Airports in the UK may not be equally accessible to people with access needs, even as the country is hosting the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The flight search site, CheapFlightsFinder.com, has reported that as the 2012 Paralympics closes, visitors and participants will be facing different levels of service at different airports in the UK, in terms of accessibility.
Shahab Siddiqui, the founder of CheapFlightsFinder, said, ‘I always feel very excited when I arrive in a new city by plane, but I also feel anxious about how easy it will be to navigate the airport when I arrive. Some airports have highly trained staff and extensive wheelchair access, while others are still extremely primitive in their offering, which makes the experience very challenging.
There are a huge number of factors that disabled people need to consider when entering an airport, whether for a short haul jaunt or if they are undertaking multi-city flights. This includes travelling from the car park, using toilets in the airport, registering at the check-in desk and carrying your baggage. The provision can vary depending on the regulations of that country regarding the accessibility of public buildings and therefore the experience in one country can be very different from another. If you have a choice of airports, it is always worth researching thoroughly which is the most accessible, as it can greatly influence your entire holiday experience.’
An airport association, ACI Europe, holds its annual Best Airport Awards, which also includes criteria for the accessibility of airports for differently able passengers. In 2012, London City Airport has been judged the best airport in the one to five million-passenger category, and Edinburgh Airport has been awarded the best in the five to 10 million-passenger category.