Your rights as a disabled passenger

Last updated 23/11/2020
Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility can enjoy a number of rights when travelling by air when departing from, transit through or on arrival at an airport situated in a Member State.

On the rights of disabled passengers

Last updated 26/08/2020

On the rights of disabled passengers

Accessibility when travelling by air is regulated by the EU and therefore applies in all of Europe (Regulation (EC) 1107/2006).

 

As a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility, you must not be denied boarding by the air carrier, unless the size of the aircraft or its doors makes embarkation or carriage, of e.g. mobility equipment and/or assistive devices, physically impossible or if there is a question of safety requirements, in which case this must be demonstrated. Furthermore, the air carrier or the tour operator shall make reasonable efforts to propose an alternative to the you.

 

If you are in doubt whether your mobility equipment and/or assistive devices can be on board the flight or if there are other safety requirements, we recommend that you contact the air carrier before departure.

 

 

Right to assistance

As a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility you are entitled to assistance (at no extra cost) in the airport, before and after your flight, assistance to board the flight as well as assistance while on board the flight. The air carrier is not obligated to assist you while eating or taking medicine during the flight. If you need this kind of assistance, e.g. on a longer flight, the air carrier may require that you are accompanied by another person who is capable of providing the assistance required.

 

Compensation for lost or damaged mobility equipment and/or assistive devices

If your wheelchair or other mobility equipment or assistive device is damaged during the flight, the air carrier (or, in some cases, the insurance company) must pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of international law, community law and national law.

 

 

Plan your journey

In order to ensure the best possible assistance on your trip, you should contact the air carrier, ticket vendor or travel agency no later than 48 hours before your trip begins and inform them about your needs for assistance. 

 

Below you can see what you should inform them of.

If you need special assistance

Contact the air carrier before departure in the following circumstances

Contact the air carrier before departure in the following circumstances:

 

If you need special assistance in the airport or on board the flight, you should draw attention to this when booking the trip. 

 

 This applies, for example, if you:

 

  • need help getting to and from the aircraft
  • need help to board
  • are using a wheelchair
  • need to carry an oxygen bottle during the flight
  • need to bring an assistance dog
  • have reduced sight or hearing
  • suffer from any type of food allergy
  • need help eating etc.

 

 If you need assistance you should arrive at the airport’s designated meeting points or check-in area in good time before your scheduled time of departure. 
The PRM assistants can help you passthrough security and on to the aircraft - either by wheelchair or electric vehicle. More information can be obtained via direct inquiry to the airport and air carrier.
 

If you bring your own wheelchair


When you book a flight you should, as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours before scheduled time of departure, draw the attention of the air carrier or the travel agency to the fact you are a wheelchair user, as there is limited space in an aircraft’s cargo hold. The size and weight of the wheelchair can therefore mean that you cannot fly on a specific type of aircraft or that there is no room for the wheelchair on a specific flight departure

 

Therefore it is important to contact the air carrier in good time prior to the scheduled time of departure and inform them about the  size and weight of your wheelchair as well as to receive a confirmation on the possibility to bring a wheelchair on your preferred flight. In addition, there are special rules regarding wheelchair batteries – read more below.

 

 

Electric wheelchairs cannot be brought into the cabin but must instead be handed in at the gate or checked-in with the other baggage. During the flight the wheelchair will be placed in the aircraft’s cargo hold. You can read more under baggage rules for electronic/electrical equipment. To minimize the risk of damage to the wheelchair, it is a good idea to disassemble all detachable parts before you hand over the wheelchair to the air carrier.

Please note that in the majority of airports it is possible to borrow a free wheelchair on arrival at the airport for use until boarding, but the type of wheelchair can vary greatly so for special requirements it may be advisable to seek more detailed information by inquiring at the airport in question.

On wheelchair batteries


Depending on which type of battery is used in the electric wheelchair, there are different rules that you need to be aware of.

IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulates hazardous goods and the rules for transporting wheelchair batteries can be found on their website.

