Assisted travel with TUI

We want to make travelling with us as smooth as possible. That’s why we’ve got a friendly and knowledgeable team dedicated to finding the holiday or flights that match your needs, whether you or someone you're travelling with has access needs, reduced mobility, or a disability, including non-visible ones, and neurodiversity. You can find out what to expect on your journey and while you’re on holiday below.

For more information, give our Assisted Travel team a call. If you’re flying with TUI Airways call 0800 145 6920, if you’re flying with another airline call 0203 451 2688. The team can help if you need any information in a different font or colour, or if you need help with viewing the info using a screen reader. If you are a British Sign Language user, you can use SignLive to connect with us via an interpreter – visit SignLive for more info.

Jump to sections

Assistance at the airport and on board the aircraft

Assistance at the airport and on board the aircraft

Flying to the USA

Flying to the USA

Accessible accommodation

Accessible accommodation

Accessible transfers

Accessible transfers

Accessible travel for Marella Cruise

Accessible travel for Marella Cruise

Travelling on a neuro-inclusive holiday

Travelling on a neuro-inclusive holiday

Assistance at the airport and onboard the aircraft

Preparing to travel

To help make sure your journey is as stress free and comfortable as possible there are a few points to follow:

  • Make sure you have all the information you need before finalising your travel plans.

  • Be realistic about your own needs, particularly if you cannot walk long distances without help.

  • Ask us if your needs can be met well in advance.

  • Contact us make sure that we know, understand, and can plan for your needs.

  • Airport assistance may not be available on demand, so pre-booking assistance at least 48 hours in advance is the best approach.

  • Try not to assume that every staff member will know the best way to assist you, we strongly encourage you to share your needs with our colleagues along your journey.

To find out more about rights and requirements for disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Travelling alone on a TUI flight with reduced mobility or a disability

To travel alone on a TUI flight, we ask that you are able to do the following:

  • Be able to unfasten your seat belt.

  • Leave the seat and reach an emergency exit unaided.

  • Retrieve and fit a life jacket.

  • Fit an oxygen mask without any assistance.

  • Follow the safety briefing and instructions given by the crew in an emergency situation.

As our priority is to take care of the safety of all our customers, if you’re unable to manage at least one of these tasks, you’ll be required to travel with an accompanying person. What’s more, you will need to travel with a personal assistant if you need help with any of the following:

  • Eating and drinking – cabin crew can help you to open containers.

  • Going to the toilet – cabin crew can help to move you through the cabin, but you’ll need to be able to use the toilet facilities unaided.

  • Taking medication – you need to be able to administer your own medication if you need it during the flight.

If you need to travel with a personal assistant, you’ll be sat in the seat next to them – just make sure you notify us in advance. Seats together in our Premium cabin are limited, so please contact our Assisted Travel team as soon as possible to arrange your seating if you’ve booked Premium seats. Personal assistants need to have their own ticket to travel.

Arranging airport assistance

Here at TUI, we use an internationally recognised coding system to identify the level of assistance a customer with a disability may need. Here are some examples of the types of questions you may be asked while we’re getting a picture of your requirements:

  • What are your needs?

  • Are you able to walk through the airport terminal to the aircraft, or will you require a wheelchair or buggy?

  • If you do require a wheelchair, will you be using your own chair?

  • If so, we’ll need to find out more about your wheelchair including whether it’s power operated and what type of battery it uses. We’ll also need to note down a few details on its weight and size.

  • Are you able to walk up and down aircraft steps, or will you require assistance boarding and disembarking?

  • Can you transfer from a wheelchair to your seat unaided?

  • What type of aircraft seat suits you best?

  • Will you be taking any medical equipment with you?

We ask that you make us aware of your requirements at least 48 hours before your due to travel.

You can give our Assisted Travel team a call on 0800 145 6920 if you’d like any more info. Or, if you’re flying from one of the airports below, just click on the link to check out AccessAble’s airport guide.

Arriving at the airport

We recommend you arrive at the airport at least two hours before your departure time. If you’re travelling from any UK or European airport, and would like assistance from a car park, a taxi rank, or a bus stop within the airport’s boundaries, we recommend arriving at least three hours before departure.

