Under the terms of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 an air carrier or its agent shall not refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility:
- to accept a reservation for a flight departing from or arriving at an airport within a member state; or
- to embark a disabled person or person with reduced mobility at such an airport, provided that the person concerned has a valid ticket and reservation.
The regulation does, however, allow for some exceptions. An air carrier, its agent or a tour operator may refuse to accept a reservation from or to allow embarkation by a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility in the following circumstances:
- in order to meet applicable safety requirements established by law; or
- if the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of the disabled person or person of reduced mobility impossible.
In these cases the air carrier, its agents or the tour operator shall immediately inform the disabled person or person with reduced mobility of the specific reason for their refusal.
On request the airline, agent or tour operator shall also communicate these reasons in writing to the passenger within 5 working days of the request.
It is also important to note that an air carrier, its agent or a tour operator may require 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.
Airlines and tour operators shall also make publicly available, in accessible formats, the safety rules that it applies to the carriage of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility as well as any restrictions on their carriage or on the carriage of mobility equipment due to the size of the aircraft.
In the case of a refusal to accept a reservation from a disabled person or person with reduced mobility, the air carrier, its agents or the tour operator shall make reasonable efforts to propose an acceptable alternative to the passenger.
A disabled person or person with reduced mobility who has been denied embarkation on the grounds of their disability or reduced mobility and any person accompanying them to satisfy an airline’s requirements shall be offered the choice between:
- a full refund for the parts of the ticket not used at the price at which it was bought within 7 days;
- re-routing under comparable transport conditions to a passenger’s final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
- re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the passenger’s final destination at a later date at the passengers convenience, subject to the availability of seats.