Although flying with a disability may bring with it certain challenges there is certainly no reason why you should not be able to take your dream holiday or trip abroad. The majority of airline companies cater to travelers with disabilities and will be able to provide you with the assistance you need boarding the aircraft, during the flight and disembarking at your destination. It is advisable to let the airline know that you will require assistance when you book your flight.
Under EU law passengers with reduced mobility and disabilities have legal rights to staff assistance during air travel. Airlines should allow you to bring up to two items of mobility equipment for free, let your airline know when you book your flight.
able2fly is a free online system to book your airline assistance in advance so if you need a helping hand or some extra assistance through the airport you can ask for it easily. Register with able2fly and they will liaise directly with the airlines to ensure they have received your accessibility request.
If you driven your own vehicle to the airport, ensure you have booked an airport car park with disabled facilities. It is advisable to inform the airport parking company of your assistance requirements when you pre-book your airport parking. Each car park will have different facilities for travelers with reduced mobility which could include:
Designated Help Points to call for assistance
Special assistance staff to transport you from your vehicle to the airport terminal
A wheelchair push service
Wheelchair accessible shuttle buses
Wider access pathways
It is advisable to contact the airport you will be travelling from at least 48 hours before you travel if you require assistance. Airport and airline staff should be able to assist you throughout the terminal building should you need it. Each airport in the UK has varying facilities and services for mobility impaired passengers and could include:
Designated Help Points
Dedicated assistance team
Wheelchair accessible doors
Wheelchair accessible phones
Special Assistance seating areas
Accessible lift access to all levels
Wheelchair push service
Assistance with baggage
Induction loops at customer service and check-in desks
Disabled toilet facilities
To find out more about disabled facilities at Heathrow Airport call 0870 000 0123.
To enquire about reduced mobility assistance at Gatwick Airport call 0870 000 2468 or 01293 513 179 (Hard of hearing/minicom).
To find out about disabled facilities at Manchester Airport please call 0871 271 0711.
Passengers with disabilities will be assisted from the departure gate and onto the aircraft by airport or airline staff using specialist equipment which could include an ambulift or other lifting equipment. Airline staff will also be able to assist you to your seat and help you to and from the aircraft toilet.
To find out more about your rights and for further information on flying with a disability go to Direct.gov Air travel for the Mobility Impaired.