Air travel if you are deaf or hearing impaired
When you travel by air, always let the airline know if you need any extra assistance. Contact the airline at least 48 hours before you fly, so that they have time to organise the support you need.
At the airport
If necessary, you may be able to arrange for someone to help you through check-in, baggage check and customs controls. You can also ask a member of staff to inform you personally at the time of the boarding announcement.
Most public address systems in airports should have induction loop facilities, which amplify sound for people with a 'T' switch on their hearing aids. Text phones and public telephones with amplification and induction loops should also be available. Staff at the airport information desk should be able to tell you where to find these.
On the plane
It's a good idea to explain your disability to the cabin crew, so that they can keep you informed of any important announcements, like delays or emergency landings.
Safety information videos should be subtitled, and you may also be able to pick up public announcements through an induction loop on the plane.
Advice about air travel
Several organisations and charities give useful advice about air travel for deaf and hearing impaired people.
Deaf or hearing impaired people contacts
The effects of air travel
The RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People) has produced a fact sheet entitled 'Flying and the ear', which contains useful information about the effect of air travel on your ears.
RNID 'Flying and the ear' fact sheet
Assistance dogs and air travel
If you want to take your support or assistance dog on the plane with you, always tell the airline about this in advance. You should also check out the airline's policy on carrying support and assistance dogs. Support and assistance dogs normally travel free of charge, in the passenger cabin with you but on some airlines, they have to travel in the hold of the plane.
When travelling with an assistance dog, you should carry identification for yourself and the dog and a car safety harness suitable for securing the dog at take-off and landing and at any other time that the airline requires it.
Pet Travel Scheme
If you want to take your dog with you on an international flight, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) could help you avoid long quarantine periods for your dog when you return to the UK.
Not all airlines operate the scheme so it is best to check with them beforehand. Pets travelling on airlines under the scheme are carried in the hold of the plane, but there is an exemption that allows assistance dogs to travel in the cabin with their owners.