Special Assistance

FAQs

Find answers to our customers most common questions

Travel Tips

"Pack Essential items in your hand luggage where restictions allow. Such as essential medication, baby food, nappies and specific dietary items as we won't be able to provide these items during a tarmac delay."Customer Service Team

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Passengers with a Disability or Reduced Mobility or Medical Condition

Under European law, if you are disabled or have difficulty moving around, you can receive assistance when you fly. This free service is available to anyone with mobility problems, for example because of a disability, age or a temporary injury. To take full advantage of the service, you need to pre-book no less than 48 hours prior to your departure. If you advise us within 48 hours we will endeavour to provide assistance where possible.

This page on our website contains information and answers to questions you may have, please check the information below in full and if you would like to speak to someone about assistance you need, just contact us using the information shown below.


Who Should I Contact?

We recommend you contact us directly for further information regarding on board assistance. We will be pleased to answer any questions or queries that you may have regarding assistance.

Airline Flight code Contact numbers
THOMAS COOK TCX 0800 107 3409

Alternative Contact Details

For thomascookairlines.com bookings, please call 0844 879 8880, calls charged at 5.2 pence per minute. Please check with your service provider for any additional charges. thomascookairlines.com operating hours are Monday-Sunday 08:00 - 22.00.

If you have booked your holiday via an alternative Tour Operator and you are flying with Thomas Cook Airlines, we ask that you also to contact your Tour Operator to ensure they are aware of this information.

If you require any additional assistance at the airport, during your flight or on arrival, we request that you check with us before booking your flight to ensure the assistance can be arranged. This is because facilities and services vary from country to country and airport to airport. Please ensure you advise us no later than 48 hours prior to departure if you require additional assistance. If you advise us within 48 hours we will endeavour to provide assistance where possible.

Type of Assistance Available on Board an Aircraft

The assistance Airlines can provide to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility, includes the following:

  • Assistance moving to and from seats on the aircraft;
  • Providing use of the on-board wheelchair;
  • Helping a passenger to and from the on-board lavatory providing this does not involve lifting or carrying the passenger;
  • Assisting a passenger with their hand luggage on board the aircraft;

Airport Assistance (within the EU)

Airport operators within the EU have a responsibility to assist anyone with a disability or mobility difficulties during their time at the airport. This includes intellectual disability or impairment, age or any other cause of disability. The airports will signpost designated points for passengers with reduced mobility.


Airport Layout

To help plan your journey, we recommend visiting the airport website to find out information about airport layout and walking distances for each terminal. This may help determine the level of assistance you require.


Self Reliant Passengers and Carers

Many airlines can offer a comprehensive range of pre-bookable services designed to meet your specific needs. Just choose the service you require and contact us no later than 48 hours before your departure (services can be booked as early as the day your booking is made) to make your request. We'll take care of the rest.

In order to meet safety requirements, we may refuse to accept a reservation or ask that a carer travels with you.

Safety reasons may include the ability to evacuate the aircraft, fasten or unfasten the seat belt, activate emergency oxygen or life jackets.

A carer must travel with any passenger who does not meet the DFT (Department for Transport) code of practice definition of self reliance.

In establishing whether someone is "self-reliant" the DFT stipulate that the passenger should be independent in the following areas:

  1. Feeding - in most cases the passenger should be capable of feeding themselves. Cabin crew could still expect to assist with opening food containers and describing catering arrangements to blind people.
  2. Lifting - the passenger should be capable of moving from a passenger seat to an on-board wheelchair.
  3. Toileting - the passenger should be capable of using the toilet facilities unaided. Cabin crew can assist passengers to and from the toilet door with the onboard wheelchair, but cannot assist within the toilet for hygiene reasons.
  4. Communicating - the passenger should be able to communicate with cabin crew and understand their advice/instructions.
  5. Medicating - the passenger should be capable of administering their own medicines and medical procedures.
  6. Breathing - the passenger should not be reliant on supplementary oxygen.

If you are not self-reliant (capable of taking care of all your physical needs independently in-flight) a carer is required for travel to take care of these needs. The carer must purchase a ticket at the same time. A carer can travel with a maximum of 2 passengers requiring additional assistance as outlined above.


