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  • Last Updated: 07th July 2014

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Special Assistance

This page on our website contains information and answers to questions you may have, please check the information below in full and if you would like to speak to someone about assistance you need, just contact us using the information shown below.

Passengers with a Disability or Reduced Mobility or Medical Condition Travelling by Air

Under European law, if you are disabled or have difficulty moving around, you can receive assistance when you fly. This free service is available to anyone with mobility problems, for example because of a disability, age or a temporary injury. To take full advantage of the service, you need to pre-book no less than 48 hours prior to your departure. If you advise us within 48 hours we will endeavour to provide assistance where possible. Netflights.com were recently commended for their reduced mobility compliance. Please click this link for the Reduced Mobility Check List form.

Accommodation & Transport Services Overseas

Overseas Accommodation and Overseas Transport Arrangements

The majority of overseas accommodation, overseas transport (including transfers) and other holiday services provided overseas are not equipped to cater for the needs of many disabled holidaymakers. Furthermore the natural terrain and the layout of some resorts can sometimes make life difficult for wheelchair users.

It is therefore important, if you have any disability, that the appropriate enquiries are made about the suitability of particular accommodation, resorts, transport and services, and that you are fully satisfied you have made the correct choice before you book and confirm your holiday. If in doubt, please contact us. Please note: if special arrangements need to be made for you an extra charge may have to be levied, this may be the case either before you go or when you arrive in resort. We cannot be held responsible if you fail to tell us about special needs/requirements that will affect your holiday experience and this means we will not compensate you.

Who Should I Contact?

We recommend you contact the airline directly for further information regarding on board assistance. The Airline will be pleased to answer any questions or queries that you may have regarding assistance.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to advise us about any requirements you have, we are happy to pass the details onto the relevant airline. Please complete the Reduced Mobility Check List form here. For urgent assistance please call our Reduced Mobility department on 0800 093 4660.

Type of Assistance Available on Board an Aircraft

The assistance Airlines can provide to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility, includes the following:

  • - Assistance moving to and from seats on the aircraft;
  • - Providing use of the on-board wheelchair;
  • - Helping a passenger to and from the on-board lavatory providing this does not involve lifting or carrying the passenger;
  • - Assisting a passenger with their hand luggage on board the aircraft;

Airport Assistance (within the EU)

Airport operators within the EU have a responsibility to assist anyone with a disability or mobility difficulties during their time at the airport. This includes intellectual disability or impairment, age or any other cause of disability. The airports will signpost designated points for passengers with reduced mobility.

Airport Layout

To help plan your journey, we recommend visiting the airport website to find out information about airport layout and walking distances for each terminal. This may help determine the level of assistance you require.

Self Reliant Passengers and Carers

Many airlines can offer a comprehensive range of pre-bookable services designed to meet your specific needs. Just choose the service you require and contact us or your airline no later than 48 hours before your departure (services can be booked as early as the day your booking is made) to make your request. We'll take care of the rest.

In order to meet safety requirements, we may refuse to accept a reservation or ask that a carer travels with you.

Safety reasons may include the ability to evacuate the aircraft, fasten or unfasten the seat belt, activate emergency oxygen or life jackets.

A carer must travel with any passenger who does not meet the DFT (Department for Transport) code of practice definition of self reliance.

In establishing whether someone is "self-reliant" the DFT stipulate that the passenger should be independent in the following areas:

  • - Feeding – in most cases, the passenger should be capable of feeding themselves. Cabin crew could still expect to assist with opening food containers and describing catering arrangements to blind people.
  • - Lifting - the passenger should be capable of moving from a passenger seat to an on-board wheelchair.
  • - Toileting - the passenger should be capable of using the toilet facilities unaided. Cabin crew can assist passengers to and from the toilet door with the onboard wheelchair, but cannot assist within the toilet for hygiene reasons.
  • - Communicating - the passenger should be able to communicate with cabin crew and understand their advice/instructions.
  • - Medicating - the passenger should be capable of administering their own medicines and medical procedures.
  • - Breathing - the passenger should not be reliant on supplementary oxygen.

If you are not self-reliant (capable of taking care of all your physical needs independently in-flight) a carer is required for travel to take care of these needs. The carer must purchase a ticket at the same time. A carer can travel with a maximum of 2 passengers requiring additional assistance as outlined above.

Emergency Exit Seats

Due to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations, any persons with reduced mobility or any physical disability or intellectual impairment cannot be allocated seats adjacent to the emergency exits.

Fitness to Fly Certificate

Some medical conditions require a fitness to fly certificate. If you consider yourself to have a condition that will require your G.P. to give authorisation for travel, please obtain a certificate from your G.P. stating you are fit to travel prior to contacting ourselves. If in doubt please contact us on the numbers shown above.

If there is cause for concern or reasonable doubt as to whether a passenger is ‘fit to fly’ the airline may request medical support in order to make a fair assessment.

Wheelchair Users & Mobility Aids

It is your responsibility to provide sufficient information about your wheelchair/mobility aid and batteries prior to travel. Airlines policies on carrying wheelchairs and mobility aids can be found on their websites or by calling the airline directly or by contacting us.