Once you’ve reached the information centre or assisted travel meeting point, the airport assistance team at your designated airport will be informed and will come to meet you.

AccessAble has created guides for selected UK airports – you can find all the details under the ‘Arranging airport assistance’ tab.

Travelling with mobility equipment

If you’re flying with TUI Airways you can take two wheelchairs or personal mobility devices with you at no extra cost. These can be manual or electric and it has no impact on your normal baggage and medical baggage allowance. If you’re taking more than two mobility devices you will be charged for any additional items. Our Assisted Travel team have got all the details and you can give them a call if you’ve got any questions.

We’ll ask the following questions while finding out all the details of your mobility device:

  • Is the device a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchair, scooter, or other?

  • What is the make and model of the mobility device?

  • Is your device collapsible?

  • What are the dimensions of your device – height, width, and depth? If your device is collapsible, both measurements will be required.

  • What’s the weight of your device?

  • Is your device powered by a battery? If so, what type is it?

  • Are you planning on travelling with spare batteries?

We’d also recommend that your mobility equipment is insured. It’s important to make our Assisted Travel team aware of your device before you book, as there’s a limit on how many electric mobility aids we can take on each of our flights.

Aircraft door sizes

Our aircraft door sizes can be found below:

Maximum EMA Dimensions

Height x Width x Depth CMS

B737 - 800

H86cm x W119cm x D119cm

B737 - 8 MAX

H86cm x W119cm x D119cm

B787 - 800 (wide-bodied)

H150cm x W150cm x D119cm

B787 - 9 (wide-bodied)

H150cm x W150cm x D119cm

If you’re flying with another airline, you’ll need to contact them directly to see if your mobility device fits on board. If you need any help doing this, give our Assisted Travel team a call on 0800 145 6920.

Electric mobility aid batteries

We follow international aviation safety organisation requirements when it comes to which types of batteries are permitted on board. You can find a list of battery types and whether they’re permitted or not below.

Description

Common Names

Acceptance

Non-Spillable Batteries

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

Dry/Dry Cell

Gel Cell

SLA (Sealed Lead Aid)

Nickel - metal hydride

Accepted on TUI flights

Wet Cell Batteries

Spillable

Not accepted on TUI flights

Lithium Batteries

Lithium - Ion (re-chargeable)

Lithium Metal (not re-chargeable)

Lithium polymer

Lithium Alloy

Accepted on TUI flights when it is in line with allowed maximum watt hours: - 1 battery does not exceed 300Wh - 2 batteries do not exceed 160Wh

Lithium-Ion batteries pose a risk, as they can overheat if they’re overcharged. And, if not packed properly, spare batteries can short circuit in your luggage. These battery types are regulated, and manufacturers are required to include a watt-hour rating on the battery. Our approval of the battery depends on its rating – if the battery doesn’t meet our requirements we won’t be able to carry it on board.

If your electric mobility aid is powered by a lithium battery, it may not exceed 300Wh. And if you’re travelling with two batteries these must not exceed 160Wh each. If you’re travelling with spare lithium batteries, the same limitations apply. Spare batteries and batteries that can be removed must be taken with you inside the cabin of the aircraft.

Please give us the details of your device’s batteries as soon as possible. Also, make sure you bring the manufacturer’s details for your mobility aid to the airport with you. If you don’t have them, visit the BHTA website, where details for most makes and models can be found. If you can’t find the information for your device, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer directly, or the place where you purchased it.

Travelling with medical equipment

If you’ll be carrying medication or medical equipment with you in the aircraft cabin, you’ll need to bring a doctor’s letter or a prescription with you. This will need to confirm that the medication is yours, and the equipment is needed during the flight – having this will mean you can pass through check-in and security easily. You can also bring liquid medication larger than 100ml through security if you have a doctor’s letter. If you’re travelling with TUI Airways you can take medication and medical equipment with you at no extra cost – give the Assisted Travel team a call with the details and they’ll be able to confirm this for you. If you’re travelling with one of our partner airlines, you’ll need to give the Third Party Flying team a call on 0800 105 1734, as other airlines may have different policies.

