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New CAA guidance given to airlines on dealing with hidden disabilities

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The Civil Aviation Authority issued new instructions to UK airlines yesterday on how they should treat passengers with ‘hidden disabilities’, including the deaf and blind.

The new guidance requires airlines to:

Have a clear and accessible pre-notification system in place allowing passengers to request special assistance at the point of booking

Share information about a passenger’s assistance needs within their own organisation and with the airport and ground handling agents 

Civil Aviation Authority hidden disabilities

Ensure a passenger with a hidden disability is seated with a travelling companion at no extra cost

Invest in quality training for staff so hidden disabilities can be identified and passengers assisted accordingly

Ensure passengers with hidden disabilities are looked after in the event of flight delays and cancellations

If you want to know more, the full CAA guidance can be found here.

Comments (144)

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  • Ben says:

    Does anyone know if my partner books us tickets on BA through Vitality would we still get full TPs and Avios or is it some sort of special discounted ticket (I know it wont work for the Barca tip but this just reminded me to ask)

  • Chrish says:

    Doe’s the new CAA guidance on disabilities
    Now mean i only need to pre-reserve one seat, either myself (registered Disabled)
    or my Partner and we would be guaranteed to be seated together.
    At the moment we pre-reserve “both” seats

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Why wouldn’t you continue to book both seats?
      It doesn’t cost you any money to reserve seating and you can do it at time of booking for all those on same booking. No seating is guaranteed, not even with a disability.

      • Peter K says:

        I think Chrish means select seats, which does cost money. I think you’d need to contact the airline or read their terms online to see what they individually do in regards to this.

  • Bagoly says:

    One hopes that British common sense means this will not be used as an excuse to book desirable seats for free.
    The Americans certainly have a problem with Emotional Support Animals.

    • Rob says:

      ….. squirrels

      My son takes his stuffed dog, to be fair. We even got it a passport –

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Unfortunately many already use the system unfairly.
      I’m a disabled traveller I see it all the time, unfortunately it’s very hard to “ police” as companies are not allowed by law to ask you what is wrong with you. These new guidelines are for people with things like Autisim, Asbergers things that are considered a disability but that you can’t actually see.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Actually not sure what you mean by desarible, disabled people can’t book exit seats anyway. We can certainly book front row of club or first but if someone with status comes along we will be moved just like anyone else.

    • Grant young says:

      interested to know what you mean by desirable seats and your hope for common sense. if someone pays for that ticket in a certain class then why shouldn’t they be allowed to book a seat of theire choice in that class. The fact it’s free shouldn’t be a issue.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        Well said Grant. It’s hard enough to travel with any disability without people thinking you shouldn’t have a “ desirable” seat.
        I know BA gets bashed a lot but they have always treated me fairly as a passenger with disabilities.

  • John2 says:

    Ot. Churn strategy.
    Is it better now to apply for plat over gold for extra points?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you are going to also use the 5x referrals for 45k more points then yes otherwise “buying” 13k points for £450 fee or £1.23 a day

      • Scallder says:

        That’s on the assumption that the £450 is charged in the first place. Can get in and out of a Platinum (even with a referral or two if done quickly) without the charge being put on your account and therefore not being charged…

        • Alan says:

          But not if you churn between your partner and yourself. In that case you would need to keep the card for at least 6 months

  • DaveP says:

    Would a return to Barcelona be classed as 2 flights on BA despite having an IB number (thinking 4 flights in process of retaining Silver)?

    • Matt says:

      Yes, if it’s a BA plane. If you were flying on Iberia with an Iberia flight number that would count as well.

  • NigelT says:

    Re: LGW to BCN we did that last weekend. One issue is that IB booking reference is not recognised at
    Couldn’t change seats on Iberia web site so when checked in found ourselves in 7D/F with no other seats shown.
    Once we checked in another booking reference appeared which was the BA one but return flight full so again 7D/F.
    Flight from LGW very good but return flight awful crew and no food for us as they had run out. Basically tough we have no food for either of you. Both GCHs so just beware

    • Graham WalshWalsh says:

      Try the Finnair site.

    • Shoestring says:

      The compo – on no food when you are flying Business – is worth claiming. You could also have got the crew to make a note.

      • NigelT says:

        Crew couldn’t be bothered – have now made claim. Shame as flight from LGW was brilliant

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Would complain about no food should get avios compo. Tbh I’d happily swap 5k or so avios for the club Europe meal

    • Lyn says:

      I think I have been able to use BA to choose seats for Iberia flights in the past. You may have to call BA to ask for their booking reference for the BA flight.

      • marcw says:

        This used te be for IB flights departing froom LHR. Essentially, LHR BA and IB couldn´t sort out IT. Now it it sorted, and IB flights dep LHR are again managed by IB (instead BA)

  • FlyUpTop says:

    IB we’re selling the same flights and hotels for £180 PP last week.

  • John says:

    *Informal* mortgage opinions sought (no FCA regulation necessary!)
    I (only) have two remortgage options on an existing interest only mortgage of 210k (LTV 40%)
    2yr fix 1.9
    5yr fix 2.44
    Each has a £1000 fee.
    Intention is to remain in mortgaged property >5yrs

    Appreciate attitude to risk and reward is a factor, but otherwise, what would you choose?
    Don’t worry, it will be my own decision for me to make, thus all responsibility lies with me!
    Just genuinely interested to hear peoples ‘opinions’.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Think I would ask my real life friends not a bunch of strangers off internet. What has your mortgage options got to do with airline miles can you earn miles on them ?

