Special Assistance - General information

Your questions answered.

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Am I fit to fly?

Not sure whether you're fit to fly? You'll need to contact your doctor before you book. Flying can cause problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis for people with bronchial or circulatory problems - so it's best to double-check.

Broken bones
If you've broken your arm or leg, you can still travel with TUI as long as your plaster cast hasn't been fitted or changed less than 48 hours before your flight. If it has been fitted or changed during the 48 hours before, you'll need a fitness to fly letter from your doctor.

If you have full leg plaster, a fused knee or you can't bend your leg, you'll need to book 2 extra seats so you can sit sideways during the flight. Please give us a call to arrange this. You'll need a fitness to fly letter, too.

Infectious diseases
If you've been suffering from an infectious disease like chickenpox, you'll need to wait a certain period of time after you've recovered before you can travel. Speak to your doctor and to the airline to check how long this is. You'll also need a fitness to fly letter from your doctor.

Can I take an assistance dog?

A registered assistance dog can travel with you in the cabin if you're flying with TUI. Just so you know, your dog will need a Pet Passport - we'll need to see a copy of this before you travel - and you'll need to book a separate seat for it, at no extra charge. Give us a call on 01 6056500 and we'll call you back. Calls from ROI landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider. 

Flying with another airline?
If you're travelling with another airline, their policy may be different. Give us a call before you book so we can check for you.

Can I take my wheelchair?

You can take your wheelchair and one other mobility item free of charge on TUI flights, alongside your normal baggage allowance. However, you'll need to let us know at least 48 hours before you travel. You should make sure you've got insurance to cover its full value. We'll carry up to 2 pieces of mobility equipment needed for the journey, per person.

If you're taking a manual, collapsible wheelchair, you can arrange this through our Flight Extras website. For any other wheelchair type you'll need to contact our Special Assistance Team on 1850 946 164
so we can arrange for it to be carried.

If you're flying with another airline, give our Special Assistance team a call on 1850 946 164
and we'll contact them to see if your wheelchair will fit onboard. If you're not sure who you're flying with, take a look at "Which airline am I flying with?". 

Calls from ROI cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

Electric wheelchairs:
If you've got an electric wheelchair, you'll need to let our Special Assistance Team know so we can make the necessary arrangements. Please let us know the make and model of your wheelchair when you call, as well as it's dimensions, weight and battery type. Please also check your wheelchair will fit into the aircraft hold - you'll find the door measurements on our Special Assistance page.

It's essential that you call us on 1850 946 164
before you book to make sure we can carry your wheelchair - there's a limit on how many electric mobility aids we can take on each flight. If you've already booked your holiday and need to take a wheelchair, please call our Special Assistance Team on 1850 946 164. If you don't let us know before you book and we can't carry your wheelchair, you might need to pay extra to change your booking. Calls from ROI cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

Can I travel if I'm suffering from an infectious disease, like chickenpox?

Please see our Special Assistance page for information on infectious diseases.

Can I travel with a broken arm or leg?

If you've had a plaster cast fitted less than 48 hours before you're due to fly, your doctor will need to split the cast. It'll usually be split in two and supported with more bandages. This is to allow for any more swelling. You'll also need to bring a fitness to fly letter. 
 
If your plaster cast was fitted outside of 48 hours, you won't need a fitness to fly letter. That said, we'd recommend you speak to your doctor about any extra precautions you need to take whilst you're away. 

If you're unable to bend your leg:
If you have full leg plaster, a fused knee or you can't bend your leg, you'll need to book two extra seats so you can sit sideways during the flight. Please call our Special Assistance Team on 01 6056500
and we'll arrange it for you.  You'll need a fitness to fly letter too. 

Calls from ROI cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

Do I have to do anything to prepare for travel with my wheelchair or mobility aid?

Wheelchairs need to be stored in an upright position for the flight, and it's important the battery is securely attached to it.

