Alicante Airport is dedicated to providing disability assistance for passengers with reduced mobility throughout its facilities.
Having reduced or limited mobility need not restrict your freedom to fly. With good planning and a little assistance along the way, you can take advantage of travelling by air.
All European airports are obliged to provide services to disabled passengers. The acronym to look out for is “PRM” which refers to Passengers with Reduced Mobility. In Alicante Airport you will see signs saying “Sin Barreras” which indicates help points for passengers that need assistance.
If you need assistance you should inform your airline at least 48 hours before your scheduled flight, however, we would recommend providing your airline with as much notice as possible. Requesting assistance with less than 48 hours before your flight means they cannot guarantee the assistance service for you.
The best way to arrange assistance is at the time of booking. It is essential to give clear details of all your needs so things run smoothly during your journey. There are many long corridors at Alicante Airport so it is best to be accurate about how far you can walk.
Your airline will send the details of your required assistance to the airport. The airport assistance providers will be prepared to meet you and take you to the aircraft providing equipment where necessary.
You may usually be independent but travelling by air may mean you need a little extra help. If you have walking difficulties, it may be better to use an airport transporter or wheelchair which can be arranged by your airline in advance.
With most airline’s online booking forms you will need to select your flights and fill in the requested details.
During the booking process and before you finalize your booking you will find a section or button called something similar to – Passenger assistance/special needs/ access requirements.
This will then open the section where by you can give details of the assistance needed. This is usually done by ticking boxes describing the assistance needed.
The airlines are required to transport your mobility equipment without 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 won’t be allowed to take certain types of mobility equipment on board but this will be stored with luggage in the hold. Batteries also are required to be stored in the hold for security.
However a folding wheelchair may be stored, depending on space, in the passenger cabin. If you need to use a wheelchair on board it has to be requested when booking.
Boarding the Aircraft
Usually you will stay in your own wheelchair up until you are about to enter the aircraft. From this point passengers will be transferred into an onboard chair or boarding chair.
You may have to change wheelchairs at the check-in desk or at one of the meeting points at Alicante Airport. This is if your wheelchair needs to be stored in the aircraft hold which usually applies to battery powered vehicles.
The wheelchair swapping point can also vary depending on the boarding method and facilities available for the particular gate at Alicante Airport.
If the boarding gate is connected to the aircraft with an air-bridge you will most likely stay in your wheelchair until the aircraft door.
Sometimes at Alicante Airport the aircraft parks away from the departing module. Passengers will either be directed to use a bus or a walkway to get to the airplane. There will be a set of stairs or a mobile lift for passengers with reduced mobility.
In this instance wheelchair uses will be transferred onto a boarding wheelchair either at the boarding gate or at the vehicle waiting to take them to the aeroplane or on the ground outside the aircraft.
Toilets on board the aircraft
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. There are however rails/grab handles in all the on-board toilets. 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 traveling companion who will be able to assist in the use of the onboard toilets.
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 which aids easy access.
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. If you can do the following activities on your own it may help you decide.
In a potential emergency be able to –
If you have decided you need a travelling companion you should plan in advance to have someone travelling with you. If you are not able to do the activities above without assistance you may be disappointed and will be travelling at your own risk.
A key feature of the assistance given to disabled passengers is the set of meeting points, which are sign posted ‘Sin Barreras’. Each meeting point is equipped with an intercom where you can contact the assistance team and receive the assistance which you have already booked. 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.
Once at a meeting point you may, depending on the type of wheelchair, be allowed to stay in your wheelchair up until entry into the aircraft. However if your wheelchair or scooter needs to be placed into the aircraft hold then you will need to swap it at the check-in desk for a wheelchair provided by the airport support staff.
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)