Planning Your Flight
Passenger clothing, health and behaviour
v What to wear
In the unlikely event of an emergency the clothes you are wearing can be useful in reducing the risk of injury. The following is recommended:
I. wear natural fibres like cotton and avoid synthetic materials – this is to protect against fire and burns associated with disembarking via a slide
II. wear something non-restrictive and try not to have a lot of exposed skin
III. closed footwear is the best option
IV. keep your shoes on during take-off and landing
V. remember to remove high heel shoes before evacuating via a slide.
I. Check the operator´s policy regarding the carriage of passengers with a medical condition (if applicable)
II. Check with your doctor before flying should you have been unwell or have an ongoing medical condition, depending on the severity of your condition you may need clearance from a doctor to fly
III. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the effects of flying in combination with any medication you are taking
IV. Should you require prescription medication, carry it on board the aircraft with you and have instructions for its use
V. Ear pain is common during descent, should you be susceptible to ear pain or you are travelling with infants, chewing and or sucking are recommended to help clear the ear. If you have a head cold, a nasal spray may be more effective
VI. If you are pregnant and have had no complications, it is ok to travel. If you have had any complications or if you are past your 36th week of pregnancy you may require clearance to fly
VII. Should you be travelling with an electronic medical device, contact the operator for details on the requirements prior to travel.
VIII. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition usually associated with being immobile. To avoid DVT:
· drink plenty of (non-alcoholic) fluids during flights
· regularly mobilise the ankles and massage the calves
· wear loose, non-restrictive clothing
· avoid excessive movement around the cabin, as the risk of injury from turbulence may outweigh the benefit of exercise
· be vigilant for the symptoms of DVT, in particular pain in the calves, during and for up to a month after long flights. If symptoms occur, seek medical advice without delay.
v Passenger behaviour
You should not use threatening, abusive or insulting language, or behave in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner on board an aircraft. You must not interfere with pilots or cabin crew in the performance of their duties, interfere with aircraft equipment, or disobey any instructions given by a member of the aircraft crew. If you do not comply with these requirements, you may be issued with an infringement notice or prosecuted.
Behaviour which is not tolerated on aircraft include:
I. Offensive and disorderly conduct such as physical assault, verbal abuse or sexual harassment
II. Doing an act which interferes with the crew or threatens the safety of the aircraft or people on board
III. Smoking in any part of the aircraft. Passengers are not permitted to smoke in toilets and these are fitted with smoke detectors. Tampering with an aircraft smoke detector is a serious offence and may lead to prosecution.
IV. Disobeying instructions of the operator: whether given by signs or by the flight or cabin crew
V. Entering an aircraft intoxicated, or becoming intoxicated on board an aircraft. Alcohol has a greater effect on the human body at altitude than on the ground.
v Disruptive passengers
I. Are you aware of the consequences?
II. Disruptive passenger behaviour is one of the main reasons for aircraft diversions. Disruptive behaviour in-flight or on the ground can affect your safety and the safety of fellow passengers. Besides safety implications, it can have serious consequences, including civil prosecution. Airlines have a right to refuse to carry passengers that they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of the aircraft, its crew or its passengers.
Passenger safety information
v Passenger baggage
Cabin baggage (Carry-on baggage)
· Check the operators policy about size and weight restrictions for cabin baggage
· Weigh your cabin baggage and make sure it is not too big or heavy (There are usually test units available at the airport)
· Ensure what you are carrying is not a restricted or prohibited item
· Charge your portable electronic devices before your flight
· Pack sufficient medication required in your carry-on baggage
· Never leave your bag unattended in the airport terminal
· Always stow your baggage as per the crew’s instructions – this may be in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front
· Leave your bags behind if you need to evacuate
· Contact the airline/operator that you are travelling with if you need more information.
Checked in baggage
· Always pack your own bag
· Check the operators checked in baggage policy
· Weigh your bag prior to going to the airport
· Check that you have packed your bag safely, some items must not be packed in your checked in baggage.
Electronic and Portable electronic devices
v Electronic devices
The following information helps to ensure your safety when using electronic devices on the aircraft:
· Check with your airline to see if your electronic device:
1. is allowed; and,
2. when you can use your electronic device – policies vary by airline
· Charge your device before you fly
1. Follow the instructions of crew and on-board procedures. The airline shall determine the type and use of electronic devices allowed on board. Always follow the crew’s instructions, and if asked to, immediately turn off your device
2. There may be restrictions on the use of electronic devices on the tarmac
3. Devices must remain in flight mode throughout the flight
v Portable electronic devices
Some UK airlines allow passengers to use electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and e-readers, for the duration of a flight. These airlines have conducted safety tests to ensure electronic devices do not adversely affect their aircraft. Currently, all electronic devices must remain in Flight Mode when switched on unless passengers are advised otherwise by cabin crew.
