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Passengers with hearing or visual impairments

1. Accompanying persons

There should be one able-bodied escort for two passengers in the BLIND and BLIND/DEAF categories. If a passenger requires an escort, the escort must not have reduced mobility. The escort: must be at least 18 years old; may not assist other passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility on that same flight; may not be accompanying other passengers who require assistance, such as an infant; and must be seated next to the passenger with reduced mobility.

2. Service animals

Service animals travel free of charge and are permitted to accompany their owner and/or trainer in the aircraft cabin on airBaltic flights. If travelling in the cabin, the animal is excluded from weight limitations and the container requirement. A service animal must occupy the floor space where the person sits and cannot obstruct an aisle or any other area that must remain clear for emergency evacuation; for this reason, passengers with service animals are prohibited from sitting in an exit row. Aircraft have a limited amount of seats for passengers traveling with service animals, therefore we recommend reserving these seats well in advance. Be aware that some countries have restrictions on animals, including service animals, transiting through or entering their country.

Please contact the airBaltic call centre to check if any of these restrictions apply to the countries on your itinerary.

1. Registration

When allocating seats to persons with hearing or vision impairments, airBaltic takes safety factors into consideration, which includes ensuring that the cabin crew carry out their duties unhindered, and that access to emergency equipment and evacuation of the aircraft in an emergency is not impeded. Pursuant to the  EASA Commission (EC) Regulation No. 216/2008, on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency (henceforth referred to as Regulation No. 216/2008), passengers with hearing or vision impairments (EU-OPS 1.260) will be issued a window seat in a row that has not been assigned as one containing an emergency exit. These regulations apply to passengers with disabilities, or with hearing or vision impairments, who are travelling either with or without an escort.

If a passenger with hearing or vision impairment is being aided by an escort, the airline will do all it can, within reasonable limits, to ensure that the escort and the passenger with disabilities or reduced mobility are seated next to each other.

2. Boarding and deplaning

If requested of the airline in advance, ground staff will be available to assist customers with hearing or vision impairments in boarding and deplaning. airBaltic will also provide connecting flight assistance for ambulatory individuals or those who may need help getting from one departure gate to another. Please note that airBaltic is not equipped to provide full monitoring of patients whilst waiting at the gate. Should the passenger's condition require this level of supervision, the passenger must travel with an escort.

All physically challenged passengers will be able to pre-board the aircraft.

3. Security Screening

Airport security screening is required for all passengers. If necessary, airport security staff will perform a manual search.

4. Flight and gate information

All airports are equipped with monitors displaying flight information. Similarly, most gate areas have electronic displays that indicate specific flight information. Gate agents provide verbal flight information, including boarding announcements and any flight irregularity data, for the benefit of all passengers, including those with vision impairments.

1. Boarding and within the cabin

The Captain and the Senior cabin crew member are notified before boarding when persons with vision or hearing impairments are to be carried on board, as well as which seats they have been allocated.

The airline takes all necessary measures to ensure that both ground and cabin personnel are informed of a passenger's special needs. Along with the above-mentioned procedures undertaken to maximise the passenger's comfort and well-being, and having taken into account the passenger's requirements for special care and attention, safety procedures – such as coordinating correct seat allocation and informing the staff of the passenger's disability or status – are also implemented.

2. airBaltic in-flight assistance

Flight attendants are not permitted to assist with eating or personal hygiene. They are not permitted to lift or carry passengers, nor provide medical services such as the giving of injections, oxygen supplementation, etc. If the passenger's medical condition requires such or similar types of care, the passenger must travel under the supervision of a correspondingly qualified escort (normal fares apply). airBaltic does not provide the services of a personal assistant during the flight.

Please submit requests for services to your travel agent or an airBaltic reservations agent at least 48 hours in advance of your departure. 

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