What assistance is available?

Crew member with a man and a woman wearing disability lanyards.

We believe our unique British Airways’ service should be accessible to all, and commit to making your journey as simple and easy as possible. We are continually improving our service, and aim to become the airline of choice for customers with non-visible or visible disabilities.

What we can do to help you

A range of services are available, some of which are the responsibility of the airport operator or other service providers to provide. Once we know your requirements, we will liaise with them to make arrangements.

Depending on your individual needs and circumstances, we can arrange:

When you reach the aircraft, our cabin crew can help you:

They will also be able to provide you with essential flight information. On flights to/from the US, they will provide you with all flight information in a way that meets your needs.

Go to our services, below, to find out more about how we can help.

What you’ll need to take care of

During your journey you will need to look after:

You will need to travel with a safety assistant if you need help to do any of the following:

How to request assistance

You can request assistance in Manage My Booking after you have booked your flights. Please try and let us know what type of assistance you need at least 48 hours before your flight departs.

To find out more and to plan for an upcoming trip, go to:

Request assistance

Contact us

If you have any questions or need further help, please contact us.

Our services

We offer assistance in four areas. When you request assistance with us in Manage My Booking, you’ll be asked to choose the ones you need.

If you can’t find the type or level of service you need, please contact us.

Wheelchair dimensions

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) 140cm (55.1in) 85cm (33.5in) 106cm (41.7in)
London City (dimensions for upright position) 74cm (29.6in) 94cm (37.6in) 73cm (29.2in)
Rest of the world 140cm (55.1in) 85cm (33.5in) 152cm (59.8in)

NOTE:
Your wheelchair or mobility aids must fit within the maximum dimensions for us to be able to accept it for travel.

If your wheelchair exceeds the maximum dimensions due to the height of the headrest this must be removed from the device, if possible to do so, and can be taken into the aircraft cabin. 
If your wheelchair exceeds the maximum height due to a headrest, then as long as it can be removed and taken into the aircraft cabin separately, the device can still be accepted.

 

Assistance for mobility and wheelchairs

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 the three levels below. If you are travelling with your own wheelchair this can also be added through ‘Manage My Booking’.

If you are an independent flyer, travelling with your family or a group we would still recommend that you book the appropriate level of assistance below in case your flight departs or arrives away from the terminal building.

Service type Description
Service 1
  • Assistance to and from the aircraft and getting around the airport for all or part of your journey, this will be either by electric buggy or airport wheelchair.
Service 2
  • Assistance to and from the aircraft and getting around the airport for all or part of your journey, this will be either by electric buggy or airport wheelchair. Assistance to ascend or descend stairs to the aircraft door if parked away from the terminal building.

Please note: You may be required to ascend or descend stairs in low level light or inclement weather.

Service 3
  • Full level service to and from the aircraft. Use of a specialist aisle chair and transfer to your seat during boarding and disembarkation along with the use of an onboard aisle chair during the flight to move around the cabin.

Please note: During the flight our cabin crew are unable to assist you onto the onboard aisle chair. If you do not possess enough upper body strength to move between your seat and the chair, then you will need to travel with a safety assistant. This on-board wheelchair service will not be offered by third party airlines who are operating flights on behalf of British Airways. You can find out the airline that is operating your flight via Manage My Booking. If this affects you, you can move your flight free of charge to an alternative British Airways operated service, subject to availability.

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 

 

Battery operated wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids

What information we need

For customers who have reduced mobility and want to take their device with them, we need to make sure we store your battery operated wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid safely in the hold of the aircraft, so we need the following information:

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:

 

Batteries (including spare batteries)

There are various battery handling requirements dependent upon what type of battery your wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid has. We have therefore provided some additional guidance on the battery handling requirements.

To prevent inadvertant activation of the device during flight, you will be required to confirm that the power has been disconnected/isolated and the device cannot be inadvertantly activated. This can be achieved following the manufacturers instructions.

Please contact us if you require additional information.

Battery Types Guidance

Lithium Ion Batteries

 

 

If the lithium battery(ies) is securely attached to the wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid, it must remain in the device. The power must be disconnected/isolated so that it cannot be inadvertently activated. This can be achieved following the manufacturers instructions.