Wheelchairs with dry-cell or gel batteries (dry battery/non-spillable battery): These battery types are deemed to be non-hazardous and are approved for transport in the aircraft cabin without restrictions. The battery must, however, be disconnected or removed – if the design of the wheelchair permits easy removal.

Wheelchairs with old fashioned wet-cell batteries: The battery must be completely disconnected and if possible removed from the wheelchair and placed in a special box, depending on aircraft type. There are also a number of requirements regarding storage of batteries.

Wheelchairs with lithium batteries: The battery must be completely disconnected and carried into the cabin and documentation is required showing that the battery is approved for air transport as well as protected against short-circuiting and damage during transport. In addition there are restrictions on the size of the battery – max 300 Wh or, if the wheelchair is designed for two batteries, then max 160 Wh per battery. In addition to this, a reserve battery of max 300 Wh or two batteries of max 160 Wh each may be carried. If reserve batteries are carried, these must also be carried into the cabin.

Individual air carriers may at any time, on security grounds, impose more stringent requirements so it is important to contact the air carrier as soon as possible in advance of departure.

It is important that you inform the air carrier when booking your ticket that you are travelling with an assistance dog. The rules for assistance dogs vary from air carrier to air carrier. In most cases, though, dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin with the person they guide and are not required to be in a dog crate. 

It is free of charge to bring an assistance dog on flights with EU-registered air carriers and the assistance dog does not count toward the total baggage weight. 

As with all animal transportation it is the responsibility of the owner to find out which rules apply in the country to which the dog will be brought. In addition, the owner must find out which vaccinations the dog needs in advance and which quarantine rules apply in the country in question. Passengers with guide dogs are usually permitted to board the plane before other passengers.
 

How to file a complaint

Last updated 10/05/2021

If you have experienced a possible infringement of your rights as a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility, the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority urges you to contact the airport or the air carrier where the infringement happened. If you have not heard from the airport or the air carrier, or if you are dissatisfied with the answer, you can file a complaint to the competent authority.

 

The following scheme shows which competent authority you should complain to if your rights as a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility are contravened:

You travelled from:    You travelled (directly) to:                                                                          Complain to: 
 Denmark  Any destination Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority 
Another EU/EEA country  Any destination Competent authority in EU departure country
A non-EU country with an EU-registered air carrier/ a community carrier  Denmark Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority 
A non-EU country with an EU-registered air carrier/ a community  Another EU/EEA country Competent authority in EU departure country
A non-EU country with a non-EU air carrier/ a non-community carrier  A non-EU country Your complaint is not covered 

 

Complaints to the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority

If you have experienced a possible infringement of your rights as a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility when travelling by air from a Danish airport, you should contact the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority. You can also file a complaint to the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority if your complaint deals with a flight from a non-EU country to Denmark. 

 

You should send your complaint to the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority using Secure Mail via borger.dk or E-boks where you can select “Skriv ny post”. Under the subject heading write “Complaint regarding disabled persons rights when travelling by air”.

 

The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority will begin its process by sending your complaint for consultation at the air carrier or airport. If there are comments to this, these will be sent to you for consultation. The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority will handle your case within 3 months unless a need for more information or documentation from you or the air carrier arises during the process.

 

 

 

Danish Disabled People’s Air Travel Council (Luftfartens handicapråd)

Last updated 10/05/2021
The Danish Disabled People’s Air Travel Council works to create better conditions for disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air to and from Denmark as well as travels with Danish companies abroad.

The task of the council is to inform relevant stakeholders on the options and restrictions for disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air – for example, on new EU initiatives and their implementation in Denmark.

The committee holds two annual meetings.

The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority chairs the council and the following organisations/enterprises/authorities are members of the committee:

 

  • Disabled Peoples Organisation Denmark
  • Travel agencies
  • Copenhagen Airport A/S
  • Billund Airport
  • Aalborg Airport
  • Bornholm Airport
  • Confederation of Danish Industry/Danish Aviation
  • Falck PRM Services at CPH