Rights of air passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility

If your mobility is reduced for example as a result of old age or disability, you are entitled to special assistance free of charge at airports and on board aircraft. The best way to ensure you will get the help you need is to inform the relevant operator of your needs in advance. Learn more about special assistance and your rights in different situations.

The managing body of the airport will help you to move around and operate at the airport. During the flight, assistance will be provided by the airline.

Special assistance is always free of charge. The purpose of assistance is to make travelling easier and guarantee everyone equal rights to travel by air.

Who is entitled to assistance?

Different disabilities may make it difficult to use transport services. Not every disability is visible to the eye.

ASSISTANCE IS PROVIDED TO PERSONS WITH PERMANENTLY OR TEMPORARILY REDUCED MOBILITY

Assistance can be provided, for example, to elderly passengers, persons using a wheelchair or persons with hearing or visual impairments. 

Assistance is also provided to disabled persons and, for example, persons with autism spectrum disorders or memory disorders.

Notify your need for assistance in advance

We recommend that you bring up your need for assistance already when you book your journey. That way you can ensure you get the help you need.

Inform the airline, ticket vendor or tour operator of your need for assistance. You can provide the details of your special needs in the booking system. Sometimes you may need to give the information by telephone or by filling in a separate online form, for example.

NOTIFY YOUR NEED FOR ASSISTANCE AT THE LATEST 48 HOURS BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT

Notify your need for assistance when you book your journey or at the latest 48 hours before your flight. 

If your reservation includes several flights, your notification will also cover the connecting or return flights. If you have booked your flights separately, your need for assistance will not automatically be communicated to different airlines. In this case, you must give separate notifications to all airlines. 

If you have not given advance warning of your need for assistance, you will be helped with boarding the flight you have reserved. However, it may be that not all your requests can be fulfilled.  

No extra fees can be charged for notifying the need for assistance. 

Assess your real need for assistance

No medical certificate or other document is required to receive assistance. You must assess the type of assistance you will need during the journey. Please keep in mind that distances at airports may be long. When you notify your need for assistance, please be as specific as possible. 

Please note that some illnesses or recent surgeries may lead to flight restrictions. The airline may require you to present a physician’s medical assessment of your ability to travel. 

What kind of assistance can I get when travelling by air?

Assistance is provided on all flights departing from the EU. Assistance is also available on flights arriving from non-EU countries if the flight is operated by an EU airline. The rules also apply to Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and airlines from these countries. 

How to request assistance

1: Notify your need for assistance in advance

Inform the airline, ticket vendor or tour operator of your need for assistance when you book your journey or at the latest 48 hours before the journey.

When you describe the help you need, be as specific as possible. 

2: Tell what assistive devices you need

Remember to mention the mobility equipment you need, such as a wheelchair, assistance dog or respiratory and oxygen equipment. 

You can take with you free of charge two pieces of mobility equipment and all the medical equipment you will need during the journey. 

3: One notification is usually enough

If your reservation includes several flights, your notification will also cover the connecting or return flights. 

If you have booked your flights separately, inform all airlines of your need for assistance separately. 

4: Request written confirmation

Request written confirmation of the assistance.

5: Contact an assistant at the airport

Contact an assistant at the check-in counter or an assistance call point by the deadline given by the airline. 

 

Your rights in different situations

MAKE A COMPLAINT: RIGHTS OF AIR PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES OR REDUCED MOBILITY

If your rights have not been respected in connection with a flight, you can make a complaint. In the event of a problem, always first contact the managing body of the airport or the airline. 

If necessary, you can also contact the authority overseeing passenger rights. In Finland, the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in air transport are supervised by Traficom.