If you want to enjoy a smooth journey with no troubles, you should always start by first educating yourself about what your rights are.
1. EC REGULATION NO. 1107/2006/
You should know that no tour operator or airline in the EU is allowed to deny you a reservation or prevent you from boarding the plane because of your disability. This is clearly specified in the EC Regulation No. 1107/2006/. The only situation in which this law can be overruled is if the airline provides a solid reason due to which it is impossible for them to accommodate your travel needs or because of grave safety reasons. If that happens and you are not allowed to board the plane, it is your right to ask the airline to re-route you or reimburse you. You should also know that airports are not allowed to charge you extra for the assistance they provide you to accommodate your disability.
2. NAVIGATING AIRPORT SECURITY
Navigating airport security is another big ordeal for most people traveling with a disability. If you are flying from USA there are certain TSA (Transportation Security Administration) rules that the airports have to comply with and your awareness about them will help you in protecting yourself against inappropriate treatment.
According to the TSA law, you are allowed to pass the typical security screening in one of the following conditions:
- If you are on a wheelchair or scooter, or cannot stand for any other reason,
- If you are unable to raise your arms about your shoulder lever due to any disability,
- If you cannot stand without the support of a crutch, cane, walker, etc.
- If you require a service animal with you at all times
- If you are on continuous oxygen supply
3. REQUESTING PRIVATE SCREENING
Disabled people are also allowed to request a private screening but it is best that the airport staff be notified about that in advance. You should be allowed to take all necessary devices into the passenger cabin once they have been inspected. If you are carrying any special equipment that cannot be passed through the body scanner or the x-ray machine you can request a visual/physical inspection of your equipment provided it’s something you need with you and that you also notify the staff in advance.
4. TAKING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND MEDICINES ON BOARD
If you require taking with you any syringes on board, you will have to present medical documents that prove your need for the medication that you are taking with your syringe. You will also be required to show your medication to the aircraft crew and it should have a printed label on it the pharmaceutical or manufacturing company. The best way to avoid any problems is to just carry with you full documentation that supports all the medical equipment and medicines that you will need to carry with you.
5. A TOLL FREE NUMBER READILY AVAILABLE FOR ASSISTANCE
If you are in the USA you can really benefit from the toll – free helpline from TSA called TSA Cares. You can call them at least 72 hours before your travel and ask them about any information you might need like screening procedures at the airport you will fly from, screening policies, and other such questions. Voice (855) 787-2227. Those travels that are deaf or have a hearing loss can email at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov or use the relay service for contacting TSA Cares.
For more detailed information on Travel Insurance, stay tuned for our next blog post. If you have any other questions that might have been missed out in this blog, please let us know and we will do our best to answer your question.