Questions & Answers

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Where or whom do I pre-notify about my travel?

Please pre-notify your air carrier, travel agency or travel operator 48 hours before you fly at the latest. The air carrier will pass the information on to the airport. For air security reasons, the airport does not accept direct pre-notification by passengers.

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Article 6

Text of legal source:
When an air carrier or its agent or a tour operator receives a notification of the need for assistance at least 48 hours before the published departure time for the flight, it shall transmit the information concerned at least 36 hours before the published departure time for the flight:
a) to the managing bodies of the airports of departure, arrival and transit, and
b) to the operating air carrier, if a reservation was not made with that carrier, unless the identity of the operating air carrier is not known at the time of notification, in which case the information shall be transmitted as soon as practicable.

When do I need to be at the airport?

Arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure at the latest, or at the check-in desk 1 hour before departure at the latest. However, we recommend you arrive at check-in at least 2 hours before departure, or 3 hours before for long-haul flights.

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Article 7

Text of legal source:
a) … the person presents himself or herself for check-in

(i) at the time stipulated in advance and in writing (including by electronic means) by the air carrier or its agent or the tour operator, or


(ii) if no time is stipulated, not later than one hour before the published departure time, or

(b) the person arrives at a point within the airport boundary designated in accordance with Article 5:

(i) at the time stipulated in advance and in writing (including by electronic means) by the air carrier or its agent or the tour operator, or

(ii) if no time is stipulated, not later than two hours before the published departure time.

Where or to whom do I announce my arrival at the airport?

Airports have various collection points, sometimes known as pick-up points or callpoints.

These are usually check-in desks, information desks or assistance phones (in MUC these points are information desks, check-in desks, InfoGate indoor and InfoGate outdoor).

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Article 5

Text of legal source:
(1) In cooperation with airport users, through the Airport Users Committee where one exists, and relevant organisations representing disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, the managing body of an airport shall, taking account of local conditions, designate points of arrival and departure within the airport boundary or at a point under the direct control of the managing body, both inside and outside terminal buildings, at which disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility can, with ease, announce their arrival at the airport and request assistance.

(2) The points of arrival and departure referred to in paragraph 1 shall be clearly signed and shall offer basic information about the airport, in accessible formats.

Is the service free of charge?

Yes.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5C-4

EU1107/2006, Article 8

Text of legal source:
The airport should not charge the PRM directly. In any case, the service delivered should be in accordance, as a minimum, with the standards set out in Annex 1 of the Regulation and those are in accordance with ECAC Doc.30, Part 1.

(1) The managing body of an airport shall be responsible for ensuring the provision of the assistance specified in Annex I without additional charge to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

What information should I give when I announce my arrival?

Please announce your arrival giving yourlevel of mobility (special service requirement (SSR) code) to ensure the assistance provided is tailored to your needs.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5.3.1

Text of legal source:
WCHR
- Passenger who can walk up and down stairs and move about in an aircraft cabin, but who requires a wheelchair or other means for movements between the aircraft and the terminal, in the terminal and between arrival and departure points on the city side of the terminal. It is recommended to include in this category passengers who only need little assistance at the airport and no assistance on-board (e.g. elderly passengers and others who do not need a wheelchair but rather a helping hand or assistance with luggage).

WCHS - Passenger who cannot walk up or down stairs, but who can move about in an aircraft cabin and requires a wheelchair to move between the aircraft and the terminal, in the terminal and between arrival and departure points on the city side of the terminal.

WCHC - This category covers a wide range of passengers. It includes those who are completely immobile, who can move about only with the help of a wheelchair or any other means and who requires assistance at all times from arrival at the airport to seating in the aircraft or, if necessary, in a special seat fitted to their specific needs, the process being inverted at arrival. This category also includes passengers with a disability only
affecting the lower limbs who require assistance to embark and disembark and to move inside the aircraft cabin but who are otherwise self-sufficient and can move about independently in their own wheelchair at the airport. Specifying the level of autonomy at the time of booking will avoid the provision of inappropriate assistance.

BLND - Blind or visually impaired passenger

DEAF - Passenger who is deaf or hard of hearing or a passenger who is deaf without speech.

DEAF/BLND - Blind and deaf passenger, who can move about only with the help of an accompanying person.

DPNA - Disabled Passenger with intellectual or developmental disability Needing Assistance. This covers persons with disabilities such as learning difficulties, dementia, Alzheimer’s’ or Down’s syndrome who travel alone and will need ground assistance.

