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Disability and Air Travel

Under European law, if you are disabled or have difficulty moving around, you can receive assistance when you fly to and from Europe.

Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air 

provides that airports and air carriers must assist passengers who need help to get through the airport and board the plane. As long as you provide at least 48 hours notice to the tour operator or air carrier, you should receive assistance unless there are safety reasons that prevent this. Our new guidance below gives you more information.

If things go wrong and you experience disability discrimination when travelling by air, you can make a complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – the body responsible for handling complaints about airports in England, Scotland and Wales, and any airlines flying from them. You can contact the CAA here.You can also pursue a claim through the court system. The time limit for taking a claim to court is six months, less one day, starting from the date the discrimination happened. Please note, compensation for injury to feelings cannot be awarded for discrimination which occurs during embarkation and disembarkation or on board the plane.

Please note: the Equality and Human Rights Commission does not have the legal powers to deal with complaints under this law.

To download ‘Your passport to a smooth journey’ please click here.

To download ‘Your rights to fly: What you need to know’ please click here.

Article originally appeared at