Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (hereinafter referred to as “Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006”) establishes rules for the protection of and provision of assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility travelling by air (hereinafter referred to as “PRM passengers”), to protect them against discrimination and to ensure that they receive assistance.
Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, an air carrier shall not refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a reservation or to embark PRM passengers. However, there are exceptions to this rule in order to meet applicable safety requirements, or if the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of PRM passengers physically impossible. For the same reasons, the air carrier may require PRM passengers to be accompanied by another person who is capable of providing them with the required assistance.
When the air carrier exercises any of the above-mentioned exceptions, it shall immediately inform the PRM passengers of the reasons. On request, the air carrier is obliged to communicate these reasons in writing to the PRM passengers, within five working days of such request.
PRM passengers are also entitled to receive assistance at the airports (on departure, arrival and during transit) and when boarding an aircraft, without additional charge. The airport operator shall be responsible for ensuring the provision of the assistance.
PRM passengers are advised to familiarise themselves with the scope of services and potential restrictions in advance. It is also recommended that PRM passengers inform their ticket seller, air carrier and/or respective airport operator of their particular requirements at least 48 hours before the scheduled departure, especially if they plan to travel with an electronic wheelchair, an assistance dog or if they need additional oxygen on board the aircraft.
PRM passengers are encouraged to raise their suspicion of infringement of their rights according to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 by lodging a complaint at the national enforcement body. Such complaint should, however, only be lodged after they unsuccessfully complained directly to the air carrier or airport operator. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as “CAA”) is the designated national enforcement body with regards to complaints concerning assistance at the airports situated in the Czech Republic and complaints against the air carriers with the operating licence issued in the Czech Republic. The claims can be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com or post stating the address: Civil Aviation Authority, K letisti 1149/23 160 08 Prague 6, the Czech Republic.
The complaint handling procedure includes the following steps. Upon receipt of the complaint, the CAA assesses its admissibility and eventually requests a statement of the air carrier / airport operator that should be provided within a specified time frame. The CAA subsequently assess the statement altogether with all information and documents available to it and decides either on the closure of the case where no infringement was found or on commencement of an administrative procedure in case of reasonable suspicion of a violation of Regulation (EC) No 1107 and the Act on Civil Aviation. All the steps and conclusions of the CAA will be duly communicated to the PRM passengers.