People with reduced mobility
Airports for everyone
Free assistance service for passengers with reduced mobility.
PRM: General Information
In compliance with the European Parliament regulation EC1107/2006, as from 26 July 2008 all European airports will operate an assistance service for passengers with reduced mobility.
This European Union measure represents great social progress for disabled people and, therefore, all the financial, material and human resources have been put in place to enable all Spanish Airports to provide a quality service that guarantees access to air travel for everyone and between all points within European territory, irrespective of their disability.
New community regulations on the rights of disabled people or people with reduced mobility when travelling by air
The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006, dated 5 July 2006, concerning the rights of people with disability or reduced mobility when travelling by air comes into effect on 26 July 2008.
The articles of the Regulation apply to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, using or intending to use commercial passenger air services on departure from, on transit through, or on arrival at an airport situated in European Union territory. Likewise, the prohibition to refuse to board passengers that are disabled or have reduced mobility and the obligation to provide them with assistance is also applicable for said passengers when they are departing from an airport situated in a third country and going to an airport situated within the territory of a European Union Member State, if the airline is a Community air carrier.
A passenger with reduced mobility is any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability, age or any other cause of disability that requires special attention and the adaptation of the service made available to all passengers to his or her particular needs.
In general terms, a person is considered to have reduced mobility when he or she needs the help of another person to reach an exit door of the aircraft with appropriate speed in the case of an emergency evacuation. This also includes passengers who have serious difficulties in receiving or understanding emergency instructions.
Articles 3 and 4 of the regulations, applicable since 26 July 2007, establish that airlines, their agents or tourist operators cannot refuse to accept a booking for a flight or deny boarding based on a person's disability. However, there are exceptional circumstances where booking or boarding may be denied to a passenger with a disability or reduced mobility.
The remaining articles cover, among other aspects, the assistance to be provided by airlines and airport management.
In general terms, the service or assistance to be provided to passengers with reduced mobility consists of:
- At the departure airport: Collection of the person at the Meeting Point, assisting the person with their hand luggage and accompanying the person to the check-in desk; assistance with the check-in procedures, accompanying the person to the boarding area, passing through the security checkpoints, customs, etc.; boarding the aircraft, and accompanying the person to their seat.
- At the arrival airport: Assistance with hand luggage, accompanying the person from their seat to the door of the airline and debarkation; transfer to the baggage hall, passing through the required controls, and transfer from there to the Meeting Point in the destination airport (if it is in a European Member State).
- In transits/connections the necessary assistance will be provided to successfully carry out the transit or transfer, including boarding, debarkation, transfer through the terminal, etc.
Considerations to take into account when travelling by air
1. Booking and request for assistance
When booking your ticket, you must provide information about your limitations and your need to receive assistance at the airport, specifying your limitations as clearly as possible. Be realistic about your needs, especially if you cannot walk long distances without help, and do not take it for granted that you will find "improvised" assistance. Only if you have requested assistance beforehand is it possible to guarantee assistance on your arrival in accordance with the quality standards, which you will find at Quality Standards.
We advise you to book at least 48 hours before beginning your journey. This means that you can be sure of any assistance you need will be available, as long as the airline, its agent or the tourist operator is advised of your particular needs.
Pursuant to articles 3 and 4 of Regulation 1107/2006, of 5 July, the airlines, their agents or tour operators may exceptionally refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a reservation from or to board a person with reduced mobility:
- In order to comply with safety requirements established by international, Community or national law . For this reason, airlines, their agents or tour operators may require at the time of booking that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person who is capable of providing the assistance required by that person.
- If the dimensions of the aircraft or its doors make boarding or travel by the person with disability or reduced mobility physically impossible.
If the booking is not accepted, an accompanying person is required or if boarding is denied for the above reasons, the airlines, their agents or tour operators shall notify the reasons immediately and, if the passenger so requests, in writing within five working days from said request.
In addition, if the booking is not accepted for the reasons indicated, the airlines, their agents or tour operators shall make reasonable efforts to propose an acceptable alternative to the passenger. And if, having accepted the booking, boarding is denied for such reasons, the airline, their agents or tour operators shall offer reimbursement of the ticket or alternative transport subject to all safety requirements, as provided for in Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
Your request for assistance and notification of your needs should be made through the following channels:
- Necessarily through the available booking channels of your travel agent or airline when making the booking or acquiring the ticket. Once you have made your booking, it is important to check that your request for assistance has been registered on your booking. If you only communicate through this channel, when arriving at the airport you should go the to the nearest Meeting Point and notify your arrival.
- Additionally, and optionally, for assistance at Spanish airports within the Aena Aeropuertos network, you may request airport assistance through the Aena Aeropuertos website (www.aena-aeropuertos.es) or by telephoning the Aena Aeropuertos Telephone Information and Help Service (902 404 704 /(+34) 913 211 000). When making your request through the channels provided by Aena Aeropuertos, we can send you confirmation of your request, if required.
The questions that may be asked by your travel agent, the airline or Aena Aeropuertos may appear a little indiscreet, but they are necessary to ensure that you receive the type of service that you require.
If you should cancel your booking, please notify this as quickly as possible so that another person with reduced mobility may take your place.
Arrival at the airport
There will be appropriately signposted Meeting Points in Aena airports, as well as in all European airports, both inside and outside the terminals (vehicle parking, arrivals forecourt, check-in area), where people with disabilities or reduced mobility can easily announce their arrival at the airport and request assistance.