If you’re putting medicines in your hold luggage, pack them in a separate bag – it will not be counted within your standard cabin baggage allowance. The bag may not exceed the maximum measures of allowed cabin baggage. If it is bigger than that you’ll need to contact our Assisted Travel team to pre-book your medical luggage allowance. Please be mindful about flight disruptions and delays when packing medication or medical equipment you may require during the flight.

We don’t specify a maximum number of medical items that may be carried during a flight. Let us know about your medical requirements – we’ll be able to check if the device is safe and permit it for travel on board. In order to check this, the team will need to make a note of the following:

  • Equipment name

  • Manufacturer

  • Make and model

  • Size

  • Whether it is battery operated

  • Type and wattage of battery

  • 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 flying.

You can carry insulin, or a pen injection device in your hand baggage during your flight without a medical certificate. Please let us know about it when you check in and ensure there are sufficient supplies of insulin in your cabin baggage rather than your hold luggage. Insulin may be inactivated if carried in the hold due to low temperatures.

If you need to receive medical treatment or use a medical device during your journey, our airport colleagues or crew won’t be able to assist you. This includes injections and any medication, which much be self-administered. If you believe you may need to use a medical device during your journey, and you are not able to perform this yourself, then somebody capable of helping should accompany you.

Fitness to fly certificates

If you have certain medical conditions, it may mean you’re more likely to notice side effects when you travel by air. Let us know the details of your medical conditions before you travel with us, as you may be required to provide a fitness to fly certificate at the airport. If you’re uncertain, contact your doctor before you book.

Below we’ve listed the most common conditions that require a fitness to fly certificate. This isn’t the full list, so if you’re unsure, contact us before you book:

  • Major surgery such as heart and lung surgery within the last few months.

  • 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 to allow for any more swelling. If you plaster cast was fitted outside of 48 hours, you won’t need a fitness to fly certificate. We still recommend speaking to your doctor before you’re due to travel.

  • Pregnancy.

You will not be able to fly with TUI Airways if you have any severe diseases such as tuberculosis. If you’ve recently recovered you’ll need to bring a fitness to fly certificate. If you’ve recently had 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 – once the swelling has subsided, this is usually 7 days but can take up to 14 days. You’ll need to contact your doctor who will let you know if you can travel. - Meningitis – once you’re completely recovered.

Some pre-existing medical conditions that could be affected by altitude when you fly. If you have 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

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Emphysema

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Bronchiectasis

  • Pneumonia

  • Neonatal respiratory problems

You’ll also need medical clearance to fly in the following cases:

  • You require oxygen at a rate of more than two litres per minute.

  • You may need medical assistance during the flight due to your state of health.

Sometimes a doctor’s letter may be required instead of a fitness to fly certificate, we’ll let you know when you give us a call.

Airport announcements

Just so you know, some airports don’t announce flights over the PA system. If you can’t read the flight information on the screens, reach out to a member of staff to help you.

Aircraft seating

The minimum seat pitch on a TUI Airways aircraft is 29 inches and the minimum seat width is 16 inches. If you think you’ll have difficulty fitting into this seat size, please give us a call before you book.

Just so you know, seats 1A, 1B, 1C, and 2D, 2E and 2F on our 737 aircraft fleet are narrower than other rows, the armrest is fixed and the tray table stows inside it. These seats may not be suitable if you're using an extension seatbelt.

If you need an additional seat on board an aircraft, let us know as soon as possible. You’ll need to pay extra for this, and the cost will depend on which options are available.

We try our best to meet your needs when allocating seats, however the allocation of seats for all passengers is subject to appropriate safety requirements. People with disabilities, or reduced mobility, are not allowed to occupy seats where their presence could impede the crew in their duties, obstruct emergency equipment, or hinder the emergency evacuation of the aircraft. For this reason, people with reduced mobility are unable to sit in emergency exit rows.

We will provide you with written confirmation of your seat selection once this has been confirmed.

Travelling with an assistance dog

You are welcome to travel with your assistance dog free of charge on board TUI flights.

Recognised assistance dogs are those which are highly trained to assist a disabled person. For example a guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person, a hearing dog for a deaf or a hard of hearing person, or a service dog for a physically impaired person. Their training must have been undertaken by an organisation that is approved by the state secretary, or approved or affiliated to one of the following:

You’ll also need to provide official documentation which confirms that your assistance dog meets the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme Regulation.

