Rights Of The Disabled And Less Mobile Air Travellers
Every year hordes of less mobile or specially-abled passengers take flights to various destinations from UK. All airports and most airlines in the country provide special assistance and facilities for the comfortable movement of such passengers.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the independent specialist aviation regulator in UK. The governing body plays an important role in making airspace policy, safety regulations and consumer protection. As per the rules of CAA, passengers with sensory, learning, psychiatric or mobility disability, have the right to avail extra services. These facilities are also available for individuals requiring extra help due to their age or due to a temporary illness or injury.
Especially for long-haul travels like flights to India, disabled travellers require extra help for moving around the airport and boarding the aircraft.
A disabled traveller booking tickets on flights to India must inform the booking agents, tour operators or airline about the moving disability at least 48 hours before travel to prevent any problems. Here is the smattering on extra helps a traveller can get at the airport and during their travel.
Mobility assistance at the Airport
Mobility assistance ensures easy movement at the airport. By availing the mobility assistance, travel buffs taking cheap flights to India can get help and transport for moving around the airport. Besides, visually impaired passengers can get a guide for assistance during security checks.
All the airports in UK are well-equipped with reserved seating areas for specially-abled passengers. The seats are often close to help desk, information screens and accessible toilets. Several airports no longer make public announcements. Travellers with special needs taking cheap flights to India must tell the airport staff to keep them informed about the schedules.
Assistance While Boarding the Flight
Airlines and airports also offer on-board services to disabled or less mobile passengers. Travellers who are specially-abled are normally called for boarding first. In addition to this, less mobile holiday makers can avail the service of air-bridge for easy access into the cabin. The airports can also provide wheel chair for transferring the less mobile passenger to their seat.
Passengers with Powered Wheelchair
Travellers with no or limited mobility, who wish to take their battery-powered wheelchair or mobility aid in aircraft must inform the airline before travel. Since battery-powered devices can be a fire risk onboard, the airline has to pass instructions for making the device safe for carriage. If the wheelchair has a gel cushion, you need to get security clearance for using it during flight.
Travellers with Assistance Dog
Assistance dogs are specifically trained to assist a person who is differently-abled and must be qualified by the charitable organisations registered as members of Assistance Dogs (UK).
Differently-abled passengers can travel with their assistance dog in the aircraft but they must inform and get permission from the airline. The assistance dog needs to comply with rules of the Pet Travel Scheme, run by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
When airline can deny extra assistance?
Usually most airlines offer extra assistance for the comfort of disabled or air travellers with less mobility. They must not refuse to accept bookings or to carry a passenger who is differently-abled. However, there can be times when airlines refuse to accept your reservation or might not allow you to board the aircraft.
When a traveller doesnt inform the booking agent, tour operator or airline about the special requirements at least 48 hours before travel.
Due to safety reasons, airline may prohibit the use of battery-powered wheelchairs if the aircrafts are not equipped with safety features.
If the aircraft doors are too small, your airlines may refuse you to carry the mobility aid.
by: Jack Olivor