In order to receive dedicated assistance, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, a request for assistance must be made to the airline, travel agency or tour operator with which the reservation is made, which must forward the request to the managing bodies of the airports of departure and arrival and, where applicable, of transit.
It is recommended that assistance is requested at the time of booking or purchasing the ticket because, for reasons of aviation safety, the number of dedicated seats on board is limited.
In any case, the request for assistance shall be made at least 48 hours before departure, in order to ensure the organisation of the service.
If the request for assistance is not made in advance, there is a risk of being unable to travel. This is because, despite the managing body’s organisational efforts, the dedicated staff might already be busy providing assistance booked by other PRMs. Moreover, dedicated seats on board may no longer be available.
The managing body of the airport of departure, arrival or, where applicable, transit, will endeavour to the best of its abilities to provide assistance in the shortest possible time even where it was not pre-booked with the required advance notice, but waiting times might be extended or the airline might refuse boarding because the dedicated seats have already been booked by other passengers.
The booking of a flight or boarding may be refused on grounds of disability or reduced mobility only in the following cases:
- for safety reasons;
- if the size of the aircraft cabin or its doors makes it physically impossible for the passenger to embark, disembark or travel on the aeroplane.
In such cases, the airline must immediately inform the passenger of the reasons for the refusal and, on the passenger’s request, must communicate these reasons in writing within 5 working days.
The passenger and any accompanying person denied boarding shall be entitled to reimbursement of the ticket or re-routing in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.