How to travel by air with a wheelchair

Everything you need to know about air travel with a wheelchair. Assistance for passengers with reduced mobility is now offered at all Spanish AENA airports.

This ensures that everyone can enjoy air travel regardless of their disability or mobility problem.

Travelling by air with a wheelchair

Although it may seem complicated, airports and airlines are fully prepared to receive and attend to passengers with wheelchairs.

Basically, you have to plan your flight in advance and inform them of the need for a special service at no extra cost.

Requesting the service at Malaga airport

Malaga-Costa del Sol airport handled more than 179,000 passengers with reduced mobility in the year before the pandemic.

Personalised service point at Malaga airport
Personalised service point at Malaga airport

Malaga-Costa del Sol airport is also a pioneer in providing assistance to passengers with non-visible disabilities (such as autism, Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders and illnesses) to facilitate their passage through the facilities.

Inside and outside Malaga airport there are 15 meeting points, as well as 3 personalised attention points.

Meeting point for disabled outside Malaga airport. Photo Europapress
Meeting point outside Malaga airport. Photo Europapress

In general, assistance should be requested through the airline or travel agency at the time of booking. Airlines use internationally recognised codes to identify the level of assistance required in each case.

For the assistance you need “on the ground”, you can book through the AENA website at this link, through the Aena Information and Assistance Service (91 321 10 00/902 404 704) or through the Aena application for mobile devices.

How to check in a wheelchair

Please note the following when checking in.

  • There is no charge for transporting your wheelchair and accessories.
  • Check the conditions of your airline regarding the weight limit, measurements and type of battery you can travel with. If the wheelchair is electric, it is very important to know what type of battery it uses.
  • It is essential to be at the check-in desk at least 2 hours before the departure of the flight.
  • Passengers with checked electric wheelchairs will be provided with an additional manual wheelchair for their mobility in the airport and boarding area. Your wheelchair will be transported in the hold of the aircraft and can be collected from the baggage reclaim area on arrival at your destination.
air travel with wheel chair
AENA staff escorting passengers through the security filter

Tips & recommendations

Food & Bathroom

In general, the airline cannot help you with food, getting up, medication or toileting. To be helped with all these things, you have to bring a companion with you.

Although we have found airlines that do accompany passengers with reduced mobility to the toilet, this is not true for all airlines.

It is therefore important to go to the toilet before boarding the plane, as using the aircraft toilets can be very cumbersome. Also bear in mind that you are the first to board and the last to disembark.

Wheelchair on the plane

Depending on the wheelchair you use, you may have chosen not to check it in, but to take it to the boarding gate. There, you will be transferred to an aisle chair to make the journey to your assigned seat on the aircraft.

You can request that the wheelchair be delivered to the aircraft door on arrival, and not on the baggage belt, if you prefer to minimise possible damage.

How to claim a damaged wheelchair?

It is always possible that objects travelling in the hold may be damaged.

If this happens, the airline is obliged to provide another wheelchair while the damaged one is being replaced. In addition, the airline must bear the costs involved.

However, if you want to travel with more peace of mind, it is a good idea to have your wheelchair insured.

Transport from Malaga airport

When you arrive in Malaga, you can count on our excellent transfer service to any point on the Costa del Sol and Andalusia.

We have a large fleet, including large vehicles that are ideal for transporting several passengers, luggage and wheelchairs.

Transfers Malaga Airport
One of our Minibuses

Beaches on the Costa del Sol with access for people with reduced mobility

And now your well-deserved holiday on the Costa del Sol begins!

In this article we have focused on how to travel by plane with a wheelchair. However, we think it is a good incentive to make your mouth water, to know more about the beaches where you can “disembark on the beachfront”.

Malaga beach access for disabled
Many of the most central beaches in each city have access for disabled people. Photo Diariosur

Many of the most central beaches in each city have disabled access.

And not only that. Some also have special equipment such as amphibious vehicles to take them to the sea.

All the beaches on the Costa del Sol with access for people with reduced mobility, here.

amphibious vehicles beach Fuengirola
Some beaches, like in Fuengirola, also have special equipment such as amphibious vehicles.
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