If you are a disabled adult, or you are travelling with disabled children, we strongly advise that you do your research before your holiday to Majorca, on what kind of assistance and help is available to you, and what your disability rights are abroad.
The basic guidelines issued by DPTAC, (Disability Discrimination Act), state that you can travel alone are as follows:
That you are not reliant on supplementary oxygen, and that you can feed yourself; and that you can transfer to an on-board wheelchair (where available) on your own, and that you can use an on-board toilet without assistance, and that you can administer your medication without help, and that you can understand instructions and make yourself understood.
Clearly, wheelchair users and disabled travellers priority assistance begins at the airport and during the flight, but you may be surprised to learn that flying is not covered under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995); however, the Airline industry have their own code of practice, so once again, we strongly advise you do your research.
Useful key points are outlined in a leaflet from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) which is basically a summary of key points in the airlines' code of practice.
Until you've checked in at your airline check in desk, responsibility for disabled access and mobility assistance is the airports responsibility.
Disabled Travel & Wheelchair Assistance at Airports - What to Expect
It is worthwhile notifying airports on your required needs before your arrival, so that you can expect access to assistance at airports and during flights; this applies to any airport, which includes Palma de Mallorca. Palma Airport, in general, has an all level access, with plenty of disabled toilets, and a wide, and easily accessible lift as well, to the departure terminal.
You may then expect assistance to reach your check-in desk, which could take the form of needing a wheelchair from the terminal entrance, or an escort if you have a sensory impairment, or help carrying your luggage.
You can also get assistance with registration at the check-in desk, with qualified staff, hand trained in BSL, where help to reach your departure gate can also be provided.
Note: The code leaves the decision to the individual passenger whether to transfer into one of the airline's wheelchairs or to remain in your own whilst waiting to board. You can also get help boarding and disembarking from the aircraft.
Cabin crew on the aircraft should provide you with assistance in stowing and retrieving baggage on the plane should you need it. However, please note that if baggage to be stowed in cabin lockers is very heavy, they may, and quite rightly, refuse to lift it on health and safety grounds.
Ask about this if you think your hand luggage may be heavy when you check in. If you need it, an on-board wheelchair can be provided, as can assistance moving to and from the plane toilet.
Cabin crew cannot help on any issue involving personal hygiene, again connected with the essential health and safety and on that of HSE stringent laws on food handling.
You can also expect assistance transferring between a mobility aid and passenger seat. This again is a health and safety issue. It's increasingly the practice of airlines that this task is carried out not by cabin crew but by baggage handling staffs that are trained in manual handling techniques.
During your flight you will get limited assistance with meals, but Cabin crew will only assist with opening packaging, and describing the layout of the tray to visually impaired passengers, but they cannot, and must not assist, with feeding the food to their passengers.
Cabin crew will assist in briefing disabled passengers and their travelling companions on emergency procedures and the layout of the cabin. Airlines can also provide staff trained in BSL or offer an explanation which is easy to understand.
When you reach your destination airport you can expect assistance to the general public area. You will need assistance at Palma Airport in Majorca, as there is often a long distance to travel from the arrival gate to the main terminal.
As we have mentioned, prior to your travel it's well worth ensuring that this mobility transport support is in place, and we cannot overstress our advice, for travellers with disabilities to make clear your needs to airports, tour operators and airlines before you travel.
If any fail to offer the support outlined in the Code of Practice after you have outlined your needs prior to travel, then one can complain to either Tripscope or DPTAC.
Before any complaints can be made, the onus is on the disabled person/persons if they first did not inform the airports of their needs.
Address as follows:
Mobility Centres in Majorca
In Alcudia, there is the Easy Rider Mobility & Hire Centre for the Northern resorts, address as follows:
Easy Rider Mobility & Hire Centre
Calle Major, 42
Telephone: +34 971 545 057
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