British Airways is committed to ensuring inclusivity, especially for passengers with disabilities or special needs. This comprehensive guide aims to provide valuable insights into the range of British Airways special assistance services along with essential information on how to access and make the most of these services.

British airways special assistance, how to avail?

What services are available for BA Passengers with Disabilities?

British Airways offers a variety of assistance options for their customers, including:

  • Passengers who need an escort to and from the aircraft. 
  • Help to navigate the airport in order to board the flight. 
  • Check-in in wheelchairs, mobility aids, and other assistive devices. 
  • Support passengers with medical needs, including oxygen, medication, and equipment.
  • Assistance for children traveling alone, boarding, and in-flight supervision.
  • Special gifts for elderly passengers, including wheelchair assistance and priority boarding.
  • Passengers traveling with service animals. 
  • Flight Delay and Cancellation Assistance

How does British Airways assist passengers to require wheelchair support?

British Airways provides both manual and electric wheelchair assistance. Passengers can request assistance at the time of booking or directly with the airline’s special assistance team.

How do I request Wheelchair assistance on British Airlines?

To request wheelchair assistance on British Airways, you can follow these steps:

  • When booking your flight, indicate that you require wheelchair assistance. 
  • You can do this online at the time of booking, or you can call British Airways customer service to make the request.
  • If you have already booked your flight and need to request wheelchair assistance, you can do so by logging in to your booking on the British Airways website and selecting the “Manage My Booking” option. 
  • You can also call British Airways customer service to request wheelchair assistance. The phone number will depend on your location, so visit the British Airways website to find the appropriate number.
  • Make sure to provide as much detail as possible about your specific needs when requesting wheelchair assistance. This can include the type of wheelchair you require, whether you need assistance getting to and from your seat, and whether you require assistance with your luggage.
  • Finally, make sure to confirm your wheelchair assistance request with British Airways before your flight. This will help ensure that the airline is prepared to meet your needs when you arrive at the airport.

Overall, British Airways has a good reputation for providing assistance to passengers with disabilities or mobility issues. 

Does British Airways charge for wheelchair assistance?

No. The airline provides this service free of charge to passengers who require it. However, it’s important to note that if you require other types of special assistance, such as a lift or special seating, there may be a fee associated with those services. 

What would be the wheelchair dimensions that need to be checked? – The maximum dimensions for wheelchairs and other mobility devices that we BA can accommodate are as follows:

Flights to and fromLengthWidthHeight
UK and Europe (except to and from London City)140cm (55.1in)85cm (33.5in)106cm (41.7in)
London City (dimensions for upright position)74cm (29.6in)94cm (37.6in)73cm (29.2in)
Rest of the world140cm (55.1in)85cm (33.5in)152cm (59.8in)

What mobility assistance do you need while flying on British Airways?

After you’ve made your flight reservations, head over to Manage My Booking to let British Airways know what kind of assistance you need.   You can select one of the three levels listed below. If you plan to bring your own wheelchair, update in the Manage booking section. 

Whether you are flying  alone or with a family, it is advised that booking an appropriate level of service  – 

Service typeDescription
Service 1Help getting to and from the plane and navigating the airport
Service 2assistance is provided to climb or descend stairs to the aircraft door.
Service 3Full-service access to and from the aircraft.
Usage of a specialized aisle chair during boarding and landing, as well as a transfer to your seat

What information do I need to provide when flying with a battery-operated wheelchair, and other mobility aids? –  

british airways special assistance services

The airlines require the following information in order to safely store your battery-operated wheelchair, scooter, or mobility aid in the aircraft’s cargo hold for passengers who have decreased mobility and wish to travel with their device:

  • Kind of wheelchair or mobility assistance
  • Dimension
  • Tare weight (empty)
  • Installed battery count
  • Mention, if it is a spillable, non-spillable, wet cell, dry cell, and lithium batteries
  • Guidelines for avoiding accidental operation

What accommodations does British Airways offer to hearing and visual impairments?

These services include – 

Seat selection

  •  Seat reservation is available for free only if the passenger requested the special service in their existing booking.

Airport Escort

  • For solo travelers, British Airways offers the option to arrange an escort to guide you through your departure or arrival airport.

