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Passenger rights

Updated : 22/01/2014

travel

Travellers with reduced mobility

Flying

If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to air travel like anyone else.

You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on and off the plane, during the flight and in airports before and after the flight.

To get the best assistance, contact the airline, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what kinds of assistance you require.

You can't be denied boarding because of your reduced mobility, unless the aircraft is physically too small or there are security concerns.

Airlines do not have to provide help with eating or taking medication during a flight. If you need this type of help, for example during a longer flight, airlines might request that you be accompanied by another person.

If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the airport authorities or the airline concerned.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body [176 KB] in the country where the incident happened.

Train travel

If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to train travel like anyone else. And you should easily be able to get hold of information on accessibility of trains from the railway company.

You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on and off and changing trains, on board and at the station before and after your journey.

To get the best assistance, contact the railway company, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what assistance you require.

You can't be denied boarding because of your reduced mobility, unless this is strictly necessary to comply with the company's access rules.

If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the station authorities or the railway company concerned.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body [176 KB] in the country where the incident happened.

EU countries can exempt trains from these requirements - domestic trains that stay in the same country and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU.

For further information on this you can contact the national enforcement bodies

Travelling by Bus and coach

If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to bus and coach travel like anyone else.

You can't be stopped from buying a ticket, making a reservation or getting on board because of your reduced mobility - unless this is strictly necessary to comply with legal health and safety requirements, or where the infrastructure cannot guarantee safe transport.

For long-distance journeys (more than 250 km):

  • the company must let a person of your choice travel with you free of charge - if this solves any security or safety concerns that would otherwise prevent you from travelling
  • you are entitled to assistance at designated terminals , and with getting on and off the bus or coach.

The assistance is available for free, but to make sure you get it, you must contact the bus company, ticket seller or tour operator at least 36 hours before your trip to tell them what assistance you require.

The operator or the terminal manager may ask you to come to a designated point not more than one hour before the scheduled departure.

If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the terminal authorities or the bus company concerned.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.

Travelling by ship

If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to travel by ship like anyone else.

You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on or off a ship, changing ships, on board and at the port.

To make sure you get the best assistance, you must tell the carrier, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip, and explain what kinds of assistance you require.

Even if you have not done this, the carrier and terminal operator still has to make all reasonable efforts to help you to board, disembark and travel on a ship.

If you have special needs in terms of accommodation, seating, assistance, or if you need to bring medical equipment, tell the ticket seller when you make the reservation.

Carriers can ask that you are accompanied by another person if necessary for safety reasons, or because of the way the ship or the port infrastructure are designed. This companion will travel for free.

If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the port authorities or the carrier concerned.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.

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