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Last checked: 12/11/2020

Rights for travellers with disabilities or reduced mobility

Affected by Brexit?

If you have a disability or reduced mobility, you have the right to access air, train, bus, coach, or boat travel like anybody else. When you buy your ticket, the vendor must give you information about your journey in a format that is accessible to you as well as information on the specific facilities available to you on board the aircraft, train, bus, coach or ship.

For all modes of transport, you have the right to free assistance at terminals and on board vehicles. You cannot be refused transport because of your disability or reduced mobility except for reasons justified on the grounds of safety or of the design of the vehicle or infrastructure.

What's your situation?

You are travelling by plane

Assistance

When you travel by plane, you have the right to assistance, free of charge. This can include:

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 and if you will be travelling with an assistance dog. They will also advise on your wheelchair or mobility device and, where applicable, their batteries.

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 another person accompany you.

You can't be denied boarding because of your disability or reduced mobility, unless the aircraft is physically too small, there are security concerns, or safety rules prevent the airline from transporting you.

Need more help?

If you have problems getting assistance while travelling by plane, or if your mobility equipment is lost or destroyed, 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.

Your other EU air passenger rights

Check our interactive tool on EU air passenger rights, for more information on your rights and how to claim them if you are denied boarding, or if your flight is cancelled or delayed.

You are travelling by train

Assistance

You are 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 disability or reduced mobility, unless security concerns, or safety rules prevent the railway company from transporting you.

Need more help?

If you have problems getting assistance while travelling by train, 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.

Your other EU rail passenger rights

Check our interactive tool on EU rail passenger rights for more information on your rights when travelling by train and how to claim them if you need to. 

You are travelling by bus or coach

Assistance

You are entitled to assistance free of charge if you are planning a long-distance journey (where the scheduled distance of the service (not your individual trip) is 250km or more). You have the right to assistance at designated terminals, and with getting on and off the bus or coach. In addition,  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.

To make sure you get the assistance you need, you must contact the bus / coach company, ticket seller or tour operator at least 36 hours before your trip to tell them what help 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.

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

Need more help?

If you have problems getting help while travelling bus or coach, you should tell the terminal authorities or the bus / coach company concerned. If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.

Your other EU bus and coach passenger rights

Check our interactive tool on EU bus and coach passenger rights, for more information on your rights when travelling by bus or coach and how to claim them if you need to.

You are travelling by ship

Assistance

You are 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.

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 another person accompany you if this is necessary for safety reasons, or because of the way, the ship or the port infrastructure is designed. This companion will travel free of charge.

Need more help?

If you have problems getting help while travelling by ship, 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.

Your other EU ship passenger rights

Check our interactive tool on EU ship passenger rights for more information on your rights when travelling by ship, and how to claim them if you need to.

FAQs

EU legislation

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