Better communication between travel companies and airlines is needed to make sure passengers with reduced mobility are treated equally when travelling by air.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released a review following the introduction of EU regulations in July 2008 which set out new responsibilities for agents, airports and airlines.
The new law meant agents must notify airlines of clients with reduced mobility at least 48 hours before departure. Agents can contact airlines by phone, email or by filling in a form on the carriers’ websites.
Agents who repeatedly fail to adhere to the law could face a fine of up to £5,000.
The law protects pregnant women, people with broken limbs and elderly travellers with walking difficulties.
The CAA’s Accessible Air Travel review recognises the work that has been done so far, but also highlights some areas where further work is needed. A spokesman said: “The report indicates that problems arise when there is a failure of communication between agents and airlines.”
The CAA welcomed Abta’s work so far on providing guidance for its members setting out their responsibilities.
The report also recommended that airports provide more information to tour operators and travel agents, such as waiting times and walking distances.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “This review is a further step in ensuring that disabled people and people with reduced mobility receive equal treatment while travelling by air.
“The findings of this review are being used to influence the next steps we will take to ensure that no matter which airport or airline someone uses, and no matter how their mobility is impaired, they are treated equally.”
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