Emergency Exit Seats

Due to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations, any persons with reduced mobility or any physical disability or intellectual impairment cannot be allocated seats adjacent to the emergency exits.

Fitness to Fly Certificate

Some medical conditions require a fitness to fly certificate. If you consider yourself to have a condition that will require your G.P. to give authorisation for travel, please obtain a certificate from your G.P. stating you are fit to travel prior to contacting ourselves. If in doubt please contact us on the numbers shown above. If there is cause for concern or reasonable doubt as to whether a passenger is 'fit to fly' we may request medical support in order to make a fair assessment.


Mobility Assistance

Thomas Cook will carry up to two pieces of mobility equipment per person free of charge in the aircraft hold subject to capacity of the aircraft at the time of travel. If you are travelling with a Battery Powered Electric Mobility Aid, please call our dedicated Mobility Assistance line on TELEPHONE: 0800 107 3409


Motorised Mobility Aids

Battery powered mobility aids can only be carried when they are for use by a passenger whose mobility is restricted by their disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. a broken leg).

To assist us with the safe carriage of your wheelchair, please notify us at least 48 hours before you travel. To do this please call our dedicated Mobility Assistance line on TELEPHONE: 0800 107 3409

The type of wheelchair you have will determine how we are able to load your wheelchair on to the aircraft.

Before a mobility aid is loaded onto our aircraft, Thomas Cook Airlines must be satisfied that the mobility aid has been made safe in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions (see details below). If Thomas Cook Airlines cannot be satisfied or where it has been established that the mobility aid has not been made safe, Thomas Cook will refuse carriage of the mobility aid. In such circumstances Thomas Cook is not under obligation to render it safe.

There are other factors which could prevent the carriage of an electric mobility aid;

  1. The mobility aid dimensions exceed cargo door dimensions
  2. The tare (unladen) weight of the mobility aid exceeds the aircraft loading limitations after all possible load-spreading options have been considered
  3. Insufficient space being available on the aircraft at the time your booking is made
  4. Thomas Cook Airlines is not satisfied that the requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions have been met in relation to the safe carriage of the passenger's Mobility Aid

Thomas Cook Airlines has a fleet of various aircraft types. Thomas Cook Airlines can not guarantee the type of aircraft a passenger will be travelling on at the time of booking. However, the minimum hold dimensions are as follows:

Width Height Length
(m) (in) (m) (in) (m) (in)
1.499 59 1.194 47 1.643 64.7

Please note that certain aircraft types may have larger dimensions than those set out above and so if your mobility aid is larger than the above minimum dimensions then please contact us so that we can discuss your requirements.


Availability of Information on Specific Electric Mobility Aids

User guides of Electric Mobility Aids normally include the tare weight and dimensions. The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has compiled (in conjunction with its members) a log containing all of the information needed by an airport and airline to facilitate the safe carriage of many Mobility Aids. The log is published at the following address: www.bhta.net/bhta-advice/air-transportation.aspx

Thomas Cook requires the following information before you travel:

  1. Make and Model of the Electric Mobility Aid
  2. Type of battery
    • WCBD - Non Spillable Batteries
    • WCBW - Wet Cell Batteries - Spillable
    • WCLB - Lithium ion Batteries
  3. Number of batteries
  4. The TARE (un-laden) weight
  5. Dimensions (i.e. length x width x height)

Instructions for preventing inadvertent operation (see below for your specific battery type).


Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling

It is the responsibility of the airport operators to assist anyone with a disability during their time at the airport. Airlines must provide the airport with information in advance so that the appropriate service can be offered. To enable us to pass your request to them, please contact us as soon as possible with the details of your device. In accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are required to notify Thomas Cook, at least 48hrs prior to travel. To do this please call our dedicated Mobility Assistance line on TELEPHONE: 0800 107 3409


Mobility aids with NON SPILLABLE Batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid, the following must be completed by our airport representatives before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please inform us of the following:

