Special Assistance

Mobility aids & manual wheelchairs

We can transport prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids free of charge. Sight and hearing impaired passengers are also welcome to bring their service dogs into the cabin.

Motorised mobility aids

Battery powered mobility aids can only be carried when they are for use by a customer whose mobility is restricted by their disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. a broken leg). To support the safe carriage of your wheelchair, please notify us at least 48 hours before you travel. The type of wheelchair you have will determine how we are able to load it onto 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 hasn’t been made safe, Thomas Cook will refuse carriage of the mobility aid. In such circumstances Thomas Cook is not under obligation to make it safe.

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

  • The mobility aid dimensions exceed cargo door dimensions
  • The tare (unladen) weight of the mobility aid exceeds the aircraft loading limitations after all possible load-spreading options have been considered
  • Insufficient space being available on the aircraft at the time your booking is made
  • 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 customer’s Mobility Aid
  • Thomas Cook Airlines has a fleet of various aircraft types. Thomas Cook Airlines can’t guarantee the type of aircraft a customer will be travelling on at the time of booking. However, the minimum hold dimensions are as follows: 

    Width: 1.5 m/59 in
    Height: 1.2 m/47 in
    Length: 1.6 m/64 in

    Please note that certain aircraft types may have larger dimensions than those shown above so if your mobility aid is larger than these 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 

Thomas Cook needs the following information before you travel:

  • Make and Model of the Electric Mobility Aid
  • Type of battery:
  • WCBD - Non Spillable Batteries
  • WCBW - Wet Cell Batteries - Spillable
  • WCLB - Lithium ion Batteries
  • Number of batteries
  • The TARE (un-laden) weight
  • 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’s 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:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair
  • 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 customer

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:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair
  • 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:

  • The battery terminals are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container
  • The battery is securely attached to the Wheelchair / Mobility Aid
  • 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:

  • Packaging must be leak-tight, and resistant to battery fluid
  • 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
  • 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. Customers are recommended to make advance arrangements.

We recommend all customers that batteries which are spillable should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps whenever possible.

Insurance

If customers are concerned at check-in about insurance for equipment, Thomas Cook Airlines check-in desks are able to offer additional insurance to cover higher value items (charges apply).

Requesting a wheelchair or buggy

Wheelchair assistance to cover distances in the airport, or assistance with an ambulift to avoid stairs on/off an aircraft can be provided free of charge.

We can provide you with an on-board wheelchair** free of charge on all of our flights. These can be reserved until up to two business days (48 hours) prior to departure.

Hiring equipment in resort

Thomas Cook do not have a contract to hire equipment in resort. If you require this service it must be arranged privately.

Walking sticks and other mobility aids

Walking sticks and crutches can be carried on board our aircraft. This will not count as hand luggage so will not count towards your standard 6 kg allowance. If you are taking a rollator, zimmer frame, or any other mobility aid these can be carried free of charge in the hold of the aircraft (the same procedure as a wheelchair). The mobility aid can be checked in and airport staff will assist you and your medical companion to the aircraft. Alternatively, you can keep your mobility equipment with you until the departure gate where it will then be taken and put into the hold and safely stored.

Requesting assistance

For special assistance enquiries, please contact us using the following details:
If you or any member of your party are taking mobility equipment, you can provide details online via our Online-request form.

If you or any member of your party require special assistance, please contact us at least 48 hours before departure free on: 0800 107 3409. Our opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 08:00 – 20:00.
We would recommend that if you are travelling within the next 5 days that you contact our Special Assistance team by way of telephone to discuss your requirements. We can’t be held responsible if you don’t tell us about special requirements that will affect your holiday experience. If you don’t tell us then we won’t compensate you.

** Not available on Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium flights (carrier code HQ)