EDF regularly receives information from members about discrimination experienced when travelling – or trying to travel – by air. The reported cases of discrimination cover a broad range of problems such as being denied boarding or booking tickets because of a disability, lack of or unsatisfactory assistance, damaged or lost mobility equipment etc. It is thus one of EDF’s main aims to facilitate air travel for persons with disabilities and improve the EU legislation in this field.

The most important existing law is Regulation 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. It was adopted in July 2006, establishing a set of specific rights for passengers with disabilities. The outcome is a real success-story. The basic principles of this regulation are:

  •  Persons with disabilities should not be discriminated against when booking a ticket or boarding an airplane.
  •  Persons with disabilities have the right to receive assistance at the airport at no additional charge.
  •  All staff dealing directly with the traveling public must receive relevant training, including disability awareness training.

However, air carriers have the possibility to deny boarding to persons with disabilities for “safety reasons” – a loophole which should of course be eliminated as soon as possible.  

A second law, Regulation 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, established rules for compensation but also regarding the liability of airlines for damaged, lost, or destroyed mobility equipment.

In 2016, EDF cooperated for the first time with Airports' Council International (ACI Europe) to create the Accessible Airport Award for the most accessible airport in Europe. The prize was awarded to Dublin Aiport for its excellent facilities as well as service quality and good travel experience for persons with disabilities.


More information

Questions and answers – what’s in the regulation on disabled air passengers for me?

Website of the European Commission on Air Passengers' Rights