Rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility
Regulation (EC) No, which became applicable on 26th of July 2008, establishes rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. Disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility, whether caused by disability, age or another factor, should have opportunities for air travel comparable to those of other citizens.
According to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 air carriers and tour operators may not refuse reservation or boarding of persons because of their reduced mobility or a disability. As prescribed by law, there are certain exceptions justified on the grounds of safety.
The regulation specifies that people with reduced mobility or a disability are entitled to assistance free of charge on airports situated in the territory of a Member State (on departure, arrival and during transit), e.g.
- designated points at arrival and departure, where passengers can communicate their arrival and their request for assistance,
- assistance on demand of the above mentioned group of people to check in and register baggage,
- setting the stage for disembarking from the aircraft, if necessary with the provision of lifts, wheelchairs or other assistance needed, as appropriate.
The managing bodies of airports should provide the above mentioned assistance and may fund the services by levying a specific charge on airlines. The notification of the need for assistance has to be provided at least 48 hours before the published time of departure.
Air carrier shall provide particular assistance without additional charge on departure from, on transit through or on arrival at an airport situated in the territory of a Member State, e.g.
- transport up to two pieces of mobility equipment per person, including electric wheelchairs
- carriage of recognised assistance dogs,
- communication of essential information concerning a flight in accessible formats,
- assistance in moving to toilet facilities if required.
Community air carriers shall also offer the above mentioned assistance for flights departing from an airport situated in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State.
The notification of the need for assistance has to be forwarded at least 48 hours before the published time of departure to the air carrier, its agent or the tour operator concerned.
Persons with reduced mobility or a disability, who want to complain about an alleged infringement of their rights when travelling by air, should at first get in contact with the managing bodies of airports or with the air carrier concerned. Passengers who do not succeed in achieving a satisfactory solution may submit an infringement report to the competent national enforcement body (NEB).
The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, Federal Aviation Office, is the designated German authority responsible for the enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006.
The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt examines cases within the framework of an administrative offence proceeding. It is not in a position to enforce passengers´ possible claims legally. Passengers can only assert their claims according to the procedures provided for in the respective applicable law.
In case of complaints addressed to the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Aviation Office) we kindly ask passengers to exclusively use the forms available (see above). The complaint forms filled in may be sent by e-mail, fax or letter to the following addresses:
D - 38144 Braunschweig
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or fax: + 49 (0) 531 / 2355 2599
If you need initial information, the aviation safety hotline of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt will be at your disposal from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m., phone: + 49 (0) 531 2355 115.