In July 2008 a European law came into effect establishing rights for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. This law obliges tour operators, air carriers and airport management bodies to provide high-quality and practical help to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility so that they have the same travel opportunities as other citizens.
The law recognises that there are many types of disability and that the causes of reduced mobility can vary from person to person. They can include obvious difficulties e.g. walking difficulties whether due to injury or age etc. and difficulties that are less obvious e.g. vision or hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities etc. The rules state that any person who suffers from a disability – whether temporary or permanent and regardless of the reason – is entitled to certain types of assistance when taking a flight. Most importantly any assistance provided is free of charge to the passenger.
The law applies in all of the EU Member States and in Norway so if you require help you can expect to receive it when travelling through airports in any of these countries and to receive it on-board all flights departing from these countries. You are also entitled to be helped on all flights arriving into any of these countries if your flight is operated by a European air carrier e.g. Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Air France, Iberia, British Airways etc.
Air carriers and airport management bodies have the largest roles to play in implementing these laws. To ensure that you have a clear understanding as to who is responsible for assisting you at any given part of your journey, please read the following sections carefully. You can access the information by either clicking on the links below or by using the buttons on the left hand side of this screen.