Preparing for your trip

If you have access needs and require additional help for your journey please let us know at least 48 hours before your flight departs. You can do this at Manage My Booking once you've finished booking your flight:

  • You can select the level of assistance you need (for mobility, visual, hearing or developmental impairments)
  • Tell us if you'd need to take your own wheelchair
  • Amend or cancel your request for assistance

Just find your booking, then go to the bottom of the page and click on the 'Disability assistance' link in the 'Service requests' section.

Manage My Booking

Additional information for specific travel needs

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Assistance levels and seating

Once you have booked your flight, please go to Manage My Booking and let us know what level of mobility assistance you need. You can choose from three levels:

Service type Description
Service 1
  • Assistance to and from the aircraft; depending on the airport, this will be either by electric buggy or airport wheelchair
Service 2
  • Assistance to and from the aircraft; depending on the airport, this will be either by electric buggy or airport wheelchair
  • Help with stairs if the aircraft is parked away from the terminal building
Service 3
  • Assistance to and from the aircraft; depending on the airport, this will be either by electric buggy or airport wheelchair
  • Help with stairs if the aircraft is parked away from the terminal building
  • Use of the on-board wheelchair to get to/from your seat and to move around the cabin during the flight. Please note you will need to have enough upper body strength to lift yourself between your seat and the on-board wheelchair, otherwise you will need to travel with a safety assistant who can help you with that.

Once you've completed your request for assistance we will advise on available seating options. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Travelling with your own wheelchair 

  • Depending on the airport, you can choose whether you'd like to give us your wheelchair when you check in, or use it until you reach the departure gate.
  • To give you plenty of time to board the aircraft ahead of other passengers, please arrive at your departure gate early.
  • We may be able to store one collapsible manual wheelchair in the cabin, depending on available space. This is allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis. Please contact staff at the boarding gate.
  • We have wheelchairs on our aircraft to assist you on board. You will need to be able to lift yourself from your seat onto the wheelchair, or travel with a safety assistant who can help you do that.
  • If you're checking in your wheelchair, attach a tag with your contact details to it.

 

Electric wheelchairs and mobility aids

What information we need

To be able to store your wheelchair or mobility aid (e.g. scooter) safely on board we need the following information:

  • Wheelchair/mobility aid type
  • Dimensions (see table below)
  • Tare (un-laden) weight
  • Number of batteries installed
  • Type of battery (see notes for wet cell/lithium batteries below)
  • Instructions for preventing inadvertent operation (see notes below)

We will always try and place your wheelchair/mobility aid in containers to keep them safe. There might be some instances where we might not be able to carry your wheelchair/mobility aid, for example:

  • If we're unable to prevent unintended operation of the electric mobility aid.
  • If the weight exceeds the loading capacity on our smaller aircraft that are operated by our subsidiary BA CityFlyer to/from London City.

 

Dimensions

We can accommodate the following maximum dimensions for wheelchairs and mobility aids:

Flights to and from
Length Width Height
UK and Europe (except to and from London City and flights operated by Jet Time*) 140cm (55.1in) 85cm (33.5in) 106cm (41.7in)
London City (dimensions for upright position) 74cm (29.6in) 94cm (37.6in) 73cm (29.2in)
Flights operated by Jet Time* 139.7cm (55in) 65.5cm (27in) 76.2cm (30in)
Rest of the world 140cm (55.1in) 85cm (33.5in) 152cm (59.8in)

*Jet Time are operating a selection of flights for British Airways from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Copenhagen until 26 October 2016.


Wet cell batteries 

We can only carry wet cell batteries if they're used to power a wheelchair. If your mobility aid has a wet cell battery we may have to remove it to carry it safely. It would help us if you could please bring the manufacturer’s instructions with you to the airport.

 

Lithium batteries

  • If your wheelchair or mobility aid uses lithium batteries and is specifically designed so they can be removed, you must follow these instructions:
  • Remove all lithium batteries according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Protect the removed batteries from short circuit, e.g. by covering exposed terminals with electrical tape.
  • In order to protect them from damage, place batteries individually in a protective pouch and take them with you as hand baggage.
  • The maximum battery size is 300Wh, or for devices fitted with two batteries, 160Wh each.
  • In addition, you're allowed to take one spare battery at max. 300Wh, or two spare batteries at max. 160Wh each.
  • You can then take your wheelchair or mobility aid with you as checked baggage without restriction.