In addition, you’ll also need to provide a certificate which confirms that the assistance dog is fully trained or is in training and under the control of the trainer. This documentation must be from an organisation which is affiliated to either the ADI or IGDF.

Here’s a few general guidelines to consider if you’re planning on bringing an assistance dog on board:

  • We will not accept any recognised assistance dogs which are not correctly documented.

  • We recommend that you contact the airport’s animal reception centre before you travel. They’ll usually meet you on arrival and clear your recognised assistance dog through customs. Head to your airport’s website for more details, or check out Guide Dogs UK or the Pet Travel Scheme helpline.

  • Your dog and their required amount of food will be carried free of charge.

  • ​​​​​​Let us know if you’re bringing a recognised assistance dog no later than 48 hours before your flight.

  • You should arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight is due to leave so there’s enough time to complete any documentation.

Assistance on board the aircraft

If you’re blind or deaf, or have another sensory impairment, our staff will make themselves known to you and will offer the appropriate level of assistance during the flight. They’ll also make sure the emergency procedures are explained to you.

Our cabin crew will support and help you on board your flight, however they will not be able to assist you with eating, drinking, taking medication, or visiting the toilet. If you need help getting to the toilet they’ll be able to assist you with this.

Please let us know if you require the use of an on board wheelchair when confirming your booking. Every TUI Airways aircraft carries wheelchairs on board to help you move between your seat and the toilets. Please note, you must be able to either move yourself, or have a personal assistant to help you between your seat and the onboard wheelchair. Our cabin crew cannot help you transfer into a wheelchair and will not compromise the performance or the health and safety requirements in undertaking their duties.

All TUI Airways aircraft have toilets that are accessible by using the onboard wheelchair. Our 787 Dreamliners have toilets with more space and grab handles.

Specialised harnesses are available for adults, with one available on each flight. These must be pre-booked at least 7 days before you’re due to go.

Travelling with oxygen concentrators

We’re no longer able to provide oxygen for passengers on board TUI flights. You will need to bring your own or make arrangements to rent a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) from a third-party provider. Our preferred supplier is Oxygentogo – please contact them directly to discuss your needs and to arrange the service. Here’s a list of our approved POCs – if yours isn’t listed here, give us a call on 0800 145 6920.

  • AirSep Focus

  • AirSep FreeStyle

  • AirSep FreeStyle 5

  • AirSep LifeStyle

  • Delphi RS-00400

  • DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo

  • ​​​​Inogen One

  • Inogen One G2

  • Inogen One G3

  • Inova Labs LifeChoice

  • Inova Labs LifeChoice Activox

  • International Biophysics LifeChoice

  • Invacare Solo2

  • Invacare XPO2

  • Oxlife Independence Oxygen Concentrator

  • Oxus RS-00400

  • Precision Medical EasyPulse

  • Respironics EverGo

  • Respironics SimplyGo

  • SeQual Eclipse

  • SeQual eQuinox Oxygen System (model 4000)

  • SeQual Oxywell Oxygen System (model 4000)

  • SeQual SAROS

  • VBox Trooper Oxygen Concentrator

You should bring fully charged batteries that will power the device for at least 150% of your flight duration. This should be based on the battery manufacturer’s estimate of the hours of battery life the device requires when in use, and your doctor’s prescription.

If you’d like to carry an empty cylinder in the hold, this is allowed. Partially filled cylinders are not permitted under dangerous goods regulations, though.

Travelling with oxygen cylinders

If you’d like to bring an oxygen cylinder on board a TUI Airways flight, this is allowed. There are just some simple steps to follow before you’re due to go.

We’ll need a doctor’s certificate that’s dated within one month of your departure date, and this must confirm the following things:

  • That the oxygen you’re carrying is for medical purposes.

  • Your medical condition.

  • That you’re authorised as fit to fly.

All of this information must be provided on the certificate, and it must also be stamped by your doctor – without this we’ll be unable to process your request. Oxygen cylinders can be added as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, however it won’t be confirmed until we’ve received your doctor’s certificate within one month of your departure date.

If needed, you’re able to travel with more than one oxygen cylinder, however due to safety reasons there are restrictions on how many we’re able to allow on board our flights. Please provide us with your doctor’s certificate at least seven days before you’re due to go.

