Extra Legroom for Disabled flyers?


I’m flying to Egypt in June with Thomson and paid more for extra legroom seats, as my legs become restless and twitch and I have to move them about - however we’ve now read that these seats are not available for disabled passengers as they are in the emergency exits and you need to be able bodied to open the door and not block the exit. Of course I could keep quiet about my disability as it isn’t glaringly obvious, however, I am going to need assistance getting to the gate as it’s so far to walk, and at the very least I would need to use my stick, so the flight attendants are going to see that I have mobility issues.

Just tried to ring Thomson but they’re closed. An internet search suggests there are extra legroom seats for disabled passengers on some airlines, but no mention of Thomson specifically.

Just wondered if anyone has any experience or advice? I really need the extra leg room, but then I really need the assistance to the gate/my stick as well!

Hi perky,

I can’t coment specifically on Thomson but I have flown a few times now since having MS and I do declare my disability and request assitance. It has some definite benefits. As you mentioned disabled passengers can’t be seated by emergency exits but HAVE to be seated at the front of the plane so the cabin staff can get to you easily. Which just happens to mean you have oodles of leg room as they are bulkhead seats! Other people have to pay extra for these but not us :slight_smile:

Also by declaring your need for assitance most airlines will zoom you through check in via the express lane. I would go for it and declare… Also bear in mind that if you don’t declare, your travel insurance may then be invalidated for any incident that might arise on the plane.

Have a great trip and enjoy Egypt,



Bulkhead seats are the way to go. Extra leg room but not emergency exits. I have always got these seats free by declaring disability with both Thompsons and Virgin. There’s no way they will let you sit by the emergency exit if they feel that you are not able bodied. There’s more to it than just opening the door, you have to hold people back in the event of an accident, do you really want to do that? Personaly I want to be first down that chute.


If your stick happened to be a hiking pole for use on your holiday you were taking it with you because it would not fit in your suitcase, would anyone be the wiser?

One more thing - yes everyone is right you can’t sit next to emergency exits, but there are other seats with legroom. I always used to pay, but then someone told me if I provided a letter from my gp or consultant I and my carer, in my case my husband can have them free. When we produced the letter Monarch actually refunded the money we had paid, and now our travel agent keeps the letter and faxes it with each booking. Our gp charged me £25 for the letter, but we have saved hundreds of pounds! The letter simply stated that I have a progressive form of ms principally affecting my legs and asking that I have a seat with extra legroom.

Thanks for your replies, they’ve been very helpful. I spoke to Thomson today, who told me it’s too soon to book disabled seats (which apparently don’t guarantee extra legroom?) or assistance, but we were able to cancel the extra legroom seats that we had booked, so saving £100.

Hi perky,I have been it egypt twice last year with first choice /thompson.i phoned up the assistance helpline .i said I have ms with mobility issues (can walk though) and need to sit near a toilet.i got assisted on to the aeroplane and sat at the front row of the plane with extra leg room.me and my 2 sons!!they say they can’t garentee this sitting but have been great with me and my family when we have flown.i hope than puts your mind at ease.joanne

Great tip! Thanks

Karen x

Simples, book a wheelchair from check in to gate. You are pre-boarded and must be given a disabled seat.

This will save you hobbling to the gate and get the right seat. Any problems contact http://www.caa.co.uk/


The best “perk” of getting assistance through the airport is not having to try to stand in the security or immigration queues. My partner had forgotten how long able-bodied people have to queue for until a recent trip without me !

If I’m going on holiday I don’t want to cream-cracker myself before I’ve even got on the plane.

Hope you have a fantastic time and get plenty of vitamin D from the original source…