 

Preventing unintended activation

In all cases, we will need to take steps to prevent unintended activation of your electric wheelchair/mobility aid in transport. This may be achieved by:

  • Switching off the mobility aid and removing the key (if fitted)
  • Separating power cable connectors between the battery and the control panel or
  • By inserting an inhibiting plug (such as an Airsafe™)

Only if none of these options are possible, will we have to lock out operation of the electric mobility aid by performing a sequence of movements of the joystick in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

For more details on many electric mobility aids go to the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA).

 

Flight connections 

  • If you'd like to use your wheelchair at the airport you're connecting at, we can arrange to have it delivered from the hold to the aircraft door. Just let us know at least 48 hours before your flight departs.
  • Please allow extra time for it to be unloaded and reloaded onto your onward aircraft. If you're using an electric wheelchair, this process will take longer because the battery needs to be reactivated on arrival and then deactivated before loading onto the next aircraft.

 

At your destination

  • If your wheelchair has been stowed in the hold, we'll make every effort to return it to you as close to the aircraft door as possible.
  • If this is not possible, we will make sure there is a wheelchair available to assist you to the baggage reclaim area.

 

Travel support systems 

You're welcome to bring your own travel support chair or harness for use during the flight. If you have children between 1-4 years you can use your AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System.

It's not possible to use travel support systems on all our seats. Please contact us and we'll help you reserve a suitable seat.

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Seating

You can reserve your seat for free at Manage My Booking at any time after you have booked your flight. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Airport escort

If you're travelling on your own, let us know if you want us to arrange an escort to guide you through your departure or arrival airport.

 

On board

If you prefer, cabin crew can provide individual safety briefings before the flight departs.

 

Travelling with an assistance dog

We're able to carry a certified assistance dog free of charge in the cabin of all our flights but might need to limit the number of dogs we can carry in the cabin. This service cannot be booked online.

More about travelling with assistance dogs

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Seating

You can reserve your seat for free at Manage My Booking at any time after you have booked your flight. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

At the departure airport

  • If you're travelling on your own, let us know if you want us to arrange an escort to guide you through the terminal from checking in to the aircraft door.
  • You are welcome to board the aircraft ahead of other passengers if you prefer. Please contact the staff at the departure gate.

 

On board

  • The safety information on our on-board screens is displayed with subtitles. If you prefer, we can provide individual safety briefings before the flight departs.
  • We provide headphones that are compatible with hearing aids switched to the 'T' position. This will increase the volume and improve sound clarity.
  • More about our in-flight entertainment.


At your destination

  • Let us know if you want us to arrange an escort on your arrival at your destination to guide you through the airport.

 

Travelling with an assistance dog

We're able to carry a certified assistance dog free of charge in the cabin of all our flights but might need to limit the number of dogs we can carry in the cabin. This service cannot be booked online.

More about travelling with assistance dogs

 

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Seating

If you have a specific seating requirement, please contact us.

 

Airport escort

If you're travelling on your own, let us know if you want us to arrange an escort to guide you through your departure or arrival airport.

 

On board

If you prefer, cabin crew can provide individual safety briefings before the flight departs.

collapsedTravelling with assistance dogsshowAssistance dogs

We're able to carry a certified assistance dog free of charge in the cabin of all our flights but might need to limit the number of dogs we can carry in the cabin. This service cannot be booked online.

More about travelling with an assistance dog

If you have any questions please call us. To ensure we can provide the best possible service, please contact us at least 48 hours before your flight departs.

Contact us

US rule for non-discrimination on the basis of disability

British Airways is covered by this rule for any flight that begins or ends at a US airport. A full copy of the rule is available for viewing on request at our airports serving the US.

You can also obtain a copy of the rule from the U.S. Department of Transportation directly:

  • within the United States only, call the toll-free hotline for Air Travelers with Disabilities at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY)
  • call the Aviation Consumer Protection Division at 202-366-2220 (voice) or 202-366-0511 (TTY)
  • by mail to the Air Consumer Protection Division, C-75, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., West Building, Room W96-432, Washington, DC 20590
  • on the Aviation Consumer Protection Division's web site - www.dot.gov/airconsumer

Airport authority responsibility within the EU

It is now the responsibility of the airport operators, within the EU to assist anyone with a disability during their time at the airport. This includes intellectual disability or impairment, age or any other cause of disability.

Airlines should provide the airport operator with advance information so that the appropriate service can be offered. To enable us to pass your request to them, please contact us 48 hours in advance.