Heathrow Airport has released a new guide for disabled passengers as part of efforts to improve their air travel experiences.
The guide, a passport-sized leaflet, presents the services that disabled people – people with reduced mobility and their families – can expect from airlines, travel companies and airports. It also offers legal advice and key tips for a smooth journey, covering areas such as assistance dogs, accessibility, getting mobility and other essential equipment for on board and seating arrangements.
Heathrow, which has over 90,000 passengers requiring special assistance travelling through its terminals, already provides enhanced changing facilities and refined processes for reuniting the passengers with their wheelchairs. The new guide is a further step to ensure that passengers are equipped with the right information, and are fully prepared for their journey.
Paralympian winner Lord Chris Holmes MBE, who is also Disability Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: ‘Dignity and respect are values we all share, yet too many disabled travellers have experienced the opposite. Airports are complicated places to navigate. Accurate and succinct information is key for passengers who require assistance.
This new guidance is another way to help make journeys as smooth as possible – from the outset when booking flights or holidays all the way through to returning home.’
Mark Hicks, Head of Customer Relations at Heathrow said: ‘Over 90,000 passengers with reduced mobility travel through Heathrow per month and we strive to meet each person’s needs. More than a million pounds has been invested in specific facilities to make their journeys as smooth as possible, such as a new bespoke changing facility in Terminal 5.’
Written by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the guide has been developed in association with the Civil Aviation Authority and endorsed by the Department of Transport and other travel organisations. It will be distributed through airport, travel companies and organisations working with disabled people.