Customer Welfare

All you need to know about customer welfare

Passenger welfare
 

Information for passengers with reduced mobility, unwell passengers and passengers needing medication

How to book your holiday
Choosing a hotel
Adapted rooms at our hotels
Requests for specific rooms
Rooms with fridges
Dietary requirements
At the airport and onboard your flight
Airport assistance
Taking your wheelchair
Taking an assistance dog
Travelling with a personal assistant and being self-reliant
Carrying medication and medical equipment
Fitness to fly

Pregnancy

Broken bones

Infectious diseases

Medical conditions that could be affected by altitude
Resort transfers
Choosing your transfer
Going on a Thomson Cruise
Choosing and booking your cruise
Taking a wheelchair onboard the ship

 

At Thomson, we've got a friendly and knowledgeable Customer Welfare team dedicated to finding the holiday that's right for you. Give us a call on 0203 451 2585 to find out more.

If you need information in another format please contact our Customer Welfare Team on 0203 451 2585.

If you or anyone travelling with you has difficulty walking 400 metres, or climbing the aircraft steps, you'll need to let us know at least 48 hours before you're due to fly. However, the sooner you let us know, the more time it allows to make sure all the arrangements are in place.

 
 

How to book your holiday

If you’re disabled, less mobile, visually impaired, or undergoing medical treatment, you’ll need to contact our Customer Welfare Team on 0203 451 2585 before you book so we can check which holidays are suitable for you.

 
 

Choosing a hotel

Adapted rooms at our hotels

If you need an adapted room - with a walk-in shower, or wider doors for your wheelchair, for example - please give our Customer Welfare Team a call before you book. We can then check if the hotel you're interested in has any suitable rooms.

 

Requests for specific rooms

If you would like a room located in a specific area of the hotel such as on the ground floor, near the main facilities, or a lift, we can add these as a request to your booking but unfortunately they can’t be guaranteed.

 

Rooms with fridges

It usually depends on the type of room you’re booking as to whether there’s a fridge available – so check before you book if you’ll need to store any medication. Sometimes, fridges will be available at a charge.

If there isn’t a fridge included with your room type, we can add a request to your booking, but unfortunately this isn’t guaranteed. If the hotelier isn’t able to meet the request, they’ll make sure a fridge is available – usually in reception or in the kitchen – to store medication, 24 hours a day.

 

Dietary requirements

If you’ve got specific dietary needs, give us a call before you book and we’ll find out if the hotel can cater for you. We’ll also add a note onto your booking to make the hotel aware of your requirements, but it’s best to speak to the restaurant staff when you arrive, too.

If you've got any severe allergies, please contact us to discuss.

 
 
 

At the airport and onboard your flight

Airport assistance

If you’ll need assistance when you get to the airport, call our Customer Welfare team at least 48 hours before you travel. Assistance can’t be guaranteed if you don’t let us know before this time.

Airport announcements:
Just so you know, some airports don’t announce flights over the tannoy. If you can’t read the flight information on the screens, ask a member of staff to help you.

 

Taking your wheelchair

You can take your wheelchair and one other mobility item free of charge on Thomson Airways flights, alongside your normal baggage allowance. You should make sure you’ve got insurance to cover its full value. We’ll carry up to 2 pieces of mobility equipment needed for the journey, per person.

Aircraft door sizes

This chart shows the door sizes of Thomson Airways' different types of aircraft, so you can check whether your wheelchair will fit onboard:

B737-800  
Forward Hold 48” x 35” 1.22m x 0.89m
Rear Hold 48” x 33” 1.22m x 0.84m
B757-200  
Forward Hold 55” x 42.5” 1.40m x 1.08m
Rear Hold 54” x 45” 1.40m x 1.14m
B767-300    
Bulk 38” x 43.5” 0.96m x 1.10m
B787-8  
Bulk 45” x 40” 1.14m x 1.02m

If you're flying with another airline, you'll need to contact them directly to see if your wheelchair will fit onboard. If you need any help doing this, give our Customer Welfare team a call.

Electric wheelchairs:
If you’ve got an electric wheelchair, you’ll need to let our Customer Welfare Team know so we can make the necessary arrangements. Please let us know the make and model of your wheelchair when you call.

It’s essential that you call us before you book to make sure we can carry your wheelchair – there’s a limit on how many electric mobility aids we can take on each flight. If you don’t let us know before you book and we can’t carry your wheelchair, you might need to pay extra to change your booking.

Wheelchair batteries:
You can bring a battery-powered wheelchair if it meets the conditions given in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods, plus any other related CAA rules. Visit the CAA website for more details.


Please contact us as soon as possible if you’re travelling with a battery powered wheelchair or mobility aid and give us the following information when you call:


-Make and model of the device
-Battery type
-Dimensions of the device


We’ll then be able to confirm whether or not we’ve got space for it onboard.

