Passengers with reduced mobility
1. Moving to and from gates
Passengers who use manual wheelchairs may use them in getting to and from departure and arrival gates. In the case of connecting flights, the wheelchair will be immediately transferred to the next aircraft.
If the passenger wishes to get to the departure gate on his or her own, the wheelchair will be tagged as baggage during check-in, and will be stowed in the aircraft at boarding. This is why it is important that the passenger arrives at the departure gate precisely at the time indicated on his or her boarding pass (i.e. boarding time). At boarding, the airline's ground staff will allow the the passenger (and his or her escort, assistant or other travelling companion) to board the aircraft ahead of other passengers.
Passengers using their own manual wheelchairs may request that it be delivered to the gate immediately upon arrival. All other wheelchairs can be retrieved at the arrival hall (in the baggage claim area).
2. Passengers' personal wheelchairs
airBaltic will transport up to two pieces of mobility equipment for each person with disabilities or reduced mobility, in addition to the passenger's medical equipment, free of charge. airBaltic cannot stow wheelchairs in the cabin.
We recommend that the wheelchair's removable parts (cushion, foot rest, etc.) be taken along in the passenger's carry-on baggage. If this is not possible, please tape these parts to the wheelchair.
When booking your ticket, indicate the type of wheelchair, its dimensions, and weight. If travelling with a motorized wheelchair, you must indicate what type of battery it uses.
3. Battery-powered wheelchairs
Electric/battery-powered wheelchairs must always be checked in as baggage at the check-in counter. From there, the passenger will be transferred to the gate by the airline's ground staff using an airBaltic wheelchair. As regarding the type of battery, the following additional procedures must be followed.
- Spillable batteries (wet-cell)
Spillable batteries must be removed from the wheelchair or other battery-powered mobility devices, and forwarded as cargo. They must be packed, marked and labeled in accordance with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. airBaltic does not accept for transport lithium batteries used for wheelchairs or other battery-powered mobility devices.
- Non-spillable batteries (dry-cell or gel-cell)
At check-in, the battery must be disconnected, its terminals insulated to prevent accidental short circuits, and it must be securely attached to the wheelchair.
- Wheelchairs/mobility devices with gel type batteries do not require the battery to be disconnected, provided the battery terminals are insulated to protect from accidental short circuits.
- So called “high-tech” wheelchairs with integrated non-spillable batteries and hidden battery terminals do not require the battery to be disconnected if the wheelchair is equipped with either:
- a main switch (with attached label from the manufacturer clearly stating that the battery is fully disconnected by activating the switch), which must be switched off, or
- a removable control unit, which must be removed completely (only removing the control unit key is not sufficient).
4. Airport wheelchairs (for use between check-in and the gate, and upon the flight's arrival)
airBaltic has wheelchairs available for use at any airport. These wheelchairs are not suitable for manual use by the passenger, and therefore the airline's ground staff will transport the wheelchair to where it needs to go.
For transport between flights, only an airBaltic-provided wheelchair may be used.
When allocating seats to persons with disabilities or reduced mobility, 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 disabilities or reduced mobility (EU-OPS 1.260) will be allocated 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 reduced mobility travelling either with or without an escort.
If a passenger with disabilities or reduced mobility is travelling with 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 passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility in boarding and deplaning, using either airBaltic’s equipment or the passenger's own manual wheelchair. 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. Upon arrival, passengers using wheelchairs will leave the aircraft last. If a passenger with disabilities is making a connection, airBaltic will provide one of its wheelchairs for use between flights.
3. Security Screening
Airport security screening is required for all passengers. If necessary, airport security staff will perform a manual search on passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility.
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.
1. Boarding and within the cabin
A person with disabilities or reduced mobility will not be refused embarkation on the grounds of disability or reduced mobility unless the refusal is done in order to meet applicable safety requirements, or, if the size of the aircraft or its doors make the embarkation or carriage of this person with disabilities or reduced mobility physically impossible.
The Captain and the Senior cabin crew member are notified before boarding when persons with disabilities or reduced mobility 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. Should the passenger's condition require this level of supervision, the passenger must travel under the supervision of a correspondingly qualified escort (normal fares apply). airBaltic does not provide the services of an escort 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.