Special assistance

Check-in for Special Assistance

If you have requested for Special Assistance, please go to the Special Assistance desk after checking in for your flight:

  • 70 minutes before departure for flights within Europe
  • 1 hour 40 minutes before departure for intercontinental flights

Travelling with a wheelchair/rollator, or any other mobility aid or medical equipment? Always contact us at least 48 hours in advance, even if you don't require our assistance.

Even though it is not compulsory, we encourage you to inform us on the nature of your medical problem (e.g. pacemaker, reduced mobility, etc.) so that we can be better prepared. In all cases where assistance is required, we will take the passenger to and from the aircraft and offer assistance with catching connecting flights.


Request for assistance at the airport

If you have trouble walking long distances and don’t need extra assistance on your flight, you can request for assistance at the airport free of charge. We’ll make sure that there is a wheelchair or cart available to help you get to your flight.

Request for assistance at the airport immediately after booking (or at the latest 48h before your flight) by filling in this form and sending it to meda@brusselsairlines.com

Request for special assistance

If your needs are more specific, it is best to notify our special assistance team in advance. This way, we can take all necessary precautions to make your flight as smooth as possible.

Request for your special assistance at the time of your booking or at the latest 48 hours before departure. Our special assistance service is free of charge.

If you've booked by calling our Service Centre or by travel agent:

  1. Inform us during the booking

    Inform our Service Centre agent or your travel agent about your medical needs. They will guide your through the process.

  2. Complete the MEDIF form if asked

    In certain cases, you will be asked to fill in the MEDIF form. This medical form helps us assess if you can travel and how we can best assist you.

    This form needs to be completed by your doctor and returned to us via meda@brusselsairlines.com or fax (+32 2 723 3705).

    Download and save the MEDIF form (pdf)

  3. Contact our MEDA team if needed

    For more specialised questions (e.g. about your wheelchair, medical equipment, etc.) you can contact our MEDA team.

    Mail: meda@brusselsairlines.com
    Phone: + 32 2 723 8014 (for US : +1 866 308 2230)
    Fax: +32 2 723 3705

    Opening hours:
    Mon – Fri : 9h00 – 12h30 & 13h30 - 16h00
    Sat, Sun & bank holidays: 9h00 – 13h00

If you've booked on brusselsairlines.com or other travel websites:

  1. Contact us immediately after completing your booking

    Medical Assistance Co-ordination Service (MEDA)

    Mail: meda@brusselsairlines.com
    Phone: + 32 2 723 8014 (for US : +1 866 308 2230)
    Fax: +32 2 723 3705

    Opening hours:
    Mon – Fri : 9h00 – 12h30 & 13h30 - 16h00
    Sat, Sun & bank holidays: 9h00 – 13h00

  2. Complete the MEDIF form if asked

    In certain cases, you will be asked to fill in the MEDIF form. This medical form helps us assess if you can travel and how we can best assist you.

    This form needs to be completed by your doctor and returned to us via meda@brusselsairlines.com or fax (+32 2 723 3705).

    Download and save the MEDIF form (pdf)

Even if you are fully capable of being independent in your daily life, travelling by plane is an out-of-the-ordinary situation. In some cases, it might be convenient to travel with a friend or family member who can assist you.

If you’re thinking about flying on your own, remember that you need to be able to get out of the plane independently in the event of an emergency evacuations.

You’re obligated to travel with a companion if:

  • if you are both blind and deaf
  • you would need help during an emergency evacuation
  • you cannot communicate with flight attendants over safety instructions
  • if you are unable to understand or follow the safety demonstration

Brussels Airlines reserves the right to deny you boarding if our staff believes you won’t be able to travel alone.

  1. Arrive at the airport well in advance for check-in

    Especially in peak seasons, we recommend to arrive at least 2 hours before flight departure.

    At the check-in desk, you can also drop off any medical equipment you want check in, provided that you have requested this in advance with us.

    If you still want to use your wheelchair or other mobility aid in the airport, you can do so.

  2. Go to the special assistance desk, even if you don’t need help at the airport

    Once you’re checked in, you can present yourself at the special assistance reception desk. A special assistance staff member of the airport will come to pick you up and bring you to your gate, either by wheelchair or by cart.

    Even if you don’t need assistance at the airport, you still have to pass by the special assistance reception desk. This way the special assistance team of the airport can make sure someone will be available to help you at boarding.

    At Brussels Airport: The Facilicom Special Assistance desk is located opposite check-in row 1. See the map of Brussels Airport.