      • John says:

        Apologies Spurs Deb, assumed O/T prefix would suffice.
        Regarding the ‘bunch of strangers off the internet’, I personally do value the ‘opinions’ of those on HFP. Sorry again.

      • mr dee says:

        Very offensive, the HFP are far more valued than the average friends you meet at the pub, I would take HFP average opinion over many people in real life

    • Craig says:

      £80 a month extra for the first 2 years, = £2k ish. If anyone knew what the base rate was going to do 3 years from now they would be a billionaire. Depends on your attitude to risk and whether £80 a month more is worth it for 5 year certainty.

      • Shoestring says:

        Wd deffo be the 5 yr fix for me

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Also got to factor in what the variable rate is on the product after the 2 years fix.

        ie if it’s base +2% I’d seriously consider fixing for 5 years becuase I wouldn’t want to pay £1k fee in 2 years plus potentially pay higher interest anyway

        • John says:

          Thanks TGLoyalty. SVR never nice, but fortunately I have the option to change to a new deal each time thus avoiding it (but yes, costing another £1000 each time also)

        • Mark says:

          Personally I’d go with the 5 years, on the basis that rates are rather more likely to go up than down and the extra interest is substantially offset by the need to pay fees less often.

          Suggest you check things like early redemption fees and portability though and make sure you’re comfortable with those over the term.

    • Andrew says:

      Dip into your savings and pay it off.

      Being mortgage free is incredibly comforting.

      • Craig says:

        Two months to go!

      • Simon says:

        Being mortgage free during an unprecedented multi-year period of low interest rates is far from comforting. A multitude of basic tracker funds would have massively beaten the cost of borrowing the money.

    • mr dee says:

      Interest rates are likely to follow the US and go up so I would head for a 5 year fixed

      • RakishDriver says:

        Depends on what happens after March next year…might even go up a notch or two before then, and then down again, especially if turns out to be worst case.

    • Charlie T. says:

      Depreciating the 1k fee over the fixed period gets you effective rates of 2.14pc and 2.53pc so ~0.39pc. Which is closer to £70pm difference rather than £80. I can easily imagine rates increasing by 2pc over the next five years (so an effective average increase over the term of 1pc). This is rather larger than the current 0.39pc differential. Obviously rates may not go up that much, or even down. Conversely they might go much higher.
      Putting it all together, I’d be a buyer of the 5yr every time.

      • Charlie T. says:

        Apols – Actually the average increase in your rate payable would be less than 1pc if rates step up on a consistent basis by 2pc over the next 5yrs (since you’re fixed for the first two years) but still a big enough impact on the following three years that I’d want to be fixing for the longer term.

        • John says:

          Thanks Charlie T (and everyone else commenting). Interesting insights, much appreciated.

          PS Rob were you ok with this post? Its clearly not ‘points’ related, but I actually thought it could possibly help/provide insight to more than just myself. I believe HFP have many experts across many fields (incl financial) so for those willing* to share knowledge, would be beneficial.

          *Spurs Debs excluded 🙂

        • rams1981 says:

          5 year for me too. Just done the same myself. I expect rates to hit at least 1.5% within 5 years and so if you did 2 year come your renewal in year 4 you’d pay £2k in fees plus a “materially” higher rate

        • Genghis says:

          FWIW we’ve recently remortgaged and went for 5 years fix. After running the numbers, the difference between the two year fix and five year fix (once accounting for another product fee in a couple of years if went for the two) was minimal.

        • xcalx says:

          I had my mortgage through crazy interest rates.

          The 1979 Conservative government
          The incoming administration of Margaret Thatcher raised interest rates to 17 per cent, as this was seen by the government of the time as a key weapon in combating inflation. It did have the effect of reducing inflation, although critics noted its negative impact on UK manufacturing exports. Interest rates began to rise again towards the end of the 1980s, partly under the pressure of house price rises.

          Black Wednesday September 1992
          The UK’s withdrawal from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) on 16 September 1992 meant a rise in the base interest rate from 10 per cent to 12 per cent at 10.30am on that day; later that day there was a promise from John Major’s government to raise the rate further to 15 per cent. These actions were taken to encourage speculators to buy sterling. When this failed to materialise, the government reduced interest rates on 17 September 1992 back to the original rate of 10 per cent.

          May 1997
          The election of Tony Blair’s administration was accompanied by the new chancellor Gordon Brown handing control of the setting of the base interest rate to an independent Bank of England.

    • Memesweeper says:

      I would take the longer fix if staying put. I’d also get a repayment mortgage — with low interest rates you’ve no excuse not to be paying stuff off! I’m betting interest rates go up.

      And most of my friends will do exactly what their financial advisers tell them so why not ask here?

    • Louise says:

      I would go with the 5 yr Fix as I don’t see the rate being around in 2 yrs time, but hey it might be!

    • Tracy says:

      Lol, am having this same dilemma. 5 year rates are pretty low just now. Not having to pay another product fee in 2 years time is a deciding factor for me. Think I might opt for the 5 year fix as I have no plans to move etc.

      • John says:

        Hi Tracy, may I ask what your own rates (you have on offer) are? It is interesting that most (if not all) are suggesting the 5yr option. Good luck!

        • Tracy says:

          Hi John, probably stuck with Santander, complicated Ltd Co a/c’s etc so easier to stay with them. 1.39%, £1499 product fee for 2 yr or 1.89, £999 product fee for 5 yr. Finding it hard to resist the 5yr fix…..

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