How many items of mobility equipment can I take with me?

2 items of mobility equipment can be carried free of charge. Please observe the provisions concerning dangerous goods. You must consult your air carrier in advance. Certification for any unusual items of mobility equipment can speed up the process.

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Annex II

Text of legal source:
In addition to medical equipment, transport of up to two pieces of mobility equipment per disabled person or person with reduced mobility, including electric wheelchairs (subject to pre-notification of 48 hours and to possible limitations of space on board the aircraft, and subject to the application of relevant legislation concerning dangerous goods).

Are there any weight limits for medical aids?

No. You may be asked to show a doctor’s certificate, and you may need to consult your air carrier in advance.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q11

Text of legal source:
In seeking to apply the principle of non-discrimination enshrined in the Regulation, the discrimination of other passengers must be avoided. This means that weight limits for normal, checked-in luggage also apply for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, i.e. they might have to pay a fee for overweight luggage if it is not medical equipment or the two pieces of mobility equipment required for the journey under Annex II to the Regulation.

Weight limitations do not apply to the transport of medical and mobility equipment or assistive devices (whilst respecting the limitation of two pieces of mobility equipment per disabled person or person with reduced mobility and any applicable restrictions related to the transport of dangerous goods or the size and certification of the aircraft).

May I carry medication in my hand baggage?

Yes. However, please note that you may be asked to show a doctor’s certificate.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5A-5

Text of legal source:
2.4.9 There is currently a restriction on the carriage of liquids on board aircraft to a maximum of 100 ml per container. However, you are allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand baggage, but you will need prior approval from the airline and departure airport and supporting documentation (e.g. a letter from your doctor or a prescription).

2.4.10 Make sure you have any necessary medication in your hand baggage and check that you have packed enough to cover any delays to your flight or in case of a lost or delayed baggage.

Must I provide proof of my disability?

No. However, in justified individual cases the air carrier may ask for a fit-to-fly certificate. You may need to consult your air carrier in advance to avoid problems on your day of departure.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q2

Text of legal source:
Q2: Is it admissible to request proof from disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility about their medical condition?
No. The Regulation does not impose any obligation on disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to provide evidence of their disability or reduced mobility (whether medical or other) in order to justify the assistance requested. Thus, carriers are not allowed to ask for such a proof as a precondition of selling a ticket or of permitting carriage. However, in situations where the medical condition of a passenger is such that there is reasonable doubt that the passenger can complete the flight safely without requiring assistance during the flight, an air carrier may assess whether the passenger is fit-to-fly and request information to support that assessment.

Must I take along an accompanying person?

Your air carrier‘s regulations may require that you take along an accompanying person. You may need to check with your air carrier in advance to avoid problems on your day of departure. For example, PRMs must be able to open and close their seatbelt personally, place an oxygen mask over their face and complete their own evacuation in an emergency.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5I-5

Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q5

Text of legal source:
4.2. Under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, a carrier can require a person with disabilities to be accompanied by another person to provide the assistance that person needs. They are not obliged to carry the accompanying person free of charge, although it is good practice to do so.

An air carrier may require disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to be accompanied only if they are not self-reliant. Where air carriers require a disabled person or person with reduced mobility to be accompanied they need to give detailed reasons in accordance with Article 4(4).
In order to help carriers to determine whether disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility cannot travel unaccompanied, they may ask them questions related to the criteria laid down in applicable safety rules.

Can my accompanying person travel free of charge?

This is not obligatory, but it may be worth asking your air carrier.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q21

Text of legal source:
b) Should the air carrier upgrade or offer additional seats for free to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility that need more than one seat?
Since the Regulation is silent on this subject, air carriers have varying policies in this regard. Some may decide to upgrade disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, whilst others may choose to transport accompanying persons (as per Article 4 (2) free of charge. Carriers are not required to take either measure under the Regulation. However, air carrier policies regarding the allocation of seating for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should be transparent (e.g. indicating whether seats are attributed on a "first come first served" basis). Where restrictions on seating for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are applied, these should be made publicly available in accordance with Article 4(3), e.g. on the carrier's website. (See also Q5 on seats for accompanying persons.)

Will my accompanying person be assigned a seat next to me?

Not necessarily, but the air carrier will make an effort to do so.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q5

Text of legal source:
c) Is there any requirement for an accompanying person to be given a seat next to the disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility?