    At other airports we recommend to check the airport’s website for the location of the special assistance desk.

  3. Continue to your departure gate

    The airport's special assistance staff member will guide you through the airport and drop you off at the gate.

    If you haven’t requested assistance at the airport, you can continue to your departure gate after letting the special assistance reception desk know that you have checked in.

    Upon arrival at the gate, present yourself to the gate agent. This way, the airport staff and our crew can make sure you experience a smooth boarding and flight.

    If you have used your own wheelchair or other mobility aid at the airport, you will have to give it to the gate agent to store it in the hold. The airport's special assistance staff will help you board the plane without your mobility aid.

  4. Assistance on the flight

    Our crew will gladly assist you as much as they can. However, there are certain things they are not allowed to do, such as:

    • Assistance in the toilet
    • Lifting or carrying you
    • Assisting with meals
    • Administering medication or supervising the administration of medication
  5. If you have a connecting flight

    The special assistance team of the connecting airport will assist you between flights.

    If your connecting flights are operated by more than one airline, remember that you need to request for this assistance with the airline that flies you to the connecting airport.

    For example: You have a flight New York – Brussels - Vienna. New York – Brussels is operated by Brussels Airlines and Brussels – Vienna is operated by Austrian Airlines. In this case, you have to request for the assistance at Brussels Airport with Brussels Airlines.

  6. Upon arrival

    When you arrive at the gate, you will be asked to remain seated until the special assistance staff of the arrival airport can help you disembark. They will also help you get through the airport, if you’ve requested assistance at the airport.

    If you are travelling with a wheelchair, you will get it back either at the arrival gate or at the baggage belt. This depends on the policy of the arrival airport.

How many mobility aids can I bring with me?

You may bring a maximum of 2 mobility aids with you. This is free of charge and on top of your free baggage allowance:

  • 2 wheelchairs or rollators
  • 2 pairs of crutches, braces or other prosthetic devices
  • 2 walking canes
  • A combination of the above (e.g. 1 wheelchair and 1 walking cane)

Wheelchairs, rollators and other similar mobility aids

Transportation in the hold

Due to their size, wheelchairs, rollators and other similar mobility aids can only be transported in the hold. This service is free of charge.

You can choose to hand over your mobility aid at the check-in desk or you can use your wheelchair or rollator up until the gate, where the airport staff will store it in the aircraft hold. The airport’s special assistance team will arrange an airport wheelchair or cart to bring you to your departure gate.

Upon arrival, your mobility aid will be returned to you at the arrival gate or at the baggage belt. In the latter case, the airport’s special assistance team will transport you by wheelchair or cart to the baggage belt.

Booking the transportation of your mobility aid

Because the transportation of any special baggage is subject to available space in the hold, it’s important to contact our MEDA team as soon as possible.

Types of wheelchair batteries and how to secure them for air travel

There are strict rules for the transportation of battery-powered devices in the hold. Depending on the battery type, different transportation guidelines apply.

Don’t know the battery type of your device? You can send some photos of your mobility device and the battery labels to our MEDA team.

Gel-cell / Dry-cell / non-spillable wet batteries.

  • Foldable/collapsible wheelchair: The battery must be removed, protected from short circuits, and transported in the hold in a strong, rigid packaging.
  • Non-foldable/non-collapsible wheelchair: The battery may remain in your wheelchair, as long as the electrical circuits have been isolated and the battery is securely attached to your wheelchair.

Lithium batteries

  • Foldable/collapsible wheelchair: The battery must be removed, protected from short circuits, and placed in a protective pouch. The removed battery may not exceed 300Wh (or for a wheelchair that needs 2 batteries to operate, each battery may not exceed 160Wh).
  • Non-foldable/non-collapsible wheelchair: The battery may remain in your wheelchair, as long as the electrical circuits have been isolated and the battery is securely attached to your wheelchair.

Wet Batteries or spillable batteries

If the wheelchair can be loaded, stowed and unloaded in an upright position: The battery may stay in the wheelchair as long as:

  • The battery terminals are protected from short circuiting
  • The battery is fitted, where feasible, with spill-resistant vent caps
  • The battery is securely attached to the wheelchair
  • Electrical circuits have been isolated per the manufacturer's instructions
  • The wheelchair with batteries is secured with straps, tie-downs or other restraints against movement.

