Air travel and disability
Airports are responsible for helping people with disabilities or with reduced mobility to board, disembark and transfer between flights. Help on board an aircraft is the responsibility of the airline.
Getting help from airlines and airports
If you have a disability or reduced mobility you should give airlines and airports as much notice as possible. This allows them to make any necessary arrangements for your journey,
This usually means telling them about your needs when you are making your flight booking - generally at least 48 hours beforehand.
Each of the main airports in Northern Ireland has information for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility on their websites:
- Special Assistance - Belfast International Airport
- Special Assistance - George Best Belfast City Airport
- Special Assistance - City of Derry Airport
If you plan to fly out of Dublin airport, visit the help and support section on its website:
The Civil Aviation Authority also has information about getting special assistance at airport if you have a disability.
Your rights as an air passenger
The Consumer Council has information for air passengers who need special assistance when travelling. It also has information about additional charges airlines might charge you and help to let you to make informed decision when arranging travel. You can also find out about your rights as an air passenger.
If you are not self-sufficient
An airline can demand that a passenger travels with a companion if the passenger is not self-sufficient. This includes being able to administer their own medicines and medical procedures.
Don't claim that you are self-sufficient if you are not. You may cause yourself and the airline serious problems because they will be unable to meet your basic needs.
Always pack your medication in your hand luggage where possible, in case your main luggage goes missing.
The Inclusive Mobility Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac) has a factsheet on travelling by air for people with disabilities.