Being prepared before the trip can go a long way. By making sure the gate workers are aware of your presence, you can be proactive in helping them make sure you get the information you need. Other service animals are not required to have documentation but the airline is permitted to ask questions to make sure the animal is not just a pet. Air Travel Tips for People with Disabilities Experience is an effective teacher to help you learn strategies for handling flights, customs procedures, and other aspects of entering a foreign country. 10am to 2pm Saturday Traveling by plane can be stressful for anyone―the long wait, the security hassles, lost luggage. Set up special dietary requirements or need for assistance at meals (airline personnel are not permitted to assist with eating, but should assist with opening packages and identifying food items on a meal tray). A medical certificate is generally not required. The most important thing is to know your rights before you fly and to keep your cool. If an individual with a disability is not able to pass through the system without activating it, the person will be subject to further screening in the same manner as any other passenger activating the system. Learn other tips and about your rights when flying in the Table of Contents and Related Links. Under European law-Air passengers Rights, if you are disabled or have difficulty moving around you can receive assistance when you fly to, from and within Europe.. You do not need to be permanently or physically disabled to benefit from this service. Some additional guidelines from the TSA include: You are free to move about the terminal, airline personnel cannot keep people with disabilities in terminals or require them to remain in a holding area during delays or while waiting for transportation assistance. An individual with a disability cannot be required to sit in a particular seat or be excluded from any seat, except as provided by FAA safety rules, such as the FAA Exit Row Seating rule. Discussing the situation with the CRO is the best way to resolve issues and ultimately, the pilot has the final say when it comes to issues of passenger safety. Learn more. The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. Use an on-board wheelchair when available to enable the passenger to move to and from the lavatory. This includes service animals that provide purely emotional support, however, service animals for purely emotional support must have documentation from a mental health or medical provider. Copyright © 2018 Mobility International USA, Advancing disability rights and leadership globally. Traveling with an attendant is generally not required. While the general rule is that the service animal be allowed on the flight, if there is no space to fit the animal without blocking aisles, exits or another passenger’s seat, then airline personnel must first try to accommodate the animal and passenger in a different seat within the same cabin (for example in the bulkhead) before having the animal travel in the cargo-hold. Request that an unticketed individual assist you through security to your boarding gate, if needed, by going to the airline’s check-in desk and receiveing a "pass" allowing them to go through the screener checkpoint without a ticket. Move to and from seats as a part of the boarding and exiting process. All airlines are required to have a Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) immediately available (even if by phone) to resolve disagreements. Though every person's experience will be different, here are some of the things we uncovered. Here are the other posts in this series. The Equality Act 2010 gave disabled people rights including in the areas of public transport and consolidated and expanded existing equalities legislation, including introducing a new public sector equality duty. Book flights well in advance and call the airline directly to ensure that all disability-related needs will be met. The TSA says, “…anyone who cannot stand with their arms raised at shoulder level for the 5-7 second duration of the scan; anyone who is not able to stand without the use of a cane, crutch, walker, etc. Understanding what accommodations are available and what the airline is and is not allowed to do is an important step in being able to advocate for your rights as a passenger. Airline personnel must assist a passenger with a disability to: Airline personnel are not required to provide assistance with elimination functions or to perform medical services. Textphone: 0808 800 0084. You have made all your preparations for an international journey, and you don't want to see it delayed due to flight problems. You can find out more from our booklet Top tips for disabled and less mobile passengers - Your Passport to a Smooth Journey. Phone: 0808 800 0082 If you feel the airline is not following the law and discussing the problem with airline personnel has not resolved the issue, there are other steps you can take. Minimize bathroom woes during a long international flight. Getting through security can be difficult, especially for people traveling with service animals or assistive devices. You are entitled to talk with a CRO, who has authority to resolve complaints on behalf of the airline, if you feel the airline is not following the ACAA rules. There are many rules for traveling with service animals that go beyond this article. Open packages and identify food (although assistance with actual eating is not required). The Department of Transportation has a rule defining the rights of passengers and the obligations of airlines under this law. National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Membership for Excellence in Disability and Development Inclusion (EDDI), WILD: Empowering Women with Disabilities Globally, Order Brilliant & Resilient Photography Book, U.S. Transportation Security Administration Travelers with Disabilities, United Spinal Association Accessible Air Travel Guide (PDF), Air Travel with Your Guide Dog or Service Animal, Medications When Traveling Internationally. For safety reasons, that rule limits seating in exit rows to those persons with the most potential to be able to operate the emergency exit and help in an aircraft evacuation. You do not need to be permanently or physically disabled to benefit from this service. If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service. However, airlines are not permitted to hand-carry passengers on and off aircraft, i.e., to directly pick up a passenger’s body in the arms of airline personnel. You can find out more from our free step-by-step guide ‘Your Rights to Fly’. 1. Generally, airline personnel may not ask what specific disability the person has, but they can ask questions about a person’s ability to perform specific air travel-related functions, such as boarding, deplaning, or walking through the airport. Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form. Long flights may be uncomfortable, especially for people who cannot use inaccessible airplane toilets.
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