  • There is no maximum Watt-hour limit if the lithium battery(ies) remains in the device.


Where a lithium ion battery operated wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid contains a battery that is not securely attached to the device, the following steps must be taken:

  • The battery must be removed following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner.
  • The removed batteries must be protected from short circuit (e.g. by covering or taping over exposed terminals).
  • In order to protect them from damage, place batteries individually in a protective pouch and take them with you as carry-on ‘cabin’ baggage.
  • The maximum battery size is 300Wh, or for devices fitted with two batteries, 160Wh each.

You may also take one spare lithium ion battery at a maximum of 300Wh, or two spare batteries at a maximum of 160Wh each carried in accordance with the instructions above.

Dry Cell Batteries (also known as Nickel Cadmium NiCd or Nickel Metal Hydride NiMh batteries)

If the dry cell battery(ies) is securely attached to the device, it must remain in the device. The power must be disconnected/isolated so that it cannot be inadvertently activated. This can be achieved following the manufacturers instructions.

Where a dry cell battery operated wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid contains a battery that is not securely attached to the device, the following steps must be taken:

  • The battery must be removed following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner.
  • The removed battery must be protected from short circuit (e.g. by covering or taping over exposed terminals).
  • The removed battery must be placed in strong, rigid packaging which must be secured in the cargo hold.

You may also take one spare dry cell battery carried in accordance with the instructions above.

Non-Spillable Wet Batteries (also known as gel, sealed lead acid or absorbed glass mat AGM batteries)

Please note: These types of batteries must meet the requirement of IATA dangerous goods regulations special provision A67. This information will be available from the battery manufacturer or mobility aid supplier.

If the non-spillable battery(ies) is securely attached to the device, it must remain in the device. The power must be disconnected/isolated so that it cannot be inadvertently activated. This can be achieved following the manufacturers instructions.

Where a non-spillable wet battery operated wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid contains a battery that is not securely attached to the device, the following steps must be taken:

  • The battery must be removed following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner.
  • The removed battery must be protected from short circuit (e.g. by covering or taping over exposed terminals).
  • The removed battery must be placed in strong, rigid packaging which must be secured in the cargo hold.

You may also take one spare non-spillable wet battery carried in accordance with the instructions above.

Spillable Batteries

If the spillable battery(ies) is securely attached to the wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid and the device can be stowed in the aircraft in an upright position, it must remain in the device. The power must be disconnected/isolated so that it cannot be inadvertently activated. This can be achieved following the manufacturers instructions.

Where a spillable battery operated wheelchair, scooter or mobilety aid contains a battery that is not securely attached to the device or it cannot be stowed in the aircraft in an upright position, the following steps must be taken:

  • The battery must be removed following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner.
  • The removed battery must be protected from short circuit (e.g. by covering or taping over exposed terminals).
  • The battery must be packed in strong, rigid, leak-proof packaging which is impervious to battery fluid and surrounded by compatible absorbent material sufficient to absorb the total liquid contents.
  • The packaging must be marked ‘BATTERY WET WITH WHEELCHAIR’ and marked with ‘Corrosive’ (Class 8) and orientation (this way up) labels.

Spare spillable batteries are not permitted.

 


Flight connections 

 

At your destination

Visual impairments

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.


Aira

The Aira app provides visually impaired passengers with access to on-demand, personalised assistance.

The app, which is available free of charge, connects passengers directly to a trained professional agent to provide guided assistance on demand and for advice on navigating through Heathrow and Gatwick and help on finding specific locations – including gates, special assistance facilities, retail outlets and restaurants.

Please note: Aira have been instructed to advise passengers that they will not be able to use their mobile phones as they proceed through security and immigration. The Aira agent will direct the customer to an assistance agent or passenger ambassador to get escorted or directed through the security and immigration process.

Download the app


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 an assistance dog

Hearing impairments

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


On board


At your destination


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 an assistance dog

Non-visible disability

We understand that having a non-visible disability can often make travelling a more daunting and challenging experience. As an airline we are committed to making your journey as accessible and smooth as possible. The assistance provided at many airports for physical disabilities is also available for our customers with non-visible ones.

Airport assistance can be booked through us and must be done at least 48 hours prior to your departure. To discuss your specific needs and how we can help please contact us.


