10th June 2014

Access to Air and Ferry Travel

Did you know that you are entitled to assistance if you have a disability or reduced mobility when travelling by air or ferry?

The Consumer Council recently attended the Disability Exhibition NI to further promote the importance of knowing and asserting your passenger rights in advance of the busy summer travel period.

Speaking about the event, Jenny Robinson, Senior Policy Officer at the Consumer Council explains “We recently attended the very successful Disability Exhibition NI, which provided an excellent opportunity for us to meet with consumers and hear firsthand about their travel experiences and challenges, reinforcing the importance of knowing your rights.

“All EU airlines and airports, and most ferry ports and ferries, must offer assistance to passengers with a disability or reduced mobility at all stages of their journey, right from the point of booking your ticket.

“Many of the people we spoke to at the event were not aware of their rights to assistance when travelling with reduced mobility. A person may have reduced mobility because of illness, an age related condition, a disability or a temporary injury, for example a broken leg.  Assistance is provided to ensure that air and ferry travel is as convenient for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility as it is for passengers without.

“We have a number of guides, ‘Access to Air Travel’ and ‘Access to Ferry Travel’ to help passengers know their rights. We would encourage anyone planning to fly or take to the seas this summer to get their free copy of our guides.”

Jenny concluded, “The Consumer Council can also investigate passenger complaints in relation to these rights. We recently helped a passenger get the assistance they needed to continue travelling by ferry, after the ferry company advised it could no longer continue to provide this assistance.  Two mobile hoists have now been installed onboard the ferry, providing a long term solution, to the benefit of other passengers also.”

Any passenger who wants to know more about their passenger rights can contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or download a copy of our ‘Access to Air Travel’ or ‘Access to Ferry Travel’ from the Consumer Council website or request a copy at the above number. ‘Access to Air Travel’ and ‘Access to Ferry Travel’ are also available to download as an audio file.  You can download these onto your smart phone or tablet device before you travel.