To ensure suitable assistance of acceptable quality when arriving at the airport, please bear the following in mind:
- If you have sent your request for assistance through the channels made available by Aena Aeropuertos, as well as notifying the airline when booking, you must arrive at the meeting point you have agreed with Aena at the time specified in your request or as early as specified by the airline (in cases where the time specified by the airline is more restrictive and earlier than the time set when requesting assistance from Aena) and announce your arrival.
- If you processed your request through the airline only, you must go to the nearest meeting point sufficiently early and announce your arrival. If no time was specified, you should arrive at least two hours before the scheduled departure of your flight. A member of the assistance service team will come and find you and will assist you from the meeting point until you are seated on the aircraft..
In the airport, people with reduced mobility are permitted to stay in their own wheelchairs up to the door of the aircraft provided that the chair is manual and it is not necessary to go up or down stairs, as this would present a risk for staff. Otherwise, Aena will provide a wheelchair for travel and return your own wheelchair to you on your arrival at the destination.
According to current civil aviation regulations, people with disabilities and/or reduced mobility must pass the same security controls as the other passengers, with searches being carried out insofar as their condition allows.
Also, access to areas after the security filters is limited to passengers with boarding passes that have been accepted for travel by the airline. Therefore, if you require help beyond the security filters, please request the assistance service at the airport.
With the aim of protecting you from the menace of explosive liquids, the European Union (EU) has adopted new security measures that restrict the quantity of liquids or substances of similar consistency that passengers may carry with them when passing through the airport security checkpoints. These measures are applicable to all passengers who depart from EU airports, regardless of their destination. The new regulation only affects the quantity of liquids that can be carried in hand luggage. However, there are some exceptions to the regulation. Carrying medicines (liquid) in hand luggage for use during the journey (the term "journey" means the outgoing flight, the time spent at the destination and the return flight) will be permitted and these must be presented separately at security checkpoints. Passengers are recommended to keep the medical certificate and/or prescription with them, if possible.
Similarly, if a passenger has to carry special medical equipment (syringes or other medical instruments for which transport in the aircraft cabin is restricted), their use can be accredited on passing through the passenger security filters.
When boarding the aircraft, if a folding wheelchair is used, this can be stowed in the passenger cabin if there is space. If the wheelchair has batteries, it must go in the aircraft hold during the flight for security reasons. If wheelchairs are required on board, these must be requested on booking.
Once on board, passengers should ensure that they have all their necessary medication in their hand luggage and that they have a sufficient supply in the event of delay.
If the passenger has a sensory disability, airline staff should present themselves and offer an appropriate level of service to the passenger during the flight. For example, they will explain all the emergency procedures and provide assistance with the food containers.
The cabin crew may take crutches and walking sticks away from passengers prior to takeoff to store them appropriately.
If you suffer some kind of breathing disorder and need extra oxygen during the flight, the airline will provide you with oxygen on board. Some airlines charge for this service, but regulations prohibit passengers from carrying their own oxygen.
If you are travelling with a guide or assistance dog, it can board with you without any additional charge. It should be appropriately equipped with muzzle, collar and lead. If the dog is to travel in the cabin, it will be placed next to you in a place indicated by the crew. However, you must take into account national regulations on assistance dogs if you are travelling to a country other than Spain as these regulations may require the dog to travel in the hold.
The airline must make available to you the security regulations that apply to the transport of people with disability or reduced mobility in accessible formats and at least in the same languages used to provide information to other passengers.
According to international agreements, compensation for loss or damage to your personal luggage (including a wheelchair) is calculated based on the weight of the object(s) and not on their value, except when a special declaration is made, no later than the time of checking in, and a supplementary fee is paid. Before travelling, you must ensure that your travel insurance covers the equipment you need for mobility. You may need additional cover. Please enquire with your airline company.
If you consider that you have not received suitable treatment during the assistance provided by Aena Aeropuertos at the airport, and you wish to make a complaint or make any suggestion by e-mail, you may use the Aena Aeropuertos Complaint/Claims forms which you will find at airport information desks.
If you consider that your booking was not accepted or you were denied boarding without justification, you can write a letter of complaint to the airline, your agent or to the appropriate operator or use the complaint forms available.
If you do not get a reply or your claim is not satisfied, you may present your complaint to the State Air Security Agency (see Useful addresses).
5. Assistance codes
Airlines use internationally recognised codes to identify the level of assistance required by each individual PRM. The codes are:
BLND: Passengers with visual impairment.
DEAF: Passengers who are hard of hearing, deaf or deaf-dumb.
DEAF/BLND: Deaf and blind passengers who rely on the help of an accompanying person.
WCHC: Passengers who are completely immobile, who can only move around using a wheelchair or similar means and need assistance at all times from the moment they arrive at the airport until they are seated on the plane, even in seats specifically for their circumstance (the same for arriving passengers).
WCHR: Passengers who are able to go up or down stairs independently and who are able to move around the aircraft but need a wheel chair or some other means to travel between the aircraft and the Terminal, around the Terminal itself and between the arrival and departure points within the airport.
WCHS: Passengers who require help to go up or down stairs and need a wheelchair or other means to travel between the aircraft and the Terminal, around the Terminal itself and between the arrival and departure points within the airport, but are able to manage independently within the aircraft.
DPNA: Passengers with any kind of mental disability (if you select this category you must specify).
MAAS: All other types of passengers who require assistance and do not match any of the previous categories(if you select this category you must specify).
- Request for assistance form for People with Reduced Mobility.