Airports - Assistance

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Under EU law, disabled passengers have to be given assistance by airports and airlines, provided they are given 48 hours’ notice of their requirements.

If the airport is unable to give assistance, the airline has to step in under EC Regulation EC1107/2006. 

You should never be charged for assistance.

At European airports, you should expect to be offered help with getting to and from the terminal, help with the check-in process and help with moving through the airport. 

Under EC Regulation, airport managing bodies have to provide assistance with:

  • Retrieving baggage on the aircraft;
  • Proceeding from your seat to the aircraft door;
  • Disembarking from the aircraft, with the provision of lifts or wheelchairs if necessary;
  • Getting from the aircraft to the baggage hall and reclaiming your bags;
  • Getting through customs etc.;
  • Getting to any connecting flights.

In the event that anything goes wrong during these parts of the journey, the airport managing body will be responsible. If an airline refuses your reservation, denies you boarding or requires you to be assisted, they must confirm their reasons in writing to you within five working days of their decision. This is only true for airports within the EU!

If you’re travelling outside the EU, you should check to see what policies are in place beforehand. The rules in the US, for example, are similar but slightly different. Regardless, you should expect to be accommodated to a reasonable degree of care.

You should know

Should you complain to the airport or the airline? Things can get pretty confusing, since there are certain things an airport can’t deal with.

Airports can deal with complaints about:

  • Facilities
  • Airport shuttle services
  • Lost property (for property that you haven't checked in)
  • Noise and environmental issues
  • Accessibility issues
  • Security and searches

Airports can't deal with complaints about:

Long queues at check-in

If long queues at check-in have negatively impacted your journey, you should contact the airline you flew with to raise your issue via the Resolver homepage. Their staff are responsible for making sure check-in queues move at a reasonable speed, allowing customers to check in on time.

Airport parking

Many airport parking areas are managed by private parking companies. If you’ve had an issue with a private parking firm that isn't owned and operated by an airport, you should raise it directly with them via the Resolver homepage.


If you’ve had a problem with a retailer within an airport, you should complain directly to the retailer in question via Resolver’s homepage.

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