For your oxygen cylinder to be allowed on board it must meet dangerous goods requirements. This means that:

  • Each bottle must not exceed 5kg gross weight.

  • Bottles, valves and any regulators must be protected from damage that could cause accidental release of the contents.

  • Each bottle must be in good working order, with no signs of tampering or significant damage.

Liquid oxygen systems are not permitted on our flights.

When you arrive at the airport you must visit a check-in desk for the team there to make a final review of the documentation, and to visually inspect the bottle. Once this has taken place it’ll then be accepted for travel. You’ll also be asked to show all of the documentation again at the central security search areas as you pass through security.

Just so you know, – if any of the information you’ve provided during the booking process is inaccurate it could mean that you’re unable to take the cylinder on board the aircraft for safety reasons.

To meet regulatory requirements, TUI Airways must assign window seats to any passengers who are carrying and using their own oxygen cylinders. You can contact our Assisted Travel team on 0800 145 6920 for all the info on this.

If you’ve booked your holiday through TUI but are flying with another airline, please check their guidelines for carrying oxygen cylinders on board. The Assisted Travel team can help you with this – please ensure you contact them with plenty of time before your flight. You can call on 0800 145 6920.

Compensation for damaged or lost mobility equipment

In the unlikely event your mobility device is damaged or lost during the handling process at the airport, or during transport, you as the owner of the mobility equipment have the right to seek compensation – these are your legal rights.

Airlines follow the limits applied by the Montreal Convention when investigating cases of loss or damage to mobility aids.

Raising a complaint

We aim to meet all your needs when travelling with us. If things do go wrong, please notify us as soon as possible. We appreciate any feedback and make improvements wherever possible.

Flying with other airlines

If your TUI holiday has flights with another airline that’s not TUI Airways, and you or anyone on your booking needs assistance, you can call the Third Party Flying team on 0203 451 2688. Remember, other airlines might have different policies on things like seating, medical or mobility equipment, and assistance dogs, so it’s always best to check the airline’s website before you book your holiday.

Flying to a Spanish airport with a non-visible disability

If you have a non-visible disability and you’re travelling to a Spanish airport, you can order a badge that will let airport staff know you may need assistance, or a little more time to travel through the airport. Where it’s possible, the badge will also allow you to pass security through a lane that’s designed for passengers requiring assistance, or families. The scheme’s set up by Aena – the company that manages most Spanish airports. You can find more details and order your badge on their website.

Flying to the USA

Using the onboard wheelchair

On our flights to and from the USA with more than 60 passengers and an accessible toilet, there’ll be a wheelchair onboard. Even if the toilet’s not accessible, anyone with a disability can request to use the onboard wheelchair. You must be able to use the toilet yourself and need the onboard wheelchair to reach it from your seat. We may need you to give 48 hours’ advance notice so that we can arrange the onboard wheelchair. Please contact our Assisted Travel team on 0800 145 6920 to let us know.

Bringing a dog into and out of the USA

From 1st August 2024, dogs entering or returning to the USA must meet new specific requirements, depending on where they’ve been in the six months before entering the USA, and where they received their rabies vaccines – if required. This also applies to assistance and guide dogs.

Find out more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Accessible accommodation

Booking an accessible room

If you need an accessible room – with a walk-in shower, or wider doors for your wheelchair for example – give us a call. You can call our Assisted Travel team on 0800 145 6920, they’ll be able to check to see if the hotel you’re interested in has any suitable rooms.

If you’d like a room located in a specific part of the hotel, such as on the ground floor, near to the hotel’s main facilities, or close to a lift, we can add this as a request to your booking – these types of requests can’t be guaranteed, though.

Depending on the type of room you’re booking, there may be a fridge available in case you need to store any medication. If there isn’t a fridge included with your room type, we can add a request to your booking, but this isn’t guaranteed. Your hotel may be able to store medication in a fridge in their reception or kitchen. Alternatively, the hotel may be able to provide a fridge at an extra charge.

Booking an adapted room online

We want to make travel with us as easy as possible – that’s why we’re offering instant adapted room confirmation in some hotels.