  1. The battery terminals must be protected from short circuits - The battery terminals of current models of electric mobility aids tend to be protected from short circuit through the battery being fully encased and an integral part of the device. Batteries do not necessarily need to be disconnected because if this is not done correctly it could increase the risk of fire. On other models where the terminals are exposed it may be necessary to insulate battery terminals, e.g. with electrical insulating tape.
  2. Electrical circuits must be inhibited to prevent inadvertent operation - The means of inhibiting circuits to prevent the accidental activation of electric mobility aids vary. Some have a key which can be switched to the off position and removed. An aid which is only switched on and off with a push-button could be reactivated in flight by the inadvertent movement of baggage or cargo therefore, further steps are required to inhibit the circuits of such devices, for example disconnecting electric cable plugs or connectors, or inserting an inhibiting plug (such as an Airsafe plug) into the charging socket of the devices.
  3. Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair.
  4. Where the mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its non spillable battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. a collapsible device) - The battery must be removed, the terminal protected from short circuit and carried in strong rigid packaging in the aircraft hold. Thomas Cook will not provide the packaging. This must be provided by the passenger

Mobility aids with LITHIUM Batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid the following must be completed by our airport representatives before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please ensure the following:

  1. If the battery is to be detached from the wheelchair then the battery must not exceed 300 Wh, if the battery will remain connected to the wheelchair then there is no Watt Hour Maximum limit.
  2. A maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares each not exceeding 160Wh can be carried. Spare batteries must be carried in the passenger CABIN and you must ensure the circuits are protected from short circuit.
  3. That the battery terminals are protected from short circuits - The battery terminals of current models of electric mobility aids tend to be protected from short circuit through the battery being fully encased and an integral part of the device. Batteries do not necessarily need to be disconnected because if this is not done correctly it could increase the risk of fire. On other models where the terminals are exposed it may be necessary to insulate battery terminals, e.g. with electrical insulating tape.
  4. That electrical circuits are inhibited to prevent inadvertent operation. The means of inhibiting circuits to prevent the accidental activation of electric mobility aids vary. Some have a key which can be switched to the off position and removed. An aid which is only switched on and off with a push-button could be reactivated in flight by the inadvertent movement of baggage or cargo therefore, further steps are required to inhibit the circuits of such devices. For example disconnecting electric cable plugs or connectors, or inserting an inhibiting plug (such as the Airsafe plug) into the charging socket of the devices.
  5. Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair.
  6. Where a lithium battery powered mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. a collapsible device), the battery must be removed, the terminals protected from short circuit and carried in the aircraft CABIN.

Mobility aids with SPILLABLE Batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid the following must be completed by our airport representatives before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please ensure the following:

Provided that the Wheelchair / Mobility Aid can be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position then the battery may remain installed in the Wheelchair/ Mobility Aid. It must be verified that:

  1. The battery terminals are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container
  2. The battery is securely attached to the Wheelchair / Mobility Aid
  3. Electrical circuits have been isolated

IF the wheelchair or mobility aid cannot be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded in an upright position, the battery must be removed. The wheelchair or mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction. The removed battery must be carried in strong, rigid packaging as follows:

  1. Packaging must be leak-tight, and resistant to battery fluid
  2. Batteries must be protected against short circuits, secured upright in these packaging and surrounded by compatible absorbent material sufficient to absorb their total liquid contents
  3. The packaging must be marked "BATTERY, WET, WITH WHEELCHAIR" OR "BATTERY, WET, WITH MOBILITY AID" and be labelled with the "Corrosive" label and with the "Package Orientation" label

Thomas Cook Airlines is not responsible for packaging the battery. This must be carried out by a Cargo Shipping Company in accordance with the current Dangerous Goods Regulations. Passengers are recommended to make advance arrangements.

It is recommended to passengers that, batteries which are spillable should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps when feasible.


Assistance Dogs

Airlines are able to carry guide dogs free of charge on many routes, please contact us for full details.

For more information on Pet Travel Scheme you can call or make contact in the following ways:


Stretchers

Stretchers are not carried on-board Thomas Cook Airlines flights.


Oxygen

For safety reasons customers are not permitted to carry their own oxygen for use on-board.

Additional oxygen can be provided on flights with Thomas Cook Airlines (where the duration is less than 5 hours) at a charge of £100 each way. On Thomas Cook flights, only one customer can be carried per flight requiring additional oxygen, we therefore recommend that you call us prior to booking your holiday to discuss your requirements. This service must be booked at least 21 days prior to departure. For other airlines, please contact the airline directly.