Airports

Airport assistance are able to help you through the airport, especially for customers travelling alone or who are unfamiliar with the airport environment.

Many airports across our network also offer quiet routes or quiet spaces that provide a stress-free environment to wait before your flight. This is particularly useful for our customers with autism or for those who suffer from anxiety. To find out more about these physical spaces we recommend you contact your airport directly.

To book airport assistance please contact us at least 48 hours prior to your departure.


Seating

We are happy to accommodate specific seat requests to assist with any non-visible disability to make your journey easier and simpler. If you have a specific seating requirement, please contact us at least 24 hours prior to departure.


On-board

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


Sunflower lanyard

The sunflower lanyard is a UK airport authority initiative designed as a subtle way of indicating someone has a non-visible disability and may require some extra assistance. As an airline we have embraced this symbol and are keen to promote the benefits it can bring to our customers.

Lanyards are available at all participating UK airports and can be collected from ‘special assistance’ and reception areas. The lanyards are also starting to appear internationally. For our customers travelling out of Heathrow you can have your lanyard sent to you by post before you travel - find out more.

Assistance 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

Seat support systems

We accept a range of seat support systems onboard our flights. Please contact us to arrange appropriate seating, or if your seat support system isn't listed below.

 

AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES)

If you have children who weigh between 10-20kg you can use your AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System.

 

MERU TravelChair

The MERU TravelChair provides secure seating for children with physical disabilities. It is suitable for children aged between 3-11 years, and a maximum weight of 35kg.

It is suitable for use in all cabins, however the TravelChair:

 

Ablemove Pro (Easytravel Seat)

The AbleMove Pro (also known as easyTravelseat) is an in-situ transfer chair designed for individuals with reduced mobility to enable safe and dignified transfers between wheelchairs and aircraft seats during travel.

Please note:
The AbleMove Pro must not be located before, after, or on an emergency exit row. Also, you will need to travel with a safety assistant if you need to lift yourself, for example, in or out of your seat. Please refer above to ‘assistance for mobility and wheelchairs’ for more information on what we can do to help you through the airport and onboard.

 

Crelling Harness

The Crelling Harness (model 27), is an approved restraint device for adults, children and infants with a disability. The full-body harness consists of an additional belt, shoulder and crotch restraint, which encircles the seat back and fastens over the torso to provide postural support. The harness is available in three age ranges, as follows:

Crelling Harness typeAge range (years)
27I 2-5
27A 5-7
27B 9-adult

The harness is not suitable for use in First, business (Club World) or on seats fitted with an airbag seatbelt. You will be responsible for securing the device.

Legislation

EU regulations

Within the EU, airport operators are responsible for assisting anyone with a disability during their time at the airport. This includes intellectual disability or impairment, age or any other cause of disability. In order to offer the appropriate service, we need to provide the airport operator with advance information about your travel requirements so please contact us at least 48 hours before your flight departs.

US legislation

We are covered by the US Rule for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability for any flight to or from a US airport. You can view a full copy of this rule by:

• Asking a member of our staff at any of our airports serving the United States, or

• Contacting the Aviation Consumer Protection Division (US Department of Transportation) using the below details.

 

Adress Contact details and opening hours Website
Aviation Consumer Protection Division


Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings

Aviation Consumer Protection Division

1200 New Jersey Ave, SE

Washington, DC 20590

United States

Phone: (202) 366-2220

TTY/Assistive device: (202) 366-0511

 

Monday to Friday, 08:30-17:00 (EST)

Visit Aviation Consumer Protection Division website and view PDFs
Air Travelers with Disabilities hotline    
Toll-free hotline (only available within the US)

Phone: 1-800-778-4838

TTY: 1-800-455-9880

 

Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00 (EST)

More information

Partnerships

‘It’s everyone’s journey’ campaign

At British Airways we believe our unique service should be accessible to all and commit to making your journey as simple and easy as possible. We are therefore proud to be the first airline to support ‘it’s everyone’s journey’, a new campaign from the Department for Transport to make transport more inclusive and help disabled people travel with confidence.
The campaign aims to show how collectively we can make a difference and create a more supportive travel environment.

Please visit campaign page.