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Refusing travel is forbidden

A passenger cannot be refused a flight reservation on the grounds of disability, unless this is justified because the passenger cannot satisfy the applicable safety requirements. A safety requirement may, for example, be that you must be able to release your safety belt and reach the emergency exit unassisted. If you cannot manage this, a companion will often be able to help you to meet the safety requirement.

The airline will also be able to refuse a reservation if the size of the aircraft, or its doors, make boarding or transport physically impossible for disabled persons.

If a reservation cannot be accepted, the airline, travel agent or tour arranger is required to make a reasonable effort to suggest an acceptable alternative for the person concerned.

If you are refused boarding other than for proven safety reasons or the size of the aircraft, you and any companion can claim against the airline. You can choose between the following:

  • Refund of the ticket price for the part of the journey that has not taken place, or for the whole ticket if the purpose of the journey cannot be achieved. If applicable, you may also claim for a return flight back to the point of departure.
  • Re-routeing to the final destination as soon as possible, on the same terms and conditions of travel.
  • Re-routeing to the final destination on a later date of your choice, on the same terms and conditions of travel, if seats are available.

A condition for claiming a return flight or re-routeing is that you can meet all relevant safety requirements, so if you cannot do this, the only relevant recourse is a refund. The airline is obliged to re-route you using an alternative airline if this is significantly less inconvenient.