A number of international airlines have equipped some of their aircraft to allow mobile phone voice calls and texts in-flight. Other aircraft also have Wi-Fi installed, allowing passengers to browse the web. However, the situation will vary from one airline to another. Passengers will always be instructed by cabin crew as to exactly what electronic devices can be used, and in what mode, prior to departure of a flight. If in doubt, always check with a member of cabin crew, before using a device.
Many airlines also publish details about travelling with portable electronic devices on their websites, as well as in their in-flight magazines.
You may use the Wi-Fi connection on your device if the plane has an installed Wi-Fi system and the airline allows its use
If your phone becomes lost inflight, do not move the seat; contact a crew member immediately!
Passengers who do not comply with instructions are putting your safety at risk. If you notice unlawful activities you can raise it with the cabin crew and your concerns will be taken seriously.
Make Safety Your First Priority.
v Electronic cigarettes
Electronic Cigarettes or e-Cigarettes are regarded as a personal electronic device and must only be carried on you or in your carry-on baggage.
Most airlines don’t allow the use of e-Cigarettes in flight so check with your airline prior to travel.
Check out Dangerous Goods information on our Website. Click here.
1.4 Dangerous Goods
v Before Boarding
The tarmac is a very busy area with baggage carts, catering vehicles and fuel trucks moving around the aircraft. For your safety, you must follow the instructions of airline staff and pay attention to where you are walking outside the terminal building and across the tarmac to board or leave your flights.
The embarking and disembarking of passengers on the tarmac increases the potential of a propeller or jet blast-related incident. Jet blast is the exhaust that emits from the back of a jet engine. It can often be invisible, be at high speeds and high temperatures. Take note of:
· where the propellers are in relation to the door of the aircraft. Take careful note of this in the dark, as propellers can be difficult to see at night
· look carefully for other airplanes with engines running. You may not hear another aircraft engine over the noise of the aircraft you are using
· be aware of jet blast from aircraft turning or moving on the tarmac.
Even stationary propellers can be dangerous. A propeller could turn unexpectedly as a result of accidental activation of the starter motor or even the wind. Ensure you stay away from this area.
The blast from a jet on the tarmac, without even revving its engine, has the ability to lift a truck, turn it over and dump it, or blow over a tanker. The power of the engine is significant and cause major injury or death.
If you are required to embark or disembark using the tarmac, for your own safety, it is very important that you follow the instructions of the airlines staff. Ensure you keep an eye on any children in your care. If you are ever in doubt, ask an airline representative for clear directions.
1.5 Safety Briefings
When the Safety Briefing is being conducted, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers to give full attention- listen to the safety briefing.
Although emergencies are rare, knowing what to do is essential for you and your family, as well as for other passengers.
The safety briefing and the safety information card provided near your seat give vital information on the location of exits and emergency equipment. As this can vary from one aircraft type to another, it is important to pay attention to the safety briefing and read the safety card each time you fly. You should check the location of your nearest emergency exit which may be behind you. Safety equipment will typically include life jackets; oxygen masks, seat belts/harnesses and floor lighting which helps you find your way to the exits.
If necessary you will also be provided with a ‘demonstration’ on how to use:
· oxygen equipment
· your life jacket.
The safety information card is usually found in the seat pocket.
An individual briefing may be provided for:
• passengers with disabilities
• unaccompanied children
• passengers travelling with infants and small children
v Emergency Brace positions
Passengers who assume the brace position sustain substantially less serious injuries than other passengers.
The best brace for impact position depends on a number of factors, including your size and physical limitations, the interior layout of the aircraft, the type and scale of the emergency, and the direction and sequence of the crash forces.
Children who are occupying approved child restraint devices should be braced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Children in passenger seats should use the same brace position as adults. Adults holding infants should provide as much support as possible to the infant’s head, neck, and body to minimise the possibility of injury.
Pregnant or passengers with a disability may need the assistance of another person in taking a brace position but should, in general, attempt to take the same brace position as the other passengers.