If you’re booking an adapted room online, please bear in mind that the layout and facilities of the room have been designed for customers with access needs in mind. Each hotel and destination will have its own accessibility standards and regulations, which may not be equivalent to UK building standards. Please ensure you’ve checked the Adapted room and Hotel Detailed Access Guide before booking.

By booking an adapted room online, you confirm that you’ve checked this hotel’s Detailed Access Guide and you’re happy with its overall suitability for your access needs.

If you need any other accessibility provisions, you must contact the Assisted Travel Team, who can arrange airport assistance, accessible transfers and more. Please do this as soon as possible after booking and no later than 48 hours before travelling.

If you don’t let our team at TUI know about any accessibility requirements, it might mean that the destination teams are unable to meet your requests.

For any more information, please call our Assisted Travel Team.

Dietary requirements

Let us know of any specific dietary requirements before you book, that way we can find out if the hotel can cater for you. Then, once you’ve booked, we can add a note to your booking to let the hotel know about your requirements. It’s always worth speaking to the restaurant staff once you’re on holiday, too.

If you’ve got any severe allergies, please give us a call to discuss these before booking.

Kids’ clubs

When it comes to kids’ clubs there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Children who are unwell will not be accepted.

  • ​​​​​If your child has a disability, we will do our best to look after them. Please check before booking that the kids’ club can accommodate your child’s needs.

  • Sometimes, even when you’ve checked in advance, there may be reasons why the club can no longer accommodate your child’s particular needs. When this happens, we will do our 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 they require.

  • If your child has an allergy, or any other special requirements, please let the kids’ club staff know when you sign them into the kids’ club for the first time.

Only clubs run by us meet our specifications, including strict staff-to-child ratios. Standards and facilities at hotel-run kids’ clubs vary. You should make sure you’re satisfied with the facilities and staff providing the service before you enrol your child. We’re unable to take responsibility or guarantee that standards at hotel-run kids’ clubs meet UK standards.

Accessible transfers

Booking an accessible transfer

Our coaches cannot accommodate electric mobility devices or non-collapsible manual powered wheelchairs. The Assisted Travel team will be able to help you book an accessible transfer to your hotel if you’re planning to take one of these with you.

We can also arrange a taxi transfer for you if you won’t be able to climb the steps on the coach. If you can climb the steps, but would like to request specific seats, such as the front row we can add a request to your booking – we can’t guarantee this, though.

Please speak with the team as soon as possible to book your transfers, as there’s limited availability in some of our destinations.

You’ll need to pay a little extra for taxi or accessible vehicle transfers. If a coach transfer would have been included in the price of your holiday, we’ll be able to provide a discount on the cost on your accessible transfer. If your coach transfer would have cost extra, you’ll need to pay full price for this.

Accessible travel for Marella Cruise and TUI River Cruise

Booking a Marella Cruise

Give our Assisted Travel team a call on 0203 451 2880 before you book your cruise – they can answer any questions you have on things like ship accessibility, disabled facilities, medical care, and what you can and can’t bring onboard.

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. Speak to the team to make sure one is available before you book.

For more information on our cruise holidays, read our Marella Cruises FAQs.

Taking mobility equipment onboard a Marella Cruise

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 there’s also a limit on the number of wheelchairs we can carry on each sailing. Please contact us before you book to make sure we’ve got space onboard.

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

If you’re visiting a port where a tender is needed to go ashore, you’ll need to stay onboard if you can’t manage without your wheelchair. At other times, depending on the port and its tides, it may not be possible for you to leave the ship due to gangway access.

For more information on what you can bring with you on your cruise, check out our assisted travel FAQs for Marella Cruises.

Booking excursions

Before you book, check with our Shore Excursions team on 0203 451 2688 about which excursions are best for you. Some excursions may not be suitable if you’re less mobile. You can also speak with your host on the cruise ship once you’re onboard.

For more information, read our shore excursions FAQs.

Dietary requirements onboard Marella

If you have any dietary requirements, let us know when you book. Then, once you’re onboard, let the restaurant manager know. We’re able to provide vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and diabetic-friendly options on request.

If you need to bring your own food for medical reasons, please let us know in advance, so we can make sure we have the correct facilities in place to store and prepare this. There may be requests we’re unable to accommodate, so it’s important to let us know when you book your cruise.