The ways of stopping your wheelchair or mobility aid from moving by accident vary depending on the model and battery type:

Mobility aids with non-spillable or dry cell batteries, and those with lithium-ion batteries:


- Battery terminals must be protected from short circuits, for example enclosed in a battery container
- Battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid
- Electrical circuits must be isolated, so there's no chance of the device being operated by accident. If this isn't possible - and as a last resort - you'll need to disconnect the battery cables, and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent short circuits

 

Mobility aids with spillable wet-cell batteries:


- Battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid
- Electrical circuits must be isolated, so there's no chance of the device being operated by accident. If this isn't possible - and as a last resort - you'll need to disconnect the battery cables, and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent short circuits

If the wheelchair can't be stored in an upright position for the flight:


- Remove the battery, and store in strong, rigid packaging
- Protect the battery terminals against short-circuiting

Other things to think about:


Instruction manual - you'll need to bring the manufacturer's instructions for your mobility aid. If you don't have the details, visit the BHTA website where most makes and models are shown. If you can't find this information, you'll need to contact the manufacturer direct, or the shop where you bought it.
Insurance - we recommend your wheelchair is fully insured.

How can I get information in an accessible format?

If you need information in a different format, for example large print or braille, please contact our Special Assistance Team on 1850 946 164. 

Calls from ROI landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

How can I lessen the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when muscles are constricted and the return of blood from the legs to the heart is inhibited. This can lead to fluid collecting in the feet and to subsequent muscular aches and pains, a feeling of excess fatigue or very rarely, more serious complications even after your flight has ended.

What is my risk?

Some people are more likely to develope DVT than others. Here are some examples from current medical knowledge:

Those at minor risk:        

  • Aged over 40
  • Very tall, very short or obese
  • Previous or current leg swelling from any cause
  • Recent minor leg injury or minor body surgery
  • Extensive vericose veins


Those at moderate risk:

  • Recent heart disease
  • Pregnant or on any hormone medication, particularly the contraceptive pill and HRT
  • Recent major leg injury or leg surgery
  • Family history of DVT


Those at substantial risk:

  • Previous or current DVT
  • Known clotting tendency
  • Recent major surgery or stroke
  • Current malignant disease or chemotherapy paralysed lower limb(s)


If you're concerned about your risk of suffering from DVT we strongly recommend you seek medical advice before booking.

These steps below may help to reduce your risk:

  • Drink plenty of water during the flight and avoid alcohol and caffeine during the flight (and before)
  • Take only short periods of sleep
  • Do not take sleeping pills
  • Avoid leg discomfort when seated by not crossing your legs
  • Walk around the cabin whenever you can
  • Carry out the simple in-flight exercises shown below and in our in-flight information
  • Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and shoes when travelling

Our main advice is to avoid being totally static throughout your flight this includes night flights.

I'm autistic or have learning difficulties, what help can you arrange for me?

There are lots of things we can do to help you on your journey, from sending photos of the airport processes to help you prepare, to arranging someone to help you through the airport. Just give us a call on 01 6056500 and we'll let you know what we can do. 

Calls from ROI landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

I am travelling alone, do I need a personal assistant?

You'll need a personal assistant to travel with you if you don't meet the UK Civil Aviation Authority's definition of being self-reliant. This means you need to be able to:

- Open your seat belt
- Leave your seat and reach an emergency exit without help
- Collect and fit a lifejacket
- Put on an oxygen mask without help
- Understand the safety briefing and instructions given by the crew in an emergency - including information provided in accessible formats

What's more you may want to think about travelling with a personal assistant if you need help with any of the following:

- Breathing - for example if you rely on supplementary oxygen
- Eating - although cabin crew can help you open containers
- Going to the toilet - cabin crew can help you move through the cabin in a wheelchair to reach the toilet, but you need to be able to use the facilities by yourself
- Taking medication - you'll need to be able to administer your own medication during the flight

Personal assistants:
If you need to travel with a personal assistant, you'll be sat in the seat next to them, as long as you have notified us in advance. Seats together in premium are more limited; please contact our Special Assistance team on 1850 946 164
to check availability before you book. That said, we can't guarantee that you'll be sat together with any other passengers you're travelling with. Personal assistants need to have their own ticket to travel, and unfortunately we can't offer discounted fares to them.
 
Calls from ROI cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.

I have a severe nut allergy, how do I inform the airline?

TUI UK is a nut-free airline by which we mean that our meals do not have nuts as an active ingredients and we don't sell any in the Buy on Board range and adhere to all British allergen legislation on board. 

Please call our Assisted Travel Team on 020 3451 2585 for further assistance. They'll also ask cabin crew to make an announcement to all passengers, asking them not to eat nuts.

Calls from UK landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.
 
Please bear in mind, however, that TUI cannot guarantee a nut-free environment. We also recommend you speak to the cabin crew when you board.

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