In the unfortunate and unlikely event of an emergency, adopt a brace position as best as is possible. Your seatbelt should be worn as tight and low on the torso as possible. Know what to listen for- phrases such as ‘brace’, ‘head down, stay down’; and ‘grab your ankles’ are commonly used to tell passengers to assume a protective position. This position is shown on the safety card, located in the aircraft seat pocket in front of you. Once the aircraft has come to a complete stop, follow the instructions of the crew.
Always pay careful attention to the safety demonstration and read the passenger safety information card. If in doubt, ask the crew member.
v Exit Rows
If you are seated in an emergency exit row you may be called upon to assist crew members in the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation.
We provide guidance to airlines on the criteria for appropriate passengers to be seated in exit rows to ensure that the exit can be opened and the aircraft evacuated as quickly as possible.
Seats at emergency exits
Know what to listen for:
Phrases such as ‘brace’, ‘head down, stay down’; and ‘grab your ankles’ are commonly used to tell passengers to assume a protective position. This position is shown on the safety card, located in the aircraft seat pocket in front of you.
It is important that the emergency exit can be opened and the aircraft evacuated as quickly as possible. Some passengers may not be permitted to sit in a seat row next to an emergency exit. The following passengers are among those who must not be allocated, or directed to, seats by emergency exits:
· Passengers with physical or mental impairment or disability to the extent that they would have difficulty in moving quickly if asked to do so.
· Passengers who have significant sight or hearing impairment to the extent that it might be difficult for them to respond to instructions quickly.
· Passengers who, because of age or sickness, have difficulty in moving quickly.
· Passengers who, because of physical size, have difficulty in moving quickly.
· Children (whether accompanied or not) and infants.
· Passengers travelling with animals, for example assistance dogs.
· Passengers who, from performing the evacuation functions;
I. may suffer bodily harm as the result of performing one or more of the necessary functions; or
II. do not wish to perform emergency exit functions;
A cabin crew will not seat a person in an exit row where
a. such person lacks sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands, and both legs
· to reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of emergency exit and exit-slide operating mechanisms;
· to grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate those mechanisms;
· to push, shove, pull, or otherwise open emergency exits;
· to lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, or manoeuvre over the seat backs to the next row objects the size and weight of over-wing window exit doors;
· to remove obstructions of size and weight similar over-wing exit doors;
· to reach the emergency exit expeditiously;
· to maintain balance while removing obstructions;
· to exit expeditiously;
· to stabilize an escape slide after deployment; or
· (J) to assist others in getting off an escape slide;
b. such person is less than fifteen years of age or lacks the capacity to perform one or more of the applicable functions listed above without the assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative;
c. the person lacks the ability to read and understand instructions and related to emergency evacuation provided by the air operator in printed or graphic form or the ability to understand oral crew commands;
d. the person lacks sufficient visual capacity to perform one or more of the above functions without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or eyeglasses;
e. the person lacks sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions shouted by cabin crews, without assistance beyond a hearing aid;
f. the person lacks the ability adequately to impart information orally to other passengers; or
g. the person has a condition or responsibilities, such as caring for small children that might prevent the person from performing one or more of the functions listed above; or a condition that might cause the person harm if he or she performs one or more of the functions listed above.
Any passenger allocated an exit row seat must identify himself or herself to allow reseating if he or she
I. cannot meet the selection criteria;
II. has a non-discernible condition that will prevent him or her from performing the evacuation functions;
III. may suffer bodily harm as the result of performing one or more of those functions; or
IV. does not wish to perform emergency exit functions;
a. each cabin crew shall include in their passenger briefings a reference to the passenger information cards and the functions to be performed in an emergency exit;
b. each passenger shall comply with instructions given by a crew member or other authorised employee of the national air operator-implementing exit seating restrictions; and
v Criteria for Sitting at Emergency Exit Rows
2. at least 16 years old
3. able to understand and speak English
4. willing to provide assistance to crew and other passengers in the event of an emergency.
5. Passengers who are travelling with an infant or child or someone who requires assistance in an emergency are not permitted to sit in an exit row.
6. Passengers travelling with animals.
If you are seated in an exit row you will be given a briefing and encouraged to review all safety information and ask questions.
What difference is there if I sit in an exit row?
In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, you are responsible for opening the exit.
The operation of the exits can differ from one aircraft to another and even from the front to the back of the same aircraft, so it is important that you ensure you listen carefully to the safety briefing and familiarise yourself with the emergency evacuation techniques outlined on the written safety instructions. Ask questions if you are not sure. If you don’t think you can do it, speak up and ask to be moved.
