Flight booking and reservations
For the best-possible preparation, please let us know about the type of assistance you will need as soon as you book your flight, or no later than 48 hours before departure. If you leave it any later to tell us your requirements, or you don’t tell us at all, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide the ideal support for you.
As soon as you book your flight you can help us to ensure that you receive the service you need both in the airport and on board the aircraft. To enable us to make you as comfortable as possible in the terminal as well as on board our aircraft, we require some information from you in advance. If you book your ticket by phone, please tell us about any special needs before your booking is completed. You should do the same if you book at a travel agency.
As a general rule you may choose any seat on the aircraft which is suitable for your needs. Please understand, that some restrictions apply due to safety. Most armrests on Lufthansa aircraft are moveable, so that you can access your seat comfortably. If you wish to use a seating device on your seat, then the device must be checked regarding safety beforehand. Please contact our Medical Operation Center.
After an online booking you can register your need for special assistance here or tell us about what additional support you require by calling us on: +49 (0) 800 - 83 84 267 (toll-free from a German landline). Please let us know what assistance you will require no later than 48 hours before departure.
At the airport
You should always allow enough time to arrive at the airport and check in without having to rush. We recommend that you are at the airport at least 90 minutes before your departure time. This applies especially to foreign airports that you may be unfamiliar with. Before you fly out it is also a good idea to find out about the exact conditions at the airport you will be flying back from.
Please point out the booked service to the agent at the check-in counter, so that you can be given preferential attention and, if necessary, be escorted on board before the other passengers. Although it is not compulsory, we request that you tell us the nature of your medical problem (e.g. limited mobility or a pacemaker).
At many airports there are now special services for passengers with reduced mobility and you will frequently find information about these on the airports’ websites. In addition, you can usually request printed information material from most of the airport authorities.
Level-entry boarding is not available at many airports. Due to numerous arrivals and departures at airports gate assignments are not guaranteed and aircraft may be assigned a remote position on the tarmac.
Here you find information on services for passengers with reduced mobility at a number of German airports:
You can obtain information on all major and regional airports in Germany from the Association of German Commercial Airports (ADV).
In all cases where assistance is required we will take the passenger to and from the aircraft and offer assistance with catching connecting flights.
Services for wheelchair users
• Lufthansa will provide you with a wheelchair free of charge. Similarly, if you want to take your own foldable wheelchair with you, we will not charge you to transport it. Your wheelchair will be carried in the cargo hold.
• If you will require a wheelchair at your departure and/or destination airport, please make sure you inform us of this either at the time of or after booking. If you are taking your own wheelchair with you, please tell us its dimensions and weight as well as any specifics (foldable/non-foldable, sports wheelchair, etc.). Some restrictions regarding size and weight apply on smaller aircraft. The cargo doors on the smallest aircraft operated for example are only 71cm wide.
• If your wheelchair is battery powered, please find out what type of batteries it takes and let us know when you book your flight, as gel-cell, dry-cell and wet-cell batteries can stay in the wheelchair. However, the battery terminals must be covered with electrical insulating tape or plastic caps to prevent an accidental short circuit. Additionally, either you or your companion will need to secure and disconnect wet-cell batteries before boarding.
• Please notify us at least 48 hours before departure about essential mobility aIDs such as electric wheelchairs.
• Level-entry boarding is not available at many airports. Due to numerous arrivals and departures at airports gate assignments are not guaranteed and aircraft may be assigned a remote position on the tarmac.
Services for blind or visually impaired passengers
As a blind or visually impaired passenger you do not need to have an assessment of your fitness for air travel. Please see our advice on guide dogs. We offer blind or visually impaired passengers the following assistance:
• Separate, individual safety briefings
• Separate briefing in the event of delays and other important travel announcements
• Other assistance such as being escorted at the airport
Services for passengers who are deaf or hearing impaired
For the best-possible preparation, please let us know about the type of assistance you will need as soon as you book your flight or no later than 48 hours before departure.
Advice for passengers with learning disabilities
Passengers with learning disabilities should fly with a companion.
