EU regulations.