If you have more specific dietary needs, or particular food brands or varieties, we’d recommend you bring them with you. For any restrictions on foods you can’t take into certain destinations, visit the FCDO website.

More information about dietary requirements can be found on our Marella Cruises assisted travel FAQs.

Booking a TUI River Cruise

Unfortunately TUI River Cruise ships aren’t wheelchair friendly, and they’re not fitted with lifts or adapted cabins. Therefore, this type of holiday may not be ideal if you find it difficult to walk up and down stairs unassisted. Our Assisted Travel team can advise you on accessibility, medical care and facilities onboard our fleet. If you’ve already booked your TUI River Cruise, please contact the team to check your holiday matches your needs.

Taking mobility equipment on a TUI River Cruise

Mobility scooters and wheelchairs can’t be used onboard our river cruise ships. If you’re bringing a manual wheelchair for use ashore, this will need to be stored inside your cabin. We don’t have any storage facilities in the ship’s public areas.

River Cruise dietary requirements

We can provide vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and diabetic-friendly options on request, just let us know about your requirements once you’ve booked your cruise. Then, once you’re on board, be sure to let the maître d’ know.

If you need to bring your own food for medical reasons, let us know in advance. That way, we can ensure we have the right facilities to store and prepare your food. Also be aware that there may be some dietary requirements that we can’t accommodate, so it’s important you tell us if you have any when you book.

If you have more specific dietary needs, or particular food brands or varieties, we’d recommend you bring them with you. For any restrictions on foods you can’t take into certain destinations, visit the FCDO website.

Travelling on a neuro-inclusive holiday

Before you go

Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’ve already booked your holiday, you can pop into your local TUI Store or give us a call if you have any questions or queries. Our friendly and knowledgeable Assisted Travel team are on hand to help you with anything we can do to make your journey – and holiday – as stress-free as possible. You can call the team for free on 0800 145 6920.

Some ways they can help include:

  • Amending your baggage allowance if you’ve got specific requirements

  • Arranging airport assistance for you in advance. We recommend doing it at the time of booking – but don’t worry if you haven’t, we can arrange assistance up to 48 hours before your departure

  • Providing you with a Sunflower Lanyard, so airport staff and TUI staff will be aware that you might need an extra helping hand when you travel

Plus, thanks to our partnership with AccessAble, you can find in-depth accessibility audits for some of our most popular hotels.

At the airport

We know that getting to and navigating your way through the airport can be stressful.

We can arrange assistance to escort you through the airport, get you onboard first and show you around the cabin, so that you can have some extra time to get comfortable. Airport assistance is available to you at any of our 21 UK airports, you’ll just need to arrange this in advance. And, when you arrange this, you’ll receive the same level of assistance at your arrival airport as well, so we’re with you every step of the way.

You can either pop into your local TUI Store or give our friendly and helpful Assisted Travel team a call to arrange it for you. You’ll need to do this at least 48 hours before your departure.

And there’s good news if you’re travelling from London Gatwick Airport. They’ve been named the UK’s first nationally recognised autism-friendly airport – this means they’ve pledged to train their staff to be better equipped to assist autistic passengers.

On the plane

If you need any visual supports, we can provide you with pictures of the aircraft to help you set the scene for what it’s like to be onboard – just ask us. And, if you’re flying on our Dreamliner, we have a 360 tour, where you can take a look at the plane before you fly.

We can also allocate you a specific seat in whichever part of the aircraft you think will be most comfortable and convenient for you. We’ll do this free of charge and you’ll be able to have a companion or carer join you, too. Please note, this only applies to standard seats, and is subject to availability and safety restrictions.

And while you’re onboard, our friendly cabin crew are there to help you throughout the flight. If you need to do things a little differently they’ll do their best to make it happen.

When you arrive

On arrival you’ll be welcomed by a TUI airport rep who will ensure you have everything you need to make your transfer as smooth as possible.

Lots of our hotels offer an in-person rep service, but if you’re staying in one that doesn’t, our 24/7 virtual rep service is on hand to help you with whatever you need, whenever you need it. Contact them via the TUI app, by calling +4433 33 365 147 or by texting 80247 (text messages are charged at your standard network rate).

*Calls from landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Please check with your network provider.