Disability Assistance | Alicante Airport
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Disability Assistance at Alicante Airport

Alicante Airport is dedicated to providing disability assistance and accessible travel for passengers with reduced mobility. In a variety of places throughout the airport you will see signs saying “Sin Barreras”. These indicate the help points for passengers that need assistance.

Who Can Get Assistance

Passengers who are experiencing a permanent or temporary limitation in mobility, or other disability that would make it difficult to navigate the airport and board the plane unaided. If you are unsure whether you will need assistance, do consider the fact that you will have to walk a fair distance through the airport’s long corridors. Therefore, if you have walking difficulties, you may find it easier to use an airport transporter or wheelchair which can be arranged by your airline in advance.

Requesting Disability Assistance

If you need disability assistance, it is important that you inform your airline as soon as possible – ideally at the time of booking – and a minumium of 48 hours before your scheduled flight. Additionally, you can contact Alicante Airport under the following link: https://www.aena.es/pmr/tus-datos

It is essential to give clear information of all your needs to ensure that things run smoothly during your journey. Your airline will send the details of your required disability assistance to the airport. The airport assistance staff will be prepared to meet you and take you to the aircraft, providing equipment where necessary.

How to book assistance with your airline

These days, the majority of people book their flights online. At the end of you online booking process and and before you finalise your booking, you will find a section or button called something along the lines of “passenger assistance/special needs/ access requirements”. Clicking on this will open the section where by you can give details of the assistance needed. This is usually done by ticking boxes describing the help that is required.

Disability Assistance Meeting Points at Alicante Airport

A key feature of the assistance given to disabled passengers is the set of meeting points, which are signposted ‘Sin Barreras’. Each meeting point is equipped with an intercom, where you can contact the assistance team. However, please remember that you will need to book the service at least 48 hours in advance. The meeting points are clearly signposted inside the main terminal building at Alicante Airport and also just outside. The several meeting points are strategically placed around Alicante Airport.  These are mainly found in the departures area but also the arrivals forecourt and the vehicle parking area.

Meeting point locations

1 Terminal forecourt (Floor -2)

2. Arrivals terminal forecourt (Floor 0)

3. Departures terminal forecourt (Floor 2)

4. Departure hall (Floor 2)

5. Boarding area (Floor 2)

Assistance provided by the airport’s reduced mobility team:

  • Meet and accompany the passenger to and from the meeting point
  • Help with hand luggage
  • Take you a to the check-in desk and assisting
  • Accompany you through the security check-point and customs
  • Assist with boarding and disembarking

Hidden Disabilities

In April 2023, the airport operator AENA launched a new initiative for people with hidden disabilities. These can include a range of conditions like ASD, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities and many more.

Passengers with this type of disability may be physically fit to navigate the airport without the need for the Sin Barreras service. However, they might find the busy environment difficult to cope with and need a bit of extra time and an understanding attitude from airport staff when proceeding through the airport.

For this purpose, the airport operator has devised an “invisible disabilities badge“, with an icon as shown below. Passengers with a hidden disability or their travel companions can apply for this prior to their planned journey. The badge lets the airport staff know that the passenger may need some additional support or time, without the need for further explanations.

The badge can be requested via the AENA website. You can access the page by clicking on the badge icon below.

The badge is single-use: it is only valid on the date of your flight and at the specific airport, you are flying to or from.

Please also remember that the badge does not entitle you to use the Sin Barreras service. If this service is needed, it has to be requested separately (please see above).

Flying with Reduced Mobility

Getting on the Aeroplane

If your plane is not connected by an airbridge and you are unable to climb the stairs to the aircraft, you will be able to use the mobile lift for passengers with reduced mobility.

Airplane seating

The airline will in most cases select an appropriate seat without charge, depending on your required assistance. The selected seats will be chosen near the toilets and next to any passengers travelling with you. The seat selected will have armrests that lift out of the way to aid easy access.

Airplane toilets

Unfortunately, aeroplane toilets are often a challenge and even unusable for some passengers with a disability.
If you are able to use the onboard toilets, then the cabin crew can offer some help to push the onboard wheelchair. However, cabin crew are not permitted to assist with the use of the toilet or to help lift passengers.

The on-board toilet compartment is very small and the on-board wheelchair can only be taken up to the toilet door as it won’t fit inside. All onboard toilets are fitted with rails and grab handles. The doors open outwards which helps the transition from wheelchair to grab handle inside the toilet compartment.

If the lack of access to a toilet for a long journey is a cause for concern, there are a range of continence solutions. You would need to discuss this ahead of time with your local health practitioner. Another option is a travelling companion (please see below), who will be able to assist in the use of the onboard toilets.

Wheelchair Users

Transporting your wheelchair

The airlines are required to transport your mobility equipment free of charge. For this to happen, you must inform the airline when you book, especially if you have a scooter or powered wheelchair with batteries.

Due to safety regulations, passengers are not allowed to take certain types of mobility equipment on board, Instead, this will be stored with luggage in the hold. Batteries also are required to be stored in the hold for security.

A manual folding wheelchair may be stored in the passenger cabin, depending on space. If you need to use a wheelchair on board, this has to be requested when booking.

Moving around the airport and boarding the aircraft

Depending on the situation, you may be able to stay in your own chair up until entry into the aircraft. However, if your wheelchair or scooter needs to be placed into the aircraft hold, you may need to swap it at the check-in desk for a wheelchair provided by the airport support staff.

The wheelchair swapping point can vary depending on the boarding method and facilities available for the particular gate at Alicante Airport. When it’s time to board the plane, you will need to transfer into an onboard chair or boarding chair. This is narrower than your own chair to ensure that it fits through the small airplane aisles.

Travelling Companions

Some people chose to fly with a travelling companion. This is usually a friend or a relative, who can provide help and assistance beyond what can be offered by the airline and airport staff. Travelling companions are required to be physically capable of assisting in an emergency and to be over 16 years old. You may be undecided about travelling with a companion to assist you on the flight. To help your decision-making, consider whether you are able to do the following activities unaided:

In a potential emergency, you will need to be able to

  • Use the seat belts yourself
  • Use the oxygen masks
  • Take the lifejacket from under the seat and put it on
  • Exit the aircraft by any means possible

If you are not able to do the activities above without assistance, please be aware that you will be travelling at your own risk.

Other Resources

The Queen Elizabeth Foundation in partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority has produced a video guide about air travel in a wheelchair, which covers everything, from the preparation and planning needed before the flight, procedures at the airport, boarding the aircraft, what to consider during the flight and disembarking.

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