Assistance Dogs

Airlines are able to carry guide dogs free of charge on many routes, please contact us or the Airline you are flying with for full details.

For more information on Pet Travel Scheme you can call or make contact in the following ways:
PETS help line: 44 (0) 870 241 1710 Monday to Friday – 0800 - 1800
PETS website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/contact-us
PETS e-mail: pettravel@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk

Stretchers

Stretchers are not carried on-board Thomas Cook Airlines flights. For other airlines, please contact the airline directly.

Oxygen

For safety reasons customers are not permitted to carry their own oxygen for use on-board.. Please contact the airline directly for more information.

Medication

Customers carrying syringes and/or needles must carry a doctor’s note or a repeat prescription as confirmation of medical requirement. Please read the following important advice about travelling with medication.

  • - We recommend that you carry enough medical supplies to cover use in-flight, plus sufficient for 2-3 days use upon arrival. The remainder should be packed in the hold, (the temperature of which is maintained between 4 and 5 degrees centigrade).
  • - Have a letter from your GP confirming the name and type of medication being carried, with prescribed doses. The letter should state what the medication is for and any other medical items required. For example, syringes or EpiPens, that might otherwise be questioned by local security or customs.
  • The medication should be in its original packaging, clearly pharmaceutically labelled identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.
  • - It is advisable to obtain a repeat prescription from your GP and take this with you when you travel abroad so that medication can be replaced in event of loss, damage or having insufficient supplies.
  • - Please be aware that some medication may contain ingredients that are considered illegal in other countries. You are advised to check with the Embassy of the country you are going to.

Needles and syringes

The carriage of needles and syringes is permitted onboard for the treatment or control of medical conditions. However, you must also carry supporting documentation in the form of either:

  • - A letter from your GP confirming the type of medication and what it is for. Or,
  • - If you do not have a GP’s letter, the medication must have a printed pharmaceutical label identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.

A "sharps" box to dispose of needles safely and hygienically is available onboard - please ask the crew.

Keeping medication cold

The onboard fridge cannot be used to keep medication cold, (for example, insulin used for diabetes). However, you may bring a cool bag with you.

Liquid medication in hand luggage

The amount of liquid medication you are permitted to take in your hand luggage is subject to current security advice. Please visit the Department for Transport website for the latest information: http://www.dft.gov.uk

Hearing Impaired

If you are hearing impaired and require assistance, please contact us or the airline directly (see the ‘Who should I contact’ section above). If required, an escort can be provided to and from the aircraft. Airlines offer separate briefing or subtitled in flight safety video about safety procedures for deaf and hard of hearing customers on-board. If you are hearing impaired, please contact us so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Visually Impaired

If you are blind or visually impaired and are unable to travel without assistance you will need to travel with a carer who must purchase a seat. The assistance that we offer visually impaired passengers can include an escort to and from the aircraft, individual safety briefings and assistance during the flight. Also, Braille cards are available on some flights on request.

Expectant Mothers

Expectant mothers will be accepted without a medical certificate up to the end of the 27th week* of pregnancy. Between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy a medical certificate will be required. This must confirm the expected date of delivery and confirm fitness to fly (doctors letter must have been written no earlier than 6 weeks before the outbound date of travel).

Expectant mothers will not be accepted under any circumstance after 34th week* of pregnancy.

In the case of a multiple pregnancy the pregnancy should not be beyond the 32nd week* at the time of the return inbound flight.

Cruise lines will not accept passengers who have entered their 24th week* of pregnancy or beyond. All pregnant women are required to provide a letter to state both mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel.

Miscarriage

Passengers who have had a recent miscarriage may fly provided that they have had no bleeding or pain for at least 24 hours prior to the date of travel. A letter should be obtained from the passenger's doctor confirming this.

*The number of weeks is based on flights operated by Thomas Cook Airlines. Other Airlines' policies may vary so please check with the airline you are travelling with for their pregnancy restrictions.

Broken Limbs

Any plaster cast must have been set in place for over 48 hours for legs and 24 hours for arms. In the case of a full leg plaster, where the leg cannot be bent, 2 additional seats must be purchased.

Seating

Dependant on the person’s level of the mobility, assistance seating (that is, a seat with a moveable aisle armrest) may be used or alternatively a fixed armrest seat will be used if this is sufficient. The airline will endeavour to ensure that any accompanying person is seated next to the person requiring assistance.

Seat Width

We realise that some larger customers, due to their size, often find that aircraft seat width is insufficient for their needs. For your own safety and comfort and that of other customers, you must advise your travel agent at the time of booking if you know or are unsure as to whether the seat size on the aircraft will be sufficient for your needs. If you do require additional space, then subject to availability, you can purchase more than one seat located side by side or if you prefer, a wider seat in an upgraded class (where applicable). We regret however, that due to additional costs incurred by your tour operator, you will have to pay the full cost of all seats required by you, plus any upgrade supplement per seat. For more information on seat width for individual airlines please click here.

If you have purchased an extra seat due to your size, please contact us or the airline directly to ensure the airline is aware.