Assistance service for disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility at airports
The assistance service for disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility at airports will be transferred as of 26 July 2008 from airlines to the airports and will be more comprehensive. The smoothest assistance service will be achieved if passengers requiring assistance give advance notice to the airline or travel agency when booking the trip (48 hours before the flight), and explain at the same time in more detail about the help that is required.
The background to the change is an EU regulation that aims to improve and harmonise the service at all EU airports. The assistance service provided at airports is intended for passengers whose mobility is restricted due to a physical disability or handicap, for passengers with impaired vision and hearing, for elderly passengers, for those with temporarily reduced mobility and for everyone who requires special help.
Finavia will acquire most of the assistance services for its airports from external service providers; the service will be provided at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport by Lassila & Tikanoja.
Assistance service in practice
Departing passengers report at the check-in or the airport's pick-up point, which is marked with the international disabled sign. A trained assistant will come and assist the departing passenger or transit passenger at the check-in, security check and the gate area until the passenger gets into the seat of the aircraft. The service chain for arriving passengers ends at the departure point for the connection.
There are five call points at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, which are located, for example, close to disabled car parking spaces, public transportation and taxi ranks. Passengers can use the call points to speak to the assistance service provider.
Finavia is obtaining stair climbers for all its airports, wheelchairs for the terminals and other equipment to facilitate giving assistance, such as hoisting belts. In addition, Helsinki-Vantaa will be getting its own bus for disabled passengers for transporting passengers to and from the apron.
Disabled persons and passengers with reduced mobility are protected from discrimination and, from 26 July 2008, can rely on appropriate assistance (under certain conditions) to help them through all EU airports.
Quality standard for assistance to persons with reduced mobility at Finavia's airports
Assistance on departure can only be guaranteed if the passenger presents themselves
- at least one hour before the scheduled departure of their plane at the check-in deskl, and
- at least two hours before their plane is due to take off if the passenger present themselves at one of the pick-up points.
Pre-booked assistance, departure
80% of passengers must not wait longer than 10 minutes for assistance
90% must not wait longer than 20 minutes
100% must not wait longer than 30 minutes
Assistance without pre-notification, departure
80% of passengers must not wait longer than 25 minutes
90% must not wait longer than 35 minutes
100% must not wait longer than 45 minutes
Pre-booked assistance, arrival
80% must not need to wait longer than 5 minutes
90% must not need to wait longer than 10 minutes
100% must not need to wait longer than 20 minutes
Assistance without pre-notification, arrival
80% must not need to wait longer than 15 minutes
90% must not need to wait longer than 25 minutes
100% must not need to wait longer than 35 minutes
If a passenger is dissatisfied and wishes to complain about the assistance, the passenger
must write a report about the event and send it to the operating air carrier or to Finavia: email@example.com. If you are not satisfied with the response then you may want to consider taking up with the Civil Aviation Authority.
Finnish Civil Aviation Authority: Rights of disabled persons when travelling by air