Services for mentally impaired passengers
As a rule Lufthansa carries passengers with a mental impairment. However, it is important to note the following points:
The routes to the boarding gates at international airports are often long and complicated and passengers may have difficulty finding their way around and communicating.
Security, Customs and police checkpoints may cause stress and anxiety.
It is absolutely imperative that the passenger is able to follow the crew’s safety instructions during the flight, in case of turbulence.
In any event, flight tickets for passengers with a mental impairment should be booked at least 48 hours before departure in order to ensure the best possible support for them before and during the flight.
The ability of a person with a mental impairment to cope should not be overestimated. With specific impairments which lead to confusion or disorientation (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease), there is a risk that the passenger will not pay attention to the safety instructions issued by the flight attendants. It can also have unforeseen consequences if the passenger disembarks from their flight without supervision as they could get lost in the airport buildings or within the airport perimeter and become increasingly confused and anxious.
Should the passenger run such a risk, we strongly recommend that someone travels with them.
Please note that a travelling companion is required in the following cases:
• if the passenger cannot help themselves in the event of an emergency evacuation
• if the passenger cannot communicate with flight attendants over safety instructions
• if the passenger cannot understand or follow the safety demonstration
Guide dogs and other assistance dogs
You have the option of taking a guide dog or other assistance dog with you free of charge. We recommend that you use a dog harness and muzzle. However, the number of animals allowed in the cabin is limited, so please let us know in good time if you wish to travel with a guide dog or assistance dog. Please also note that in some countries special regulations apply to the entry of animals and we recommend that you find out about the rules in advance.
If you have booked a flight to/from the USA, there is also the option of transporting an ESAN dog (emotional support animal) in the aircraft cabin free of charge. You will require confirmation from your doctor that you require an assistance dog. Please note that the dog’s suitability for transport in the aircraft cabin may be checked.
On long-haul flights arrangements must be made regarding the dog’s hygiene. Written confirmation is required that the animal can defecate and urinate on command so that other passengers are not disturbed in any way.
The dog will fit in front of my seat (the footspace of my seat).
The dog will lie or sit on the floor in front of my seat secured by a leash.
We recommend to use a harness instead of a collar to secure the dog.
The dog will never sit on a passenger seat.
Please note that it is a prerequisite for the safe and undisrupted operation of a flight that your animal is trained to behave properly in public settings. In order to be allowed to travel with you in the cabin it is therefore mandatory that your animal is obedient and behaves properly (i.e. no barking, growling, jumping at people or other animals, and/or relieving itself in the gate area or cabin, or doing so in a way that will not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight). If your animal misbehaves you can be asked to put its muzzle on for the transport or it can be confined to the belly (if a kennel is available) or carriage can be denied.
Conditions of carriage for animals
Lufthansa only accepts Emotional Support and Psychiatric Service dogs free of charge on Lufthansa operated flights to/from the United States. Additional restrictions apply on Lufthansa operated connecting flights outside the United States. For Lufthansa operated connecting flights outside the United States the Emotional Support and Psychiatric Service dogs will be transported in the cabin in a container (pet in cabin) or in the cargo compartment of the plane depending on the size/weight of the dog – additional charges apply. Passengers may have to clear customs and immigration in Germany to obtain or check-in container or dog.
Please make sure you can produce the necessary travel documents and visas if you are changing planes outside the United States and your dog is not acceptable as pet in cabin. It is recommended that you allow a minimum of 4 hours connecting time between flights.
Travel preparation checklist
To help you check that you have made all the essential preparations for your flight, we have put together a checklist for you.
Travel preparation checklist for passengers with reduced mobility
Tel: +49 69 696 55 079
Fax: +49 69 696 83 677
(Open Mondays to Fridays: 08:30 - 20:00 hours; Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays: 08:30 - 16:30 hours)
In addition the Medical Desk in the USA is available to passengers in and from the USA. Contact details are as follows: +1-516-296-95 80 (open Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 - 15:00 hours).