Preparing your wheelchair for the flight:
Wheelchairs need to be stored in an upright position for the flight and it’s important the battery is securely attached to the mobility aid.


The ways of inhibiting the circuits to prevent the mobility aid activating by accident vary depending on the model and battery type:

Mobility aids with non-spillable or dry cell batteries, and mobility aids with lithium-ion batteries:
-Battery terminals must be protected from short circuits e.g. enclosed in a battery container
-Battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid
-Electrical circuits must be isolated, so there is no change of the device being operated by accident. If this isn’t possible – and as a last resort – you’ll need to disconnect the battery cables and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent short circuits

Mobility aids with spillable wet-cell batteries:
-Battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid
-Electrical circuits must be isolated, so there is no change of the device being operated by accident. If this isn’t possible – and as a last resort – you’ll need to disconnect the battery cables and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent short circuits

If the wheelchair can’t be stored in an upright position for the flight:
If you’re wheelchair can’t be stored in an upright position, you’ll need to do the following:
-Remove the battery, and store in strong, rigid packaging
-Protect the battery terminals against short-circuiting

Other things to think about:
Instruction manual: You’ll need to bring with you the manufacturer’s operating instructions for your mobility aid. If you don’t have the details, visit the BHTA website where most makes and models are shown. If you can’t find information for your device you’ll need to contact the manufacturer direct, or the shop where you purchased it.
Insurance: We recommend your wheelchair is fully insured.

 

Taking an assistance dog

A registered assistance dog can travel with you in the cabin if you’re flying with Thomson Airways. Just so you know, your dog will need a Pet Passport and you’ll need to book a separate seat for it, at no extra charge. Give us a call on 0203 451 2585 and we'll call you back. Alternatively, email us.

 

Travelling with a personal assistant and being self-reliant

You’ll need a personal assistant to travel with you if you don’t meet the UK Civil Aviation Authority definition of being self-reliant. This means you need to be able to:

-Unfasten your seat belt
-Leave your seat and reach an emergency exit without help
-Collect and fit a lifejacket
-Put on an oxygen mask without help
-Understand the safety briefing and instructions given by the crew in an emergency – including information provided in accessible formats

What’s more you may want to think about travelling with a personal assistant if you need help with any of the following:

-Breathing. I.e. if you rely on supplementary oxygen
-Feeding. Though Cabin Crew can help you to open containers.
-Toileting. Cabin Crew can help you move through the cabin in a wheelchair to reach the toilet, but you need to be able to use the toilet facilities unaided.
-Medicating. You need to be able to administer your own medication if you need it during the flight.

Personal assistants:
Your personal assistant must buy a ticket to travel with you. Each personal assistant can travel with a maximum of 2 passengers who need assistance for the reasons listed above.

 

Carrying medication and medical equipment

If you’ll be carrying medication or medical equipment with you into the aircraft cabin, you’ll need to bring a doctor’s letter or prescription that shows all the items you need. This is to make sure you can pass through check-in and security without any problems.

If the size or weight of your medication is more than your baggage allowance, we’ll normally be able to carry it free of charge for you as hold baggage, but you need to call our Welfare Team before you go to pre-book.

Diabetics:
You can carry insulin and a pen injection device in your hand baggage during your flight – but you need to let us know about it when you check in. You’ll also need to show a doctor’s letter or approved Diabetic card.

If you need to use medical equipment on the flight:
If you need to use any medical equipment onboard your flight, you’ll need to give our Customer Welfare team a call before you travel. Please have your flight details to hand when you call us.

We’ll need the following details about the equipment:

-Name of equipment
-Manufacturer
-Make and Model
-Size
-Whether it is battery-operated
-Type and wattage of battery, if it’s battery-operated
-Weight

We’ll also need to know whether you’ll need to use the equipment during take-off or landing, regularly, or occasionally, while you’re in the air.

Our Cabin Safety team will then be able to check the equipment is safe to use onboard.

If you need oxygen on the flight:

Unfortunately, you can't bring your own oxygen either in the hold or in the cabin, but you can pre-book our onboard oxygen for your flight. Alternatively, you can bring an oxygen concentrator. Call us before you travel to make arrangements.

 

Fitness to fly

Suffering from certain medical conditions means you’re more likely to notice side-effects when you travel by plane. Because of this, you’ll need to declare the following conditions before you travel with Thomson Airways. What’s more, we recommend you contact your doctor before you book if you’ve got any concerns about your health.

Below you’ll find the most common conditions that require a fitness to fly certificate. It doesn’t cover everything though, so if you’re not sure, it’s best to contact us before you book.

 

Pregnancy

You can travel with Thomson Airways if your return flight is before the end of the 36th week of your pregnancy, for single pregnancies. If it’s a multiple pregnancy, your return flight needs to be before the end of the 32nd week.