Medication

Customers carrying syringes and/or needles must carry a doctor's note or a repeat prescription as confirmation of medical requirement. Please read the following important advice about travelling with medication.

  • We recommend that you carry enough medical supplies to cover use in-flight, plus sufficient for 2-3 days use upon arrival. The remainder should be packed in the hold, (the temperature of which is maintained between 4 and 5 degrees centigrade).
  • Have a letter from your GP confirming the name and type of medication being carried, with prescribed doses. The letter should state what the medication is for and any other medical items required. For example, syringes or EpiPens, that might otherwise be questioned by local security or customs.
  • The medication should be in its original packaging, clearly pharmaceutically labelled identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.
  • It is advisable to obtain a repeat prescription from your GP and take this with you when you travel abroad so that medication can be replaced in event of loss, damage or having insufficient supplies.
  • Please be aware that some medication may contain ingredients that are considered illegal in other countries. You are advised to check with the Embassy of the country you are going to.

Needles and syringes

The carriage of needles and syringes is permitted onboard for the treatment or control of medical conditions. However, you must also carry supporting documentation in the form of either:

  • A letter from your GP confirming the type of medication and what it is for. Or,
  • If you do not have a GP's letter, the medication must have a printed pharmaceutical label identifying it as prescribed and belonging to you.

A "sharps" box to dispose of needles safely and hygienically is available onboard - please ask the crew.


Keeping medication cold

The onboard fridge cannot be used to keep medication cold, (for example, insulin used for diabetes). However, you may bring a cool bag with you.


Liquid medication in hand luggage

The amount of liquid medication you are permitted to take in your hand luggage is subject to current security advice. Please visit the Department for Transport website for the latest information: www.dft.gov.uk


Hearing Impaired

If you are hearing impaired and require assistance, please contact us (see the 'Who should I contact' section above).

If required, an escort can be provided to and from the aircraft. Airlines offer separate briefing or subtitled in flight safety video about safety procedures for deaf and hard of hearing customers on-board. If you are hearing impaired, please contact us so that we can make the necessary arrangements.


Visually Impaired

If you are blind or visually impaired and are unable to travel without assistance you will need to travel with a carer who must purchase a seat. The assistance that we offer visually impaired passengers can include an escort to and from the aircraft, individual safety briefings and assistance during the flight. Also, Braille cards are available on some flights on request.


Expectant Mothers

Expectant mothers will be accepted without a medical certificate up to the end of the 27th week of pregnancy.

Between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy a medical certificate will be required. This must confirm the expected date of delivery and confirm fitness to fly (doctors letter must have been written no earlier than 6 weeks before the outbound date of travel).

Expectant mothers will not be accepted under any circumstance from 34th week.

In the case of a multiple pregnancy the pregnancy should not be beyond the 32nd week at the time of the return inbound flight.

All pregnant women are required to provide a letter to state both mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel.


Miscarriage

Passengers who have had a recent miscarriage may fly provided that they have had no bleeding or pain for at least 24 hours prior to the date of travel. A letter should be obtained from the passenger's doctor confirming this.


Broken Limbs

Any plaster cast must have been set in place for over 48 hours for legs and 24 hours for arms. In the case of a full leg plaster, where the leg cannot be bent, 2 additional seats must be purchased.


Seating

Dependant on the person's level of the mobility, assistance seating (that is, a seat with a moveable aisle armrest) may be used or alternatively a fixed armrest seat will be used if this is sufficient. We will endeavour to ensure that any accompanying person is seated next to the person requiring assistance.


Seat Width

The seat widths on Thomas Cook Airlines aircraft vary from 16.25 to 18 inches depending on aircraft type or grade of seat purchased. We realise that some larger customers, due to their size, often find that aircraft seat width is insufficient for their needs. For your own safety and comfort and that of other customers, you must contact us before booking if you know or are unsure as to whether the seat size on the aircraft will be sufficient for your needs. If you do require additional space, then subject to availability, you can purchase more than one seat located side by side or if you prefer, a wider seat in an upgraded class (where applicable). We regret however, that due to additional costs incurred, you will have to pay the full cost of all seats required by you, plus any upgrade supplement per seat.