Turbulence is air movement that normally cannot be seen. It may occur when the sky appears to be clear and can happen unexpectedly. It can be created by any number of different conditions, including atmospheric pressures, jet streams, mountain waves, cold or warm fronts, or thunderstorms. Turbulence is normal, happens often and rarely is a threat to passenger aircraft or to pilot control of an aircraft. However it can be dangerous to occupants in the passenger cabin under certain conditions, being the leading cause for in flight injuries. A bumpy ride can cause passengers who are not wearing their seatbelts to be thrown from their seats without warning and potentially cause harm.
It is recommended that you keep your belt fastened throughout the flight, and must do so whenever the “seat belt” sign is on (during taxi, take-off, landing and during turbulence). You should adjust your belt so that it is tight but comfortable with the buckle the right way round so that it can be released easily. If you have a blanket over your lap and are likely to fall asleep, it is recommended that you fasten the seat belt over the blanket so cabin crew can see you have the belt fastened. After landing, you must wait until the “seat belt” sign goes off before undoing your belt at the end of the flight.
To keep you and your family as safe as possible, follow these tips while flying:
· remain seated with your seatbelt fastened unless you are moving around the cabin
· obey the seatbelt sign at all times and instructions given to you by the crew
· if the seatbelt sign illuminates whilst waiting for, or in the bathroom, if safe do so, move quickly back to your allocated seat and fasten your seat belt. If unable to move due to the severity of the turbulence ensure you secure yourself as best as possible and consider enlisting the help from other passengers seated around you. If you are in the lavatories, brace yourself using the hand rails provided. Cabin crew will check on lavatories when safe to do so
· be aware of loose articles around you and safely stow these articles when not in use, either in the seat pocket, under the seat in front of you or in the overhead storage bin. Doing so will limit any possible trauma from loose articles that may be thrown around the cabin
· be cautious during turbulence when consuming hot foods and liquids; cabin crew will not serve hot liquids during this time
· make sure children are secured by either an approved child restraint or seated with their seatbelt fastened as much as possible during flight
· refrain from calling cabin crew for service related items when the seatbelt sign is illuminated
· always remember turbulence is unpredictable and the pilots and cabin crew may not receive any warning
Life jackets / life rafts:
· Flotation devices
· Know where they are located and when to inflate them
· Life vests (under seat, if available), life rafts, and some seat cushions and evacuation slides can be used as flotation devices
· Know how to use your life jacket, even if it seems you are only flying over land. Never inflate your life vest whilst in the aircraft.
· If travelling with infants, additional infant life jackets will be distributed as required by the cabin crew.
v Cabin environment and oxygen
An aircraft cabin is pressurised, which means that less oxygen is available in the cabin whilst the aircraft’s doors are closed. This has the same effect as that of being at a higher altitude.
Pay attention to the safety information provided and familiarise yourself with the use of oxygen in a decompression prior to take-off.
If the emergency oxygen masks drop down put your mask on first. If the brain is starved of oxygen, you can get confused or pass out and will be unable to help yourself or others such as your child.
v Tips for A Healthy Flight
Being seated for a long time, such as on flights longer than about four hours, may increase the risk of developing blood clots in the veins in your legs (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT). Some airlines provide information in their in-flight magazine or entertainment system on exercises you can do in your seat to try and reduce the risk. You should also try to walk up and down the aisles from time to time, when the seat belt signs are off and it is safe to do so. Some people are at increased risk of DVT and may need to speak to their doctor before travel about additional precautions, such as compression stockings (‘flight socks’) or medication.
The air in the aircraft cabin is often quite dry (because it has low humidity) and this can lead to your lips, nose, eyes and skin feeling tight, dry or uncomfortable. Contact lens wearers may find that they need to remove their lenses. The dry atmosphere does not lead to dehydration and you do not need to drink extra water.
It is recommended that you:
1. drink at least eight ounces of water per hour of flight;
2. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses and consider using eye drops.
3. Apply a skin moisturiser.
· Coughs and Colds
On most aircraft, some of the cabin air is re-circulated. The re-circulated air is filtered before re-entering the cabin and does not carry bacteria or viruses. Like any public place where people are in close contact with one another, bacteria can be spread easily on aircraft. If you have an infection you may spread this to passengers seated around you. Be considerate by avoiding travel if you are unwell and if you do develop a cough while travelling, make sure that you cover your mouth when coughing, dispose of any tissues safely (not in the seat pockets) and wash your hands.