If you’re over 28 weeks pregnant when you fly, or you’ve had complications at any stage of your pregnancy, you’ll need to show a medical certificate when you check-in. The certificate should say what stage of the pregnancy you’re at, and confirm that you’re fit to fly.

 

Recent surgery

If you’ve had an operation within the 14 days before you’re due to travel, you’ll need to let your doctor or surgeon know about your travel plans. They’ll then let you know whether you need a fitness to fly certificate, and will issue one to you if needed.

If you’ve had major surgery within a few months before your holiday – operations involving your heart or lungs, for example – you’ll need to get a fitness to fly certificate.

 

Broken bones

If you’ve had a plaster cast fitted less than 48 hours before you’re due to fly, your doctor will need to split the cast. It’ll usually be split in two and supported with more bandages. This is to allow for any more swelling. You’ll also need to bring a fitness to fly certificate.

If your plaster cast was fitted outside of 48 hours, you won’t need a fitness to fly certificate. That said, we’d recommend you speak to your doctor about any extra precautions you need to take whilst you’re away.

 

Infectious diseases

If you’re suffering from any severe infectious disease – tuberculosis, for example, you won’t be able to travel with Thomson Airways.

If you’ve recently had a severe infectious disease, you’ll need to bring a fitness to fly certificate.

Chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis
If you’ve recently suffered from chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella or meningitis, there will be a recovery period before you’ll be able to travel with us. Here’s when you’ll be able to travel:

Chickenpox: 7 days after the last new spot appears.
Rubella: 4 days after the rash appears.
Measles: 7 days after a rash appears.
Mumps: When swelling has subsided – this is usually 7 days, but might take up to 14 days. You’ll need to contact your doctor who’ll let you know if you can travel.
Meningitis: When you’re completely recovered.

 

Medical conditions that could be affected by altitude

Some pre-existing medical conditions mean you’re more likely to suffer from the effects of altitude when you fly. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you’ll need to get a fitness to fly certificate from your doctor.

Severe Angina
Myocardial Infarction
Heart Valve Disease
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Cardiac Failure
Coronary Artery Bypass grafting
Angioplasty
Cerebral Artery Insufficiency
Stroke or CVA
Asthma: If you’ve got severe asthma or you’ve recently been prescribed oral steroids, you’ll need a fitness to fly certificate
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Emphysema
Cystic Fibrosis
Bronchiectasis
Pneumonia
Neonatal Respiratory Problems

 
 
 

Resort transfers

Choosing your transfer

If you’re taking an electric wheelchair or scooter, you’ll need to book a taxi transfer to your hotel. You can’t take them on the coach. We can also arrange a taxi transfer for you if you won’t be able to climb the steps on the coach. There’s an extra charge for taxi transfers.

Just so you know, the taxi may not be a vehicle adapted for wheelchair users as they aren’t available in all our resorts.

If you’re able to travel on the coach transfer, but want to book specific seats – such as the front row – unfortunately we can’t guarantee this. However, we’ll be happy to add a request to your booking.

Discounts on taxi transfers:
If your coach transfer would have been included in the price of your holiday, give us a call and we’ll sort out a discount against the cost of the taxi transfer for you, as long as you can provide a doctor’s letter. If the coach transfer would have cost extra, or you can’t provide a doctor’s letter, you’ll need to pay the full price for the taxi.

 
 
 

Going on a Thomson cruise

Choosing and booking your cruise:

Give our Special Assistance Team a call before you book your cruise – they'll be able to advise you on things like ship accessibility, bringing equipment onboard, disabled facilities and medical care. All of our ships have a small number of adapted cabins for less mobile passengers - they have bathrooms adapted for wheelchair users and wider access. Just remember to make sure one is definitely available before you book.

 

Taking a wheelchair onboard the ship:

You’ll need to bring your own standard-size, collapsible wheelchair to use on our ships. There are a few restrictions, such as the size and weight of the wheelchair, and also the amount of wheelchairs we can carry on each sailing. Please contact us before you book to make sure we’ve got space. We’ll also talk you through which cabins will suit you best.

Using your wheelchair when you're ashore:

If you're bringing a wheelchair to use when you're ashore, we'll keep it at the gangway so it's ready when you need it. Just so you know, though, you'll need to be able to move across the gangway without it.

If your ship is visiting a port where a tender is needed to go ashore, you'll need to stay aboard if you can't manage without your wheelchair. Elsewhere, it might not always be possible for you to go ashore depending on gangway access.

Shore excursions:

Before you book, check with our Shore Excursions team on 0203 451 2728 about which excursions are best for you - not all of them are suitable for the less mobile. Alternatively, speak to your host on the cruise ship when you arrive.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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