Aira App

Hearing or visually impaired passengers access the Aira app for on-demand, personalized assistance. Its features include – 

  • The app connects passengers directly to a trained professional agent who can provide guided assistance and advice for navigating through Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
  • The app also assists in finding specific locations, such as gates, special assistance facilities, retail outlets, and restaurants.

On-Board Services

  • Simply inform the crew of your preference, and they will be more than happy to accommodate your needs.

How does British Airways cater to passengers with autism or sensory sensitivities?

British Airways offers a range of services tailored to meet the specific needs of these passengers. Here’s an overview – 

Airport Assistance

  • British Airways unaccompanied minors or any passengers who are unfamiliar with airport surroundings can avail of the Airport Assistance service.
  • To book airport assistance, passengers are encouraged to contact British Airways at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Stress-Free Spaces

  • Several airports within the British Airways network provide quiet routes and spaces, ideal for individuals with autism or anxiety. These airports include
AustriaVienna International Airport (VIE)
BelgiumBrussels Airport (BRU)
CroatiaDubrovnik Airport (DBV)
Split Airport (SPU)
Zagreb Airport (ZAG)
CyprusLarnaca International Airport (LCA)
Czech RepublicPrague Vaclav Havel Airport (PRG)
DenmarkCopenhagen Airport (CPH)
FinlandHelsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL)
FranceNice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE)
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Paris Orly Airport (ORY)
GermanyBerlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Munich Airport (MUC)
GreeceAthens International Airport (ATH)
Thessaloniki Airport (SKG)
HungaryBudapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)
IrelandDublin Airport (DUB)
ItalyMilan Linate Airport (LIN)
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
NetherlandsAmsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
NorwayOslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL)
PortugalLisbon Portela Airport (LIS)
Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO)
RussiaMoscow Domodedovo Airport (DME)
St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED)
SpainBarcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD)
Malaga Airport (AGP)
Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI)
SwedenStockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
SwitzerlandGeneva Airport (GVA)
Zurich Airport (ZRH)
TurkeyIstanbul Airport (IST)
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
United KingdomLondon Heathrow Airport (LHR)
London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
London City Airport (LCY)
London Stansted Airport (STN)
Manchester Airport (MAN)
Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Glasgow Airport (GLA)

Free seat selection

  • British Airways can accommodate specific seat requests to assist passengers with non-visible disabilities during their journey.
  • Passengers with non-visible disabilities are not permitted to select emergency exit seats.
  • British Airways seat selection requests must be completed up to 24 hours before departure. 
  • Once you have booked your ticket and sought the support you require, you can reserve your seat for free through Manage My Booking. Airport assistance must be scheduled at least 48 hours before your trip. 

Sunflower lanyard 

  • Sunflower lanyard is meant to subtly bring awareness to those who might need extra assistance that they have a non-visible handicap.
  • You can request your lanyard to be mailed to you in advance of your trip if you’re one of our British Airways passengers flying out of London Heathrow.

Are there any travel restrictions for expectant mothers when flying on British Airways?

Expectant mothers are not permitted to travel –

  • If pregnant with one child, the end of the 36th week
  • If you are carrying more than one child, the end of the 32nd week.

It is recommended that you bring a letter or statement from your doctor

  • Whether you are having a single or numerous pregnancies.
  • When you delivery is due
  • Given that you don’t need any medical attention while traveling, the letter should be as near to your departure date as feasible and should cover your entire trip (both ways).
  • It is not required that you fill out the medical form.

What are the things to keep in mind when traveling with medicines, medical supplies, or medical equipment?

Here are a few important things to keep in mind – 

  • Pack all your medications and medical equipment in your carry-on luggage, as opposed to checked luggage. 
  • If you are carrying prescription medications or medical equipment, it is advisable to carry a doctor’s note or prescription. 
  • At the airport security, you may be required to undergo additional screening procedures for carrying medications or medical equipment. Inform the security personnel beforehand and be prepared to provide them with the necessary documents or explanations. 
  • If you are traveling internationally, check with your destination country’s customs and immigration regulations regarding the medications or medical equipment you are carrying. 
  • If you need to bring bags of necessary medical supplies that will exceed your hold baggage restriction, up to two extra bags (of 23kg each) can be authorized. Please be sure to include a formal medical letter with the following information that is signed and dated by your own physician:
  • Your name, flight details, and booking reference information.
  • A list of the medications and supplies for medical purposes that must be brought with you.
  • Approximately how much weight or how many objects must be carried.
  • The name and contact information of your doctor or other healthcare provider.