It is often said that alcohol has a greater effect when you are flying, but there is no scientific evidence that this is the case. There is no harm in enjoying one or two drinks on your flight, but don’t overdo it: no one likes a drunk on board an aircraft; you don’t want to arrive at your destination with a hangover; and if you cause problems by being disruptive, you are likely to be met by police when the aircraft lands.
Consider taking a small-sized hand-wash gel on the plane to clean your hands before eating (be careful with the size due to limits on liquids in hand luggage).
· Other Health Tips
· Check with your airline prior to booking if medical oxygen is required for travel
· Avoid flying if you have an ear, nose or sinus infection
· Do not fly if you are not able to clear your ears
· Avoid gas forming foods such as cabbage and peanuts, or carbonated liquids shortly before a flight
· Do not fly for at least 24 hours after scuba diving
· Access to toilets- Airlines are also obliged to provide assistance to and from the toilet and most aircraft will have onboard wheelchairs.
· It is important to discuss your onboard needs with the airline before you travel so that they can tell you about the facilities that are available and how their staff can help you.
· You may also need to ask the airline to be seated as close to the toilet as possible.
1.7 Travelling with Infants and Children
· Planning is key
· Planning ahead is essential.
· Keep handy any supplies you will need to take care of any normal or special needs for the child.
· Assume the worst: every seat will be allocated, the toilets will not have changing tables, the airline will not have any suitable food, you will be delayed for several hours, and any checked luggage will be lost.
· Carrying all the child’s essentials is important, especially if your child is on a special diet or on medication.
· Bring along the child’s tablet
· Bring along 1-2 favorite books and 1-2 new books
· Grab a set of child friendly headphones.
All passengers must be securely whenever the seat belt sign is on.
This also applies to Infants under the age of two. This can be achieved through the use of a seat belt loop provided by the airline to secure the infant on an adult’s lap, or by using a child restraint device i.e. car type seat, or an alternative provided by the airline.
Forwards facing child restraint devices may be installed on both forward and rearward-facing passenger seats but only when fitted in the same direction as the passenger seat on which it is positioned. Rearward-facing child restraint devices can only be fitted to forward-facing passenger seats.
Child restraint devices can only be fitted on a suitable aircraft seat using the type of seat belt/harness for which they were designed. For example a child restraint device that needs to be secured by a car type seat belt which includes a shoulder harness, cannot be installed on an aircraft seat that is fitted with a lap belt only.
The permitted use of restraint devices can differ between airlines, so it is important to contact your airline in advance of your booking or flight to ensure that the device that you may wish to use is acceptable.
Check with your airline to ensure the restraint system (for example a car seat) is approved for use by that airline.
Child booster seats cannot be used on an airline as they are only allowed to be used in seats with a shoulder harness. As a guide, once a child has outgrown their full harness child restraint, it is safe for them to use the aircraft seat and lap belt.
Bassinets mounted on a bulkhead cannot be used during take-off and landing. Bassinets are stowed at this time so as not to interfere with an evacuation.
Any commercially available product may be subject to airline approval. The TTCAA recommends that you check with your airline before travelling.
It is recommended that small children be seated at the window. They could get hurt if their arms get bumped by a passing person or serving cart. Ideally, two responsible adults should sit one on either side of a small child. Alternatively, the child can be seated on a row with a window on one side and a responsible adult on the other.
v Travellers with a disability
If you or someone you are travelling with has a disability our tips and advice can help you fly safely.
The key to a safe and comfortable trip is planning:
· Travelling with a disability requires careful planning, persuasive skills and occasionally, assertiveness. When you fly, know your needs and be prepared to describe them calmly and with confidence to someone who doesn’t.
· A good practice is to be informed, be firm and be polite. Understand that you do have rights and that airlines and airports are bound by legislation to provide services for people with disabilities. In all your communication get names, in the case of either good service or bad, and write them down. This lets the person know they are accountable for their actions.
· When planning a trip by air, consider:
1. is the airport and aircraft accessible?
2. are there jet bridges for embarking and disembarking? If not, what will be the procedure for getting on and off the aircraft if stairs are not an option?
3. is the aircraft toilet accessible by aisle chairs (ie width of door, grab bars, lever taps, and manoeuvring floor space)?
4. are there moveable armrests on the plane for easier transfer between the aisle chair and the seat?
