Tips for Passengers Needing Special Assistance at Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport has recently opened one of the largest special assistance areas in any European airport. The new £2 million airline lounge style area is situated in its North Terminal and has a capacity to seat up to 90 people. The area has been designed with a premium lounge feel, with bespoke chairs and soft furnishing to provide a quiet and calm environment for special assistance passengers to enjoy before flying.
In addition to the new lounge available at the airport and this handy booklet the airport has put together, I Love meet and greet take a look how to arrange special assistance and the other facilities Gatwick Airport makes available for its customers who are travelling with a disability or reduced mobility.
Who can use the Special Assistance service?
If you have a condition or disability, need wheelchair provision, have mobility difficulties (including the elderly), visibility problems, or a hidden disability like Alzheimer’s or ADHD, you can make use of the special assistance facilities at the airport. Gatwick Airport staff are there to help you to make your journey through the airport as easy as possible. There are often long walking distances within the terminal buildings and to the departure gates so if you struggle with long walks you are also entitled to assistance.
When to Book Your Special Assistance?
If you need help to get to your flight you should contact your airline in advance either at the time of booking or at least 72 hours before you fly to inform them that you need assistance. You should also let them know if you intend to take your own mobility aid such as a wheelchair with you. If you are unable to book assistance in advance go straight to the special assistance desks when you arrive at the airport.
Airport Special Assistance Desks
Gatwick Airport has a dedicated team to help with special assistance passengers. As soon as you arrive at the airport, make your way to the number of assistance reception desks which are located throughout the airport; on both terminal forecourts and before and after security. The assistance service is completely free.
Help Point Telephones
Alternatively if you can’t get to the assistance desks, use one of the special assistance telephones which you will see dotted around the airport if you need help. Passengers are welcome to use these telephones to request assistance even those who have not booked in advance.
Hard of Hearing
Induction loops are provided throughout the airport for hard of hearing passengers. Look out for the ‘sympathetic ear’ symbol. If you are hard of hearing, make yourself known to the airport staff and they will provide help when announcements are made.
Gatwick Airport uses directional signs of black text on a yellow background for maximum visibility. If you are struggling with the departure monitors, please ask for help at the dedicated assistance reception desk or help points throughout the airport.
Special Assistance Security Lanes
Gatwick Airport has special assistance lanes, available for both departing and arriving passengers, in both terminal buildings. These special lanes are dedicated for those who need a little more time to pass through security and provide more space and extra-large security scanners to accommodate wheelchairs. Dedicated staff members are also there to provide extra help and support whilst going through security.
Hidden Disability Lanyards
Gatwick Airport has special lanyards for passengers with hidden disabilities or disabilities that you may not want to share. These lanyards identify you to staff as someone who may needs additional support.
Taking Your Own Mobility Equipment
If you are travelling with your own mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters or walkers, you can take these right up to the departure gate just please let your airline know in advance that you will be using your own equipment.
I Love meet and greet
Our recommendation for anyone flying with a disability or reduced mobility, is to always allow plenty of time at the airport; arriving early will mean you will not feel rushed getting through security.
And I