Annex II to the Regulation states that air carriers shall make all reasonable efforts to seat the accompanying person next to the disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. This means that airlines should always endeavour to place an accompanying person next to the disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, notably when the passenger has pre-notified, and even if other passengers have to be moved, but taking due account of the financial consequences for any passenger who is being asked to move.

Is my seat reservation free of charge?

This is not obligatory, but it may be worth asking your air carrier.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q21

Text of legal source:
Q21: “Seating arrangements for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility and "reasonable efforts concept".
a) What does the concept of "reasonable efforts" encompass?
Annex II to the Regulation imposes on air carriers a requirement to make all reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when allocating seats. This requirement is applicable from the time of the booking until the passenger is in his/her seat. The allocation of seats for all passengers is, however, subject to appropriate safety requirements. For example, based on those requirements, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility shall not occupy seats where their presence could impede the crew in their duties, obstruct access to emergency equipment or hinder the emergency evacuation of the aeroplane.

May I take my assistance dog with me in the aircraft cabin?

Yes, but please consult your air carrier in advance.

Legal source:
EU1107/2006,
Annex II

ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5F

Text of legal source:
Carriage of recognised assistance dogs in the cabin, subject to national regulations

e) If a passenger is traveling with a recognised assistance dog in the cabin, suitable arrangements should be made between the passenger and the operator in advance of the flight where a recognised assistance dog is to be accommodated. A suitable restraint harness should be provided by the owner to secure and restrain the dog during taxi, take off, landing and turbulence. In cruise, it is acceptable for the dog to be subject to less restraint.

Will I receive assistance if I wish to use the aircraft toilet?

Assistance will only be given from your aircraft seat to the toilet.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q3

Text of legal source:
c) Toilets
According to Annex II, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are entitled to assistance in moving from their seat to an aircraft toilet. Such transfers are subject to the safety requirements laid out in Article 4(1) (a) of the Regulation. The Regulation does not require cabin crew to lift a passenger or provide assistance in using the toilet facilities (see also Q22).

What type of assistance will I receive on board?

The assistance provided by the cabin crew is limited to measures related to air safety. It does not include medical care or assistance e.g. with eating.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q3

Text of legal source:
There is a distinction between requirements imposed for safety reasons (for example, the ability to evacuate the aircraft or to use on-board safety equipment, such as a safety belt, emergency oxygen mask or life jacket) and those that relate to the comfort of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility on board an aircraft (for example eating). Comfort is not in itself sufficient grounds to deny carriage or require disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to be accompanied.

The Regulation does not require cabin crew to provide specific assistance with drinks, meals or medication going beyond the service provided to other passengers.
If disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility need to receive medical treatment or to use a medical device during the journey, for professional and liability reasons the Regulation does not require airport or airline personnel to assist. If a passenger believes that such assistance will be necessary and cannot perform these tasks him- or herself, then an assistant capable of providing the assistance required should accompany the passenger (see also Q5).

Must the air carrier provide a special on-board wheelchair in the aircraft cabin?

No, this is not obligatory. Please enquire in advance whether an on-board wheelchair is available.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q22

Text of legal source:

Q22: Does the requirement to provide assistance to move to toilet facilities mean that all aircraft must carry on-board wheelchairs?
Under Annex II to the Regulation, cabin crew are required to provide appropriate assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in moving from their seat to toilet facilities if required. Any particular procedures implemented for the assistance of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should compromise neither the performance nor the health and safety of cabin crew in undertaking their duties (see Q3 on assistance on-board).

On-board wheelchairs should be used for this purpose where available. By comparison, this is already an obligation under US law for all planes of more than 60 seats. A disabled person or a person with reduced mobility should not be denied boarding just because they cannot be assisted in moving to the toilet facilities due to the unavailability of an on-board wheelchair. Where possible, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should be informed in advance that an on-board wheelchair is not available in order to allow them to make an informed decision as to whether to travel under those conditions or not. The impossibility for a disabled person or person with reduced mobility to use the toilet facilities is not necessarily linked to safety and might therefore not be a valid reason to refuse transportation, especially during short haul flights (see also Q5a).

Under what circumstances may an air carrier refuse me travel?

First: for reasons of air safety. For example, PRMs must be able to open and close their seatbelt personally, place an oxygen mask over their face and complete their own evacuation in an emergency.

Second: if the size of the aircraft makes the carriage of the PRM or the PRM’s mobility equipment (e.g. large electric wheelchair) physically impossible.
It may be necessary to consult your air carrier in advance to avoid discussions on your day of departure.

