Enabling air travel with oxygen in Europe

There is a gap between the rights of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility covered by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 and IATA resolution 700, and the reality that oxygen-dependent people encounter when travelling by air.

When medical (oxygen) services can’t be provided either on-board of the flight as well or on the ground (boarding and landing), it results in oxygen-dependent people being denied the right to travel. In addition, a large proportion of airlines still impose high fees for oxygen service, making it impossible for oxygen-dependent people to be able to travel freely.

As mentioned in the evaluation report of regulation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/200658, a key issue regarding the regulation is its lack of detail. This leaves too much scope for interpretation and variation in service provision.

We have identified key areas for change in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006. These will help to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility, and also MEDA passengers, are adequately respected. These recommendations for change are:

  • clarification of the definition of PRM (especially either it comprises MEDA passengers as well);

  • clarification of whether additional charges for supply of medical oxygen may be levied by airlines;

  • extension of the Regulation for airlines to carry medical equipment free of charge, as well as allow passengers to transport and use it in the cabin, when necessary for medical reasons;

  • extension of the Regulation for airports to publish PRMs rights related information;

  • extension of airports’ responsibility in medical assistance provision.