Travelling by air
How we can help you if you’re travelling by air
If you have a disability or reduced mobility, you’re entitled to support, commonly known as ‘special assistance’, when travelling by air.
Your right to special assistance applies when:
- You fly on any airline from an EU airport
- You fly on an EU registered airline to an EU airport
This means airports and airlines must provide help and assistance, which is free of charge, to ensure you have a stress-free journey.
Special assistance is available to anybody who may need help to travel such as the elderly, people with a physical disability, such as wheelchair users, and those who have difficulty with social interaction and communication, such as those with autism or ADHD.
Help is available from the moment you arrive at the relevant helpdesk at the airport and can cover:
- Your journey through the departure airport.
- Boarding the aircraft and during the flight.
- Disembarking the aircraft.
- Transferring between flights and travelling through your destination airport.
If you would like us to arrange any assistance at the airport or on the aircraft, please let us know at the time of booking, or if you've already booked and now need to notify us of any special requirements please contact a member of our Travel Needs team on 0808 239 4755 .Please provide at least 48 hours’ notice if you require assistance.
When you arrive at the airport you’ll need to make your own way to one of the assistance points in the terminal. Airports must have assistance points at various places in the airport boundary – this may include drop-off points, car parks, train stations and bus terminals. Your VIP driver will be able to help direct you to the appropriate location, if asked.
Airlines may decide that for safety reasons you must travel with a carer. This can be a travelling companion of your choice who is able to provide the assistance you require. Each airline should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that you and your companion can sit next to each other.
Airlines are responsible for communicating essential information about a flight in accessible formats. If you require a personal or alternative type of safety briefing it is important that you notify us in advance so this can be arranged.
If you use a mobility aid such as a wheelchair or scooter, you’ll need to give us some information in advance about the equipment, including its make and model. This will be passed on to the airline to ensure that it is loaded and stowed safely during the flight and is not a fire risk.
Some airlines may have restrictions relating to what equipment you can take and how much - these can vary depending on who you fly with. Please contact us so we can look into any restrictions for you.
Many airlines will want to see a medical certificate if you’re taking large quantities of medication. You must have a certificate if you’re taking more than 100ml of medicine in liquid or gel form through security.
You should be able to use supplementary oxygen if you need to. As airline policies vary, some will provide oxygen for you to use free of charge but some may charge a fee.
If an airline allows you to bring your own oxygen (usually contained in a Portable Oxygen Concentrator - POC), in most cases there will be no charge for this. However, as all airline policies differ please check with us at the time of booking. If you've already booked and now require the use of oxygen, please contact our Travel Needs team on 0808 239 4755 .
Airlines must accept all assistance dogs for air travel without charge, unless a second seat is required. Dogs will normally sit in the space on the floor in front of the seat. If it is not possible for the dog to sit there or the dog is of a larger breed, then an airline may charge for a second seat in order for there to be enough floor space for the dog to lie down. It's essential that you let us know if you plan to take your assistance dog with you on the flight as soon as possible, ideally at the time of booking or by calling our Travel Needs team on 0800 588 5888 if you've already booked.
A safety harness should be taken on the plane to enable your dog to be secured during take-off and landing.
An airline may ask for confirmation that your dog has been trained by a recognised dog training organisation. In the UK these organisations are members of Assistance Dogs UK.
An assistance dog will need to comply with the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme, on international flights to other EU countries. For those outside the EU, you will need to check local quarantine rules.