If the wheelchair cannot be loaded, stowed and unloaded in an upright position:

  • The battery must be removed and shipped as cargo.
  • The wheelchair itself can be transported as checked baggage.

Crutches, walking canes and stretchers

Crutches, walking canes and prosthetics can be brought on board with you. They do not need to be transported in the hold.

Is it hard for your to walk long distances? Consider requesting our special assistance at the airport. Our special assistance team will gladly arrange a wheelchair or cart to bring you to your departure gate. The same service will be offered in between connecting flights and upon arrival at your destination airport.

How will our crew assist you during the flight?

Our cabin crew will gladly assist you as much as they can:

  • support during boarding and disembarking
  • help to stow away your hand baggage
  • open packages of meals

There are certain things the crew are not allowed to do, such as:

  • provide assistance in the toilet
  • lift or carry you
  • assist you with meals
  • administer medication or supervise the taking of medication

For safety reasons, crew members are not authorised to carry or lift passengers between the passenger seat and a wheelchair or to assist passengers during a visit to the lavatory.

Passengers with reduced mobility should also bear in mind that the toilets in an aircraft are generally quite small.

In certain cases, you are required to travel with a companion. Read more about if you can travel alone or need a travel companion here.

Our special assistance team is happy to help guests who are:

  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Deaf or hearing impaired
  • Mute or speech impaired

Your guide dog is also welcome to travel with us. Have a look at Guide And Assistance Dogs for more information.

If you are both blind and deaf, you must travel with a companion.

How will we assist you?

Guidance at the airport

If needed, the airport’s special assistance team will guide you through the airport. Do you have a connecting flight? We’ll arrange guidance at your transit airport too.

Guidance on board

If you need help on your flight, our cabin crew will gladly assist you with:

  • boarding and disembarking
  • stowing away your hand baggage
  • opening packages of meals
  • explanations about the arrangement of meal trays, if needed
  • a personal safety briefing
  • one-to-one information about travel announcements such as delays

Our crew will do their utmost to help you if needed. However, there are certain things they are not allowed to do for safety reasons.

Our crew cannot:

  • provide assistance in the toilet
  • lift or carry you
  • assist you with meals
  • administer medication or supervise the administration of medication

As long as the requirements are met, your guide dog or assistance dog is welcome to travel with you in the cabin, free of charge. For emotional support dogs, there are some additional requirements that must be met.

Contact our Special Assistance team at the time of booking - or at the latest 48h before departure - if you’re travelling with a service animal.

Requirements for guide dogs

To make sure that all our passengers experience a pleasant flight, your guide dog needs to have been trained to behave properly in public settings.

Your guide dog has to:

  • fit in the space in front of your seat and not sit on a passenger seat
  • be able to stay in the same spot for the whole flight duration
  • be secured by leash to the seat, you have to be able to do this yourself
  • preferably wear a harness (and muzzle) instead of a simple collar

Travel documents for your guide dog

For flights with a scheduled flight time of 8 hours or more, you will need a written confirmation stating that your service animal will not need to relieve itself during the flight or can do so in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight.

Make sure you comply with the travel regulations for pets and service animals at your destination. Read our page about travelling with pets or check with your veterinarian for more information.

Emotional support dogs

Concerning emotional support animals, we only accept:

  • Emotional support dogs, no other animals
  • Dogs that are suitable for travelling in the cabin on flights to/from the US, including connecting flights on the same reservation file.

On all other flights, your emotional support dog will be transported as a normal pet. This means that, depending on the size and weight of your dog, they will be transported in the cabin or in the hold. Read our page on travelling with pets for more information.

Travel documents for emotional support dogs

In addition to complying with the travel regulations for pets and animals at your destination, we require an additional document from your doctor or licensed health professional stating that:

  1. You have an emotional/mental health-related disability and having the animal on the aircraft with you is necessary.
  2. They are currently treating you for your condition.
  3. The date (the document may not be older than one year)
  4. Their mental health professional licence and the state or jurisdiction in which it was issued

Special assistance must be requested for guests with mental impairments to allow them to enjoy the most comfortable flight experience possible.

Guests with a mental disability should also fly with a travel companion. As flying is not a routine event for most people, it will help to have a familiar person around in case of unexpected changes at the airport or during the flight.

Why travel with a travel companion?

Taking a plane is not an everyday event. It means navigating through unfamiliar locations, sometimes in crowded places, and being able to cope with procedures that can be stressful.

