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Special Needs

INFORMATION FOR PASSENGERS WITH REDUCED MOBILITY, AND SPECIAL ASSISTANCE

If you have a special requirements for your booking, wheelchair assistance or need any advice travelling with special requirements then please contact our call centre on 0207 543 55 55 and follow the option for reservations. (Calls from landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher - check with your network provider).

If any of your party has difficulty walking more than 400 metres, or require assistance during the aircraft boarding process, you will need to advise us know at least 48 hours before you're due to fly. It is preferable to advise us prior to booking to ensure we can meet your needs, the earlier we know the better so we can make all the necessary arrangements and add them to any booking.

HOW TO BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY OR FLIGHTS

If you or a member of your party are disabled, less mobile, visually impaired, or have any special requirements you should contact our call centre on 0207 543 55 55 prior to making a booking to allow us to advise which holidays may be suitable for you.

Adapted rooms

A limited number of hotels in our programme have adapted rooms, if this is a pre-requirement for your booking then please contact our call centre on 0207 543 55 55 and we can then review hotels with 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, please ensure this added at the time of the booking but this will remain as a request and cannot be guaranteed.

Rooms with fridges

In our hotel descriptions it will advise whether there’s a fridge available in the hotel room you are booking. Please review the hotel descriptions carefully prior to booking if you need to store any medication. Fridges may be at a local charge.

If a fridge is not listed as a facility in the room at your hotel, we can add a request to your booking, but unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed.

Dietary requirements

The choice in our destinations for those with special dietary requirements tends to be limited in most of the properties. If you have a special requirement then please advise us prior to making a booking so we can review any properties that may be suitable for you and also ensure that a note is made on your reservation so the hotel is aware in advance. Self-Catering Apartments may be more suitable for clients with certain dietary requirements.

Kids' clubs

Children who are ill will not be allowed access.

If your child has a disability, please make us aware prior to booking so we can assist you fully. Our call centre staff we will do their best to find a hotel that meet your child's particular needs.

Unfortunately at times the hotel may advise that they can no longer meet your child's particular needs. If this should happen, our call centre we will do their best to include them in as many activities as possible but you may need to stay with your child to provide the care and attention that they require.

If your child has an allergy or any other special requirements, please let advise our call centre staff at the time of the booking to advise the airline if necessary and upon signing your child into the club and advise the staff.

Hotel-run kids' clubs:

The standards and facilities at hotel run clubs vary from hotel to hotel. Please ensure satisfied with the facilities and staff providing the service before signing in your child. Balkan Holidays are unable to take responsibility or guarantee that the standards at hotel-run clubs meet UK standards.

AT THE AIRPORT AND ONBOARD YOUR FLIGHT

Airport assistance:

If you’ll need assistance when you get to the airport, you will firstly need to ensure that the property chosen meets your requirements and then call us to ensure any assistance required is added to your booking confirmed on your booking confirmation invoice. It is impossible for us to guarantee assistance if it has not been booked in advance. All assistance must be added a minimum of 48 hours prior to your departure from the UK.

Airport announcements:

At most of the airports we operate from they have a silent policy and do not always announce flights when they are called for boarding. If you believe this may be an issue for you please seek assistance from the airport staff.

Seats:

The minimum seat pitch on our charter flights to Bulgaria is 28-29 inches. The minimum seat width is 16 inches. If you think you'll have difficulty fitting into this seat size, please contact our call centre prior to confirming your booking. An additional charge may be applicable in certain cases.

Not all seats on the carriers we use have moveable armrest between the seats.

Balkan Holidays will attempt make all provisions for your welfare needs when we have been advised in advance, but unfortunately we can't guarantee a particular seat when you book. All services confirmed will be on your booking documentation.

Taking your wheelchair:

You can take your wheelchair and one other mobility item free of charge on our charter flights*, in addition to your standard luggage allowance. This must be declared at the time of the booking and administered a minimum of 48 hours prior to your departure from the UK. On charter flights to Bulgaria you can take up to 2 pieces of mobility equipment needed for the journey, per person. For scheduled and low cost carriers please confirm with our reservations department prior to confirming your booking.

Electric wheelchairs:

If you’ve got an electric wheelchair, it is compulsory to advise us at the time of the booking or immediately after so this can be administered onto your booking and shown on your booking documentation. Please provide us with information regarding the battery, dimensions and weight.

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 immediately after making a booking if you are travelling with a battery powered wheelchair or mobility aid and give the following information to our call centre staff:

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

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-spill 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 chance 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 spill wet-cell batteries:
  • Battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid
  • Electrical circuits must be isolated, so there is no chance 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 your 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:

Loss of, or damage to, mobility aids: liability for the loss of, or damage to mobility aids is restricted to the limits applied by the Montreal Convention. This is currently 1131 SDRs - Special Drawing Rights - or approximately £1034.

Insurance:

We recommend your wheelchair and other mobility aids are fully insured.

Transfers:

When taking an electric wheelchair or scooter on holiday with us, you will need to either book a private transfer or make your own arrangements as they cannot be taken on the coach. Private transfers are available via our call centre staff at an additional charge.

Private transfers will not be in an adapted vehicle unless a request is made and this is confirmed to you on your confirmation invoice or via email.

Medication and Medical Equipment:

If you are 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:

It is permitted to carry your insulin and a pen injection device in your hand baggage during your flight. We would strongly recommend that you carry a doctor’s letter or approved Diabetic card.

If you need to use medical equipment on the flight:

Unfortunately, you cannot bring or use your own oxygen either in the hold or in the cabin.

If you suffer from certain medical conditions it may mean you’re more likely to notice side-effects when you travel by air. We advise to consult with your GP who will advise if you need to present a fit to fly or declare to your insurer any medical conditions that you have suffer from. This would especially be the case if you have had recent surgery.

Broken bones:

If you have had a plaster cast fitted less than 48 hours before you’re due to fly, a medical doctor will need to split the cast. This is to allow for any more swelling during your flight. You will be required to present a valid signed and stamped fit to fly certificate.

If your plaster cast was fitted outside of 48 hours, we would still be required to advise the airline so they can confirm your acceptance on the flight along with any assistance required. You will still need to present a valid signed and stamped fit to fly certificate.

In both instances our staff will need to be notified in advance.

Infectious diseases:

If you’re suffering from any severe infectious disease – tuberculosis, for example, you won’t be able to travel with BH Air on charter flights to Bulgaria. For other destinations and airlines please contact our call centre prior to confirming your booking.

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.

 

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