Rights of passengers with special needs
Everyone has the right to travel. In order to make your travels as pleasant as possible, the European Union has, in addition to general passenger rights, established a list of rights, the purpose of which is to enable special needs passengers to travel as easily and comfortably as other citizens.
- You cannot be discriminated due to having a disability or limited mobility. Carriers, travel agents and tour operators shall not refuse to accept a reservation from, to issue or otherwise provide a ticket to or to take on board a person on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility.
In exceptional cases, it may be impossible for you to get on a ship/bus/train due to safety requirements, structure of the means of transport or the infrastructure and devices of a port/bus station/train station.
In cases like these, carriers should offer alternative transport options* for you.
- If you are not allowed to board transport means despite having a booking or ticket and the fact that you have notified the carrier of your special needs, you may choose between receiving compensation or changing your route.*
You can read about the compensation rates and other means of redress that apply if journeys are delayed, cancelled or people are not allowed on board a vehicle, under the topics of flight passenger, ship passenger, train passenger and bus passenger rights in the travel section of the Consumer Protection Board.
- You cannot be required to pay a higher fee for booking or tickets. The terms and conditions that apply to the bookings and tickets of regular passengers apply to your bookings and tickets as well.
- You have the right to receive help free of charge at any airport/train station/bus station/port and on any airplane/train/bus/ship. There are special phone points in airports and big train stations where you can talk directly to travel aid providers.*
Bus stations and ports are also required to have a clearly marked place where you can submit a notification of your arrival and ask for help. At airports this aid is extended to luggage registration and transport is offered to get to the gates in the boarding zone.
- You should notify the carrier of your special needs before your travels in order to facilitate aid provision. In the case of train and ship travels, you should notify the travel service provider about your need for assistance at least 48 hours before the trip, and in the case of bus travels, you ought to do that 36 hours in advance.*
When travelling by plane, notify the service provider of your need for assistance 48 hours before the scheduled departure time.
- You should arrive at the designated spot according to the time you agreed upon (no more than an hour before departure for ship, bus and train travels). If you have not agreed upon a fixed time, you should arrive at the airport at least an hour before the published departure time, or in the case of scheduled arrival and departure flights, at least two hours before the flight.
- You have the right to receive information during the trip on the basis of your specific special needs. It is especially important to receive information about airplane security instructions that have been customised to suit your special needs.
- You have a right to receive compensation if your mobility equipment is damaged, destroyed or lost as a result of the activities of the carrier or terminal/station manager. The compensation must cover the replacement value of said equipment or repair costs, should that be necessary.
If necessary, the carrier or terminal/station operator should try and replace the lost or damaged mobility device temporarily as soon as possible.
You have the right to file a complaint if your rights as a special needs passenger have been violated. File the complaint to the airport/bus station/train station/ port or carrier. If you have not received a reply within one month, turn to the Consumer Protection Board.