If your family member or friend has a mental impairment, it’s important to evaluate their ability to cope with situations they are unaccustomed to such as:

  • Navigating through large international airports, sometimes with multiple terminals
  • Understanding and being capable of following the procedures of security checkpoints, passport control and customs
  • Understanding and communicating with the crew about safety instructions
  • Coping with unexpected situations such as boarding gate changes, schedule changes, turbulence, etc.

Remember that a travel companion is always mandatory for passengers that are unable to help themselves in the event of an emergency evacuation, are unable to communicate with the crew or are incapable of understanding safety instructions.

Guests who are in need of supplementary medical oxygen during the flight can:

  • Request for medical oxygen provided by Brussels Airlines
  • Bring their own Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) with them
  • Bring their own personal oxygen bottles or air cylinders with them

To request for medical oxygen or to bring your own oxygen device on board, you need to notify our special assistance team at the time of booking. Your doctor will also have to fill in the MEDIF form for us.

This enables us to make the necessary preparations for your requested oxygen supply or check if your personal oxygen device is allowed on board.

If you need medical oxygen at the airport too, you will have to contact the airport’s medical department too.

Medical oxygen supplied by Brussels Airlines

You can request for medical oxygen supplied by Brussels Airlines against a fee. Brussels Airlines can supply up to 5.2 litres of oxygen per minute on board. We recommend checking in advance if this cost will be refunded by your health insurance, as medical oxygen must be requested and paid for at the time of booking.

Fee for medical oxygen per route

  • Flights within Europe (+ Armenia, Morocco, Russia, Israel and Egypt): €175
  • Intercontinental flights: €350

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC)

You may bring your own POC on board with you and use it during the flight as long as your POC:

  • Operates on non-spillable or lithium batteries (each lithium battery may not exceed 160Wh) and the batteries are protected from short-circuiting and packed properly.
  • Has sufficient battery power, taking in account possible delays or irregularities (150% of battery power is recommended).
  • Won’t need to be connected to the power outlets of the aircraft.
  • Can be stowed on board in compliance with safety regulations.

If you are bringing your POC with you, this must be approved in advance by our special assistance team. Your doctor will have to fill in a MEDIF form and a POC form for approval.

Private oxygen bottles or air cylinders

You may bring your own small gaseous oxygen or air cylinders for medical use on board. These items may be brought on board as hand baggage or checked baggage as long as:

  • Each cylinder doesn’t exceed 5kg gross weight.
  • They are protected from any damage that may cause accidental release of its content. This also applies to cylinders carried by medically trained passengers.
  • Liquid oxygen is not permitted on board Brussels Airlines operated flights.

If you are bringing these medical devices with you, this must be approved in advance by our special assistance team.

You’re allowed to bring small, portable medical devices (e.g. insulin tester) or medication (e.g. pills, syringes, etc.) in your hand baggage, if you need them with you.

For medication, we recommend bringing a sufficient supply with you on board and a doctor’s note confirming that you need them.

Most small portable devices can be packed in your hand baggage without any problem, provided they comply with our rules on electronic devices and dangerous goods.

However, there are some rules for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Devices (CPAP) and kidney dialysis devices (CAPD). Contact our special assistance team if you want to bring such a device on board.

Medication (pills, syringes, etc.)

Medication can be brought on board in your hand baggage. We always recommend bringing enough medication for a couple of days, in case of flight delays or other irregularities.

Ask your doctor for a note confirming:

  • The name of the medication that you are bringing on board
  • That the medication is for personal use
  • That you need them with you at all times

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device (CPAP)

CPAP can be brought on board and even be used as long as:

  • The device is switched off and stowed away during take-off, landing and whenever the crew deems it necessary.
  • For CPAP powered by lithium batteries, each battery may not exceed 160Wh. For more info, read our page on electronic devices and dangerous goods.
  • The device is stored on board in compliance with safety regulations.

If your CPAP doesn't fit in your hand baggage, you can bring it with you on top of your hand baggage as long as it weighs max. 3 kg.

Charge your CPAP sufficiently for the entire flight including a margin for flight irregularities, as charging a CPAP via the power outlets of the aircraft is not permitted.

Kidney Dialysis Machine and Continuously Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialyses bags (CAPD)

Kidney dialysis machines and CAPD bags can be packed as hand baggage or checked baggage depending on your needs. However, the use of a dialysis machine on board is not allowed.

Kidney dialysis machines with approximate dimensions of 80x60x40cm and CAPD bags with dialysis solution may brought on board, free of charge.

Legal guidelines