March 2020

Three more language versions now available!

EBU Focus newsletters are now available, as word documents only, in Polish, Serbian and Turkish.

The Regulation on the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (hereafter “the Regulation”) was adopted in July 2006 and it applies since 26 July 2008 (except for two articles that applied already from the year before).

Aim and scope

The Regulation’s purpose is to protect disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility travelling by air against discrimination and to ensure that they receive the assistance they need.

It protects any person with a physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), an intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers.

It obliges airports situated in the EU and commercial air carriers for flights on departure from, transit through or arrival at an airport situated in the EU.

EU Air Passengers’ Rights

Did you know that you have certain rights as a passenger when you are travelling by plane? If your flight is significantly delayed or cancelled, you have right to a financial compensation. The airline also has to provide you with food, accommodation, and possibility to call or use the internet within certain limits. You also have some specific rights if you are a visually impaired person, or a person with a disability more general: the airport has to provide assistance so you can board your plane. The airline cannot refuse your booking because of your disability. And in each Member State of the EU, there is an official body designated to help you enforce your rights if something goes wrong.

Frequent problems experienced by blind and partially sighted persons when travelling by air

The most frequent problems experienced by blind and partially sighted persons when travelling by air have been researched by EBU with a survey among its member organizations. Despite Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air many problems have been highlighted.

European Airports and visually impaired passengers

The benefits and joys of travel are a right for all, and European airports are aware of the essential role they play in this for all our passengers. The transfer of responsibilities in the provision of assistance to people with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility in 2008, when Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air entered into force, marked an important milestone.  The adoption and subsequent entry into force of this legislation was a step-change in air transport and in the protection of passenger rights. So much so that its success resulted in similar legislation covering all modes of transport

Air travel for blind and partially sighted persons with guide dogs

Blind and partially sighted persons are able to fly throughout Europe with their guide dog with them, thanks to Regulation EC1107/2006 which concerns the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. ECAC is the European enforcement body for the regulation, along with the national enforcement bodies of each country.

The regulation refers to ‘recognized assistance dog’ but there is no definition of this term. A definition was previously included in ECAC Document 30, which defined it as a dog that has been trained to assist a disabled person by an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and/or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). The definition was removed several years ago at the request of an ECAC member that did not consider it to be compatible with their domestic arrangement.