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Article 4

Text of legal source:
Derogations, special conditions and information

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 3, an air carrier or its agent or a tour operator may refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a reservation from or to embark a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility:

a) in order to meet applicable safety requirements established by international, Community or national law or in order to meet safety requirements established by the authority that issued the air operator's certificate to the air carrier concerned;

b) if the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of that disabled person or person with reduced mobility physically impossible.
In the event of refusal to accept a reservation on the grounds referred to under points (a) or

(b) of the first subparagraph, the air carrier, its agent or the tour operator shall make reasonable efforts to propose an acceptable alternative to the person in question.

How long should I expect to wait at the airport?

This depends on whether you have pre-notified your air carrier. Passengers without pre-notification (within 48 hours of departure) must expect long waits of up to 45 minutes.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5C

Text of legal source:
For Pre-Notified Departing Customers
Upon arrival at a designated point 3 at the airport, once they have made
themselves known:

  • 80% of customers should wait no longer than 10 minutes for assistance
  • 90% should wait for no longer than 20 minutes
  • 100% should wait for no longer than 30 minutes.

For Non Pre-Notified Departing Customers
Upon arrival at the airport, once they have made themselves known:

  • 80% of customers should wait no longer than 25 minutes
  • 90% should wait no longer than 35 minutes
  • 100% should wait no longer than 45 minutes.

For Pre-Notified Arriving Customers
Assistance should be available at the gate-room/aircraft side for:

  • 80% of customers within 5 minutes of “on chocks”
  • 90% within 10 minutes
  • 100% within 20 minutes.

For Non Pre-Notified Arriving Customers
Assistance should be available at the gate-room / aircraft side for:

  • 80% of customers within 25 minutes of “on chocks”
  • 90% within 35 minutes
  • 100% within 45 minutes.

Must I pre-notify the air carrier of my wheelchair or electric wheelchair?

Yes. The wheelchair may be subject to restrictions under dangerous goods regulations.

Legal source:
Interpretative Guidelines on the application of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, Q4

Text of legal source:
EU-registered aircraft cabin configurations are subject to European certification by EASA. Non-EU aircraft will be certified by their own national authority. The carriage of dangerous goods is also subject to EU requirements (in accordance with ICAO technical instructions).

Can I stay in my own wheelchair during the flight?

Generally every effort is made to ensure you may do so. However, some airports lack the correct infrastructure (lifts or hoists) to transport equipment such as extremely heavy electric wheelchairs from the aircraft door to ground level. In this case the wheelchair must be handed in beforehand to ensure punctual loading.
For air safety reasons, loading personnel may not be allowed to hand over wheelchairs lacking the correct label (DAA delivery at aircraft). To avoid this problem, please ensure at check-in that this label is affixed to your wheelchair.

Legal source:
ECAC POLICY STATEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CIVIL AVIATION FACILITATION
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30 (PART I), 5A-4

Text of legal source:
Airports and airlines should allow you to remain in your own wheelchair until the door of the aircraft. They should also deliver your wheelchair at the aircraft door upon arrival at your destination, when practicable and possible. Airlines and their ground handling companies should do their utmost to provide proper equipment to load and offload your heavy electric-powered wheelchair. Please ensure that you have pre-notified your electric-powered wheelchair.

What do I do if my own wheelchair does not arrive at my destination?

Compensation for loss or damage is paid by the air carrier.

The airport provides temporary replacement for the equipment (which may not be identical).

Legal source:
EU1107/2006, Article 12
EU1107/2006, Annex I

Text of legal source:
Where wheelchairs or other mobility equipment or assistive devices are lost or damaged whilst being handled at the airport or transported on board aircraft, the passenger to whom the equipment belongs shall be compensated, in accordance with rules of international, Community and national law.

Temporary replacement of damaged or lost mobility equipment, albeit not necessarily on a like‑for‑like basis.

Where can I make a complaint if I am dissatisfied with the service I receive?

Please contact your air carrier or the airport first. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, contact the LBA (German Federal Aviation Office).

Legal source:
EU1107/2006

Text of legal source:
(15) A disabled person or person with reduced mobility who considers that this Regulation has been infringed may bring the matter to the attention of the managing body of the airport or to the attention of the air carrier concerned, as the case may be. If the disabled person or person with reduced mobility cannot obtain satisfaction in such way, complaints may be made to any […] competent body designated by a Member State about an alleged infringement of this Regulation.