Consumer / Persons with Disability

Persons with Disability

Flying is for everyone and Malaysian law treats disability-related discrimination very seriously. When operating in Malaysia, disability cannot be used as grounds for an airline to stop a person booking or boarding a flight except:

  • if the boarding has implications on the failing of safety requirements; or
  • if the aircraft’s size or doors make it physically impossible for the person to board the plane.

Airlines must provide assistance for passengers with disability from arrival at the airport until departure. Airports, on their part, must include accessible signage and points where any person with disability can request assistance. All staff must be knowledgeable to provide the assistance the person with disability needs.

If you have a disability, you should:

  • let your airline know about your disability at least 48 hours before take-off;
  • turn up at the airport on-time according to special requirements of your airline; and
  • inform the airline if you need someone to accompany you to provide assistance on your flight.

Your airline is responsible for working with the airport and any other airlines involved with your flight to make sure you receive the assistance you need.

For more details about where your airline and airport should provide assistance, refer to the Consumer Protection Code’s Second Schedule.

Illustration

 Ali uses a wheelchair to move around. He booked a last minute flight from Kuala Lumpur to London scheduled to depart on the same night. He informed the airline that he requires assistance at the airport and onboard the aircraft. Is the airline obliged to provide the required assistance despite receiving short notice?

  • Airlines receive requests for special assistance onboard the flight on a daily basis. For the airline to ensure they provide the special assistance, as in this case, wheelchair assistance, airlines require to coordinate internally and requests for special assistance such as wheelchair must be made at least 48 hours before the departure date.
  • In this case, the request was only made the morning of the flight departure date. Though not obliged, the airline should endeavour to make all reasonable efforts to assist Ali and provide the requested assistance.

For more information, please refer to the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) – Part II, Paragraph 9: Minimum Service Level and Standards of Performance For Airlines and Aerodrome Operators – Non-discrimination of Persons With Disability.