Ethiopian Airlines: Rules and assistance offered to passengers with reduced mobility

Advance booking: Special assistance & wheelchairs for disabled passengers

In Africa and in other continents, there is a reference document for passengers with reduced mobility who take the plane. This is a regulation that since 2008 requires people with reduced mobility to have the right to assistance at airports and on board European planes, without any increase in the price of their plane ticket.

Neither Ethiopian Airlines nor any other operator can deny you a reservation or boarding because of your disability or degree of mobility. The only possible exceptions relate to possible safety issues, fixed by national or international regulations, or a technical impossibility such as the smallness of the aircraft. In terms of safety, airlines must also comply with Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 relating to flight operations. This regulation defines special categories of passengers including disabled people with reduced mobility.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has supplemented this regulation with assessment criteria that can be taken into account by airlines. Four criteria are included: the type of aircraft and its cabin configuration; the total number of passengers carried; the number of equipment (wheelchair, crutch or other medical equipment), which must not exceed the number of passengers able to assist them in the event of an evacuation; any other factor to be assessed by the airline and which may have an impact on the application of emergency procedures by the crew members.

Air carriers may have internal instructions which are specific to them but which are unknown to disabled passengers with reduced mobility. As regulations cannot be more prescriptive, there is still some vagueness on how to apply them, mainly linked to how to anticipate and process demand.

Fill out here your request for assistance service for passengers with reduced mobility

Ethiopian Airlines accepts different types of disabled travelers on board its planes, plane flying above the clouds? According to the classification in force in air transport, there are three types of disabled passengers traveling by air. These are classified according to the type of wheelchair necessary for their movement:

- Passenger with reduced disability, able to walk short distances and climb stairs. Their movements are ensured by wheelchair in the airport.
- Passenger with average disability able to walk short distances. Their movements are ensured in a wheelchair until they enter the plane.
- Passenger with significant disability, unable to walk. Their movements are ensured by wheelchair to the seat on the plane.

There are also other types of disability which are each governed by rights and duties.
Any air transport of a person with a disability or even simply sick requires prior agreement from the medical service of each air carrier, including Ethiopian Airlines.

When purchasing the plane ticket, an international form called MEDIF is given.

Part 1 of the document includes a declaration by the passenger authorizing a doctor by name to provide medical information on the state of health just before the trip.

Part 2 of the document is completed by the attending physician, hospital, etc. of the passenger. Communication is carried out under confidential cover

Other additional information can be requested during simple phone calls

If the passenger's condition allows it: possibility, a doctor may be provided to accompany the person concerned.
The airline doctor, if everything is validated, gives his agreement to the reservation service as well as to all the services concerned by this transport (stopovers for the departure and arrival of the flight, crew and technical teams, etc.)

For other cases: visually impaired, people with reduced mobility, people with hearing problems, ...: the agreement of the company's medical service is not required. To be on the safe side, it is better to inquire beforehand and report it in any case when booking the flight.

Sick or disabled people can obtain additional services:
- pre-boarding before the arrival of other passengers
- additional seat, stretchers, oxygen, provision of electrical outlets, ...
For information, all these requests should be made during the reservation, including the management of the wheelchair, if applicable during the trip.