5. what arrangements are in place for transporting and storing a wheelchair, including the battery? Take note also that if you’re travelling outside your own country, you may need a voltage converter if you plan to use electrical appliances or have a power wheelchair.
6. is assistance available at the baggage area?
7. can a passenger with a disability board before the other passengers?
8. what facilities are available in an emergency for vision and hearing impaired passengers (eg Braille/large print book explaining emergency procedures, cabin layout and facilities)?
In general, you get this information from your airline.
You do not have to provide the airline with advance notice of your intent to travel or your disability, but it will give the airline more time to prepare and ensure any required equipment is available.
Some airlines require advance notice to transport an electric wheelchair, as it must be stowed as luggage and requires specific treatment. This can take some time. Reduce this potential inconvenience by arranging it in advance with the airline and allowing sufficient time before the flight. Be sure to speak to each airline you are flying with.
Having details available of the type of battery installed when making arrangements will help the airline as they must follow certain regulations when transporting wheelchair batteries.
If you provide the required notice, but have to fly with another airline (eg the flight is cancelled), the original airline should provide assistance.
Travellers with disabilities are permitted to board the aircraft before the other passengers. This eliminates being jostled and rushed by other passengers and the crew can offer their personal assistance.
You will generally be the first to board the plane and the last to disembark, although flight personnel may ask if you wish to disembark before or after the other passengers. You can decline the offer of pre-boarding if you wish. Tell the crew about any specific needs when pre-boarding.
Embarking and disembarking
Where possible embarking and disembarking medium and large aircraft is done by level boarding ramps, jet ways, mobile lounges or lifts. Where these are not available, a lifting device, other than that used for freight, must be provided to assist passengers with limited mobility safely on and off the aircraft. Passengers should not be hand carried on and off the aircraft.
Trained service personnel who understand how to assist individuals with a disability in embarking and disembarking should be made available by the airline.
Down the aisle
If you are able and happy to walk to your seat you should feel free to do so. There is plenty to hold onto for support. If you are unable to walk you will need to be transferred to an aisle chair.
If an aisle seat was requested but not allocated, ask the cabin crew to swap your seat for another. Being stuck sitting in the middle seat could make it very difficult to get to a restroom during a long flight. Passengers in wheelchairs are required to transfer to an aisle chair for transfer to their seat. Certain types of aircraft have movable armrests on some aisle seating which enables an easier transfer between the chairs.
Explain to the crew exactly what they can do to help.
Anyone who cannot act without assistance or lacks sufficient mobility, strength, dexterity, vision, hearing, speech, reading or comprehension abilities to perform emergency evacuation functions are prohibited from sitting in certain seats, such as exit row seats.
Canes and other mobility aids may be stored under seats or in overhead compartments. Small items such as cushions may be kept in the cabin with the passenger as hand luggage.
Before landing remind the cabin crew that your mobility equipment is required at the gate. They can then ensure the necessary arrangements are in place.
Assistance by cabin crew
Cabin crew may assist a passenger with a disability to:
· move to and from their seat as part of the embarking and disembarking process
· open food packages and identify food
· use aisle chairs when moving to and from the toilet
· move to and from the toilet in the case of a semi-ambulant person
· load and retrieve carry-on items, including mobility aids and other assistive devices stowed on board the aircraft
· ensure that all passengers receive a briefing they understand.
Note that cabin crew are not required to provide assistance with eating, assistance inside a toilet or medical services for a person with a disability. Cabin crew are also not required to provide assistance with lifting or carrying a passenger.
Many difficulties stem from lack of awareness of the issues. Communicate your needs to the cabin crew and be sure that the cabin crew inform you what the options are and what you can expect.
v Travel tips for wheelchair users
· Transport of wheelchairs
Airline operators require all types of wheelchairs to be checked luggage. In particular, electric wheelchairs have their own special requirements for air transport. All electric chairs must be stowed as checked luggage so it is important to minimise the possibility of damage during transit. Remove seat cushions and any other parts that could easily become separated from the chair. It is a good idea to disconnect and remove any battery wires that may be visible to the ground crew. Electrical connections may make them nervous and they have been known to remove them before they load the chair into the cargo hold. For transporting ease airlines much prefer gel or dry cell batteries to traditional acid filled ones.
Some disassembly may be required for transport so consider attaching some how-to instructions to your chair. Remember it also has to be reassembled at the other end by a different ground crew who may not be experienced in such procedures. For this reason it’s probably a good idea to travel with some basic maintenance tools for your wheelchair.