Under what circumstances, do I need to take a medical clearance before I fly? – Prior to flying, you may need a medical clearance for certain medical issues, such as:

  • Recent hospitalization, injury, disease, or surgeries
  • Existing unsteady medical condition
  • Requirement for more oxygen or usage of any onboard medical equipment
  • Traveling for therapy or medical purposes.

How do you obtain medical clearance when flying with British Airways? – All you need to do is –

If you are fit to fly, the BA’s Passenger Medical Clearance Unit (PMCU) can give you advice. Medical forms must be submitted to the medical clearance team at least 7 days before travel.

Note – If you’re traveling with a Portable Oxygen Cylinder (POC) that is within 5 kg, you must download and complete this form. 

Passenger Medical Clearance Unit (PMCU) – Passengers with medical conditions need to go through an evaluation before travel. 

Here is the overview of the British Airways special assistance contact number

Contact InformationOffice Hours
Phone: +44 (0) 20 8738 5444Monday to Friday – 08:00 to 16:00
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8738 9644Closed on Weekends and Holidays
Email: [email protected]

What medical equipment I can take on the flight – As per British Airways baggage policy, you can take the following medical devices either as checked baggage or carry-on baggage, or both. 

Medical EquipmentNotes
Asthma inhalersAllowed in hand or checked baggage.
CPAP machinesAllowed as extra hand baggage or checked baggage without charge. For more details, visit British Airways official.
Gas cylinders for mechanical limbsAllowed in hand or checked baggage.
Epipens and hypodermic needlesAllowed in hand or checked baggage with doctor’s note/prescription.
Liquid medicationAllowed in hand or checked baggage with doctor’s note/prescription.
NebulisersBattery-operated nebulisers allowed on board
Oxygen cylindersPersonal medical oxygen or air cylinders allowed with medical clearance.
Portable dialysis machinesAllowed in hand or checked baggage free of charge
Portable medical electronic devices with lithium batteriesUp to two spares in hand baggage.
Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC)Allowed in hand baggage with FAA approval.
Radioisotopic cardiac pacemakers and radiopharmaceuticalsCannot be carried separately in hand or checked baggage.
Tablets and capsulesAllowed in hand or checked baggage with doctor’s note/prescription.

To know about the specific medical condition, visit British Airways Medical Condition and Pregnancy Informaion.

How do I request the British Airways Special Assistance program?

If you require British Airways special assistance, you can request the type of service you require at least 48 hours before the flight departure. 

  • When booking your flight, you can indicate that you require special assistance by selecting the appropriate option by logging in to the Manage Booking section. 
  • Choose “Manage My Booking” from the blue menu bar at the bottom of the page, then “Request assistance.” 
  • You will be asked to provide details about the type of assistance you require, such as wheelchair assistance, mobility assistance, or assistance with medical equipment.
  • On the day of your flight, make sure to arrive at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure for international flights and 2 hours for short-haul flights. 

How do I contact British Airways for special assistance? – You can contact British Airways for special assistance in the following ways:

  • By phone – You can call the British Airways Gatwick special assistance team at +44 (0) 203 250 0145 (British Airways Special Assistance phone number). The team is available 24/7 to assist with your queries and requirements.
  • Online – You can request special assistance by visiting the British Airways website and filling out their online form. You will need to provide details of your requirements and your flight details.
  • Email – You can also email the special assistance British Airways team at [email protected] with your requirements and flight details.
  • In person – If you are at the airport, you can speak to a member of staff at the British Airways special assistance Heathrow desk, which is located in the terminal.

When contacting British Airways for special assistance, it is important to provide as much detail as possible about your requirements so that they can provide the appropriate level of assistance.

Can I bring my guide dog on board a British Airways flight?

British Airways allows trained guide dogs to travel in the cabin with their owners free of charge. However, it is important to inform the airline in advance so that they can make the necessary arrangements. 

Booking Your Service Dog

  • Unfortunately, you cannot book the service dog online as we require additional information to confirm their travel. 
  • If you’ve already booked your flight and wish to travel with your service dog, contact the airlines at least 48 hours before your travel date to add them to your booking.

Traveling to the UK

  • Passengers need to comply with the UK entry regulations and get approval from the UK animal reception center at least 72 hours before their flight.

Traveling to or from the US –

British Airlines disability assistance service must be provided if – 

  • Complete the U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form
  • For flights over eight hours, complete the U.S. DOT Relief Attestation Form.
  • Email both forms to our accessibility team at least 48 hours before your flight. 
  • Ensure your service dog has received appropriate training to behave in public and to assist you with your disability. 

How to contact – To book or consult regarding the service anil, here is the overview – 

Contact MethodAvailabilityDetails
PhoneMon-Sat, 09:00-17:00 (GMT)0800 408 1100
EmailAnytimeSelect ‘request to carry a service dog’ from topic options

To know more, read the British Airways pet policy.

By providing a wide range of services and understanding individual needs, British Airways strives to make air travel accessible to all, irrespective of their abilities or special requirements.

Whether it’s British Airways wheelchair assistance, support for autism, or general accessibility, British Airways goes the extra mile to ensure a seamless journey for every traveler.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is special assistance on


For passengers who require assistance getting to and from the aircraft, British Airways offers a range of services, including lifts, ramps, and special vehicles.

What assistance does British Airways offer for passengers with visual impairments?

British Airways offers various types of assistance for passengers with visual impairments, including guide dogs, visual and hearing aids, wheelchair assistance, and more.

How do I request assistance as a visually impaired passenger on British Airways?

You can request special assistance with British Airways at the time of booking or up to 48 hours before your flight by contacting the British Airways Accessibility Team.

Does British Airways provide special seating for visually impaired passengers?

British Airways does not provide special seating for visually impaired passengers. However, the airline does offer assistance with boarding and disembarking, and staff members can assist passengers in finding their seats.

Can visually impaired passengers travel alone on British Airways flights?

Yes, visually impaired passengers can travel alone on British Airways flights. The airline offers a special assistance service for unaccompanied passengers, which includes assistance with check-in, boarding, and disembarking.

Does British Airways provide audio announcements on flights for visually impaired passengers?

Yes. Additionally, the airline offers in-flight entertainment with audio descriptions for visually impaired passengers.

Does British Airways offer braille menus on flights?

British Airways does not offer braille menus on flights. However, the airline can provide assistance in selecting meals and can provide information on ingredients and allergens upon request.

How does British Airways ensure the safety of visually impaired passengers during an emergency?

British Airways provides special safety briefings for visually impaired passengers, including audio descriptions and tactile diagrams. Additionally, staff members are trained to assist visually impaired passengers during an emergency evacuation.

Does British Airways offer any special assistance for passengers with hearing impairments?

British Airways offers a range of special assistance services for passengers with hearing impairments, including sign language interpretation, text messaging, and visual alerts.

How can I request special assistance for my hearing impairment when booking a British Airways flight?

You can request British Airways special assistance for your hearing impairment when you book your flight online. After you book your flights simply navigate to the British Airways manage booking section. You will need to provide details about your specific needs, such as whether you require sign language interpretation or visual alerts.

Can I bring my hearing aid or cochlear implant on board a British Airways flight?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your hearing aid or cochlear implant on board a British Airways flight, and you can wear them throughout the flight.

Can I request a special seat assignment on a British Airways flight if I have a hearing impairment?

Yes, British Airways offers special seat assignments for passengers with hearing impairments, such as seats near the front of the cabin or near the emergency exits.

Does British Airways offer captioning or subtitles for in-flight entertainment for passengers with hearing impairments?

Yes, British Airways offers captioning or subtitles for select in-flight entertainment options for passengers with hearing impairments. You can request this service from the flight attendants once you are on board.

How do I request special assistance at the airport?

On the day of your flight, arrive at the airport well in advance of your departure time and proceed to the British Airways check-in desk. Inform the check-in staff of your need for special assistance.

Is special assistance at the airport free?

British Airways provides special assistance to passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility free of charge.

How do I book a flight with DPNA code?

To book a flight with the DPNA code, you will need to contact British Airways directly and inform them of your requirements. You may need to provide documentation or medical certification to confirm your eligibility for the DPNA code.

What does DPNA mean on a boarding pass?

When the DPNA code is included on a boarding pass, it indicates that the passenger has requested special assistance, such as wheelchair assistance, assistance with boarding and disembarking, or additional support during the flight.

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