I regularly get questions about exactly how to request assistance for a flight.
In 2006 the European Commission drew up a regulation that states:
The regulation prohibits airlines from refusing bookings or boarding passengers on the basis of limited mobility or disability *.
Passengers should also be guaranteed free assistance on the basis of this Regulation to enable them to use air transport on an equal footing with other passengers.
Disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility: persons whose mobility in the use of transport is limited due to a physical (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary) disability, an intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or as a result of age, and whose situation requires that they receive appropriate attention and that the services provided to all passengers are adapted to them.
The responsibility for carrying out this assistance lies with the airports. At Schiphol and Brussels this assistance is in the hands of Axxicom. They arrange the physical handling of the assistance.
In order to qualify for this assistance it is very important to request the desired assistance in time, you do this at the airline or the travel agency. In the case of the disabled passenger with intellectual or developmental disability assistance assistance (DPNA) assistance, it is very important that you clearly state which assistance you require when making the application. Explain the situation well so that Axxicom knows what is asked of them.
An application must be known no later than 48 hours in advance.
If you can check in online. choose the seat plan for your seats. However, please note that this is not a 100% guarantee. There may be circumstances that need to be changed, for example by a plane switch. Then it is also important that the crew know that you are a DPNA passenger or are traveling with a DPNA passenger, you will avoid being disassembled.
The advantage of a DPNA application is that this will also appear on the so-called PIL, this is a passenger list that contains special requests. Because in autism there are often no external characteristics, it is important for the crew to know where the person is, the button is an aid. Recently a girl with Down Syndrome came by plane plane change. Because the stewardess noticed there was immediate action taken, in the case of autism this had been more difficult.
At the moment, KLM and Axxicom are working hard for Schiphol on various fronts to make the concept of DPNA known to staff, so this has to go better and prevent problems that sometimes occur.
If you are traveling and have checked in, you will go to the Axxicom counter in the departure hall (at least 2 hours in advance). You will report there and will be assigned an assistant who will take you to the plane. You can enter the gate at the gate first. On board there will not be anything to notice immediately, if everything goes well the crew does not have to do anything, unless you have indicated special wishes.
So for a moment:
1. You book your trip with a travel agency or airline company
2. You request DPNA assistance for the person concerned and clearly state what you want.
3. When you check in at home for your flight, you go to the baggage drop-off at Schiphol and then to the Axxicom counter. You can also go to the Axxicom desk if you require assistance at check-in if you have not yet done so at home.
4. Axxicom will take you to the gate
Which forms of assistance do exist:
Option 1: (CODE: WCHR) Passenger needs assistance (departure & arrival) at the airport to the boarding gate
Option 2: (CODE: WCHC) Passenger needs assistance (departure & arrival) at the airport and a lift up / down from / to the aircraft seat
Option 3: (CODE: WCHS) Passenger needs assistance (departure & arrival) at the airport and on / off the stairs.
Option 4: (CODE: BLND) Blind passenger needs a walking frame (departure & arrival) from the airport to the aircraft seat and a separate safety instruction from the cabin crew.
Option 5: (CODE: BDGR) Passenger travels with a guide dog and needs a walking frame (departure & arrival) at the airport to the aircraft seat and to separate safety instructions from the cabin crew
Option 6: (CODE: BLDP) Passenger is blind or visually impaired but does not need assistance (traveling alone or accompanied)
Option 7: (CODE: DPNA) Passenger has a mental handicap, but is independent and can understand and follow the safety instructions in case of children in the company of a companion / parents but needs assistance (departure & arrival) at the airport to the boarding gate.
Option 8: (CODE: DEAF) Passenger is completely deaf and needs a separate safety briefing on board the aircraft
Option 9: (CODE: PETC) Passenger traveling with guide dog - needs no special assistance
Option 10: (CODE: OXYG) If a passenger needs therapeutic oxygen during the flight, he / she must book this service at least 7 days before departure and pay by contacting the Special Reservations.
The DPNA is a tool and can make your journey easier, more important is the preparation, the whole process of departure from home to the plane goes well, we do it by make a book with pictos and photos. This works very well with our daughter. With the poster action I hope that there will soon be more knowledge and understanding among the staff, this will also make traveling more enjoyable. In principle, the DPNA code works the same worldwide, but my project is currently limited to KLM, Schiphol and the other Dutch airlines. Perhaps it is useful to look abroad on the website of the airport for information about assistance. You can request the assistance for back and forth.
I wish you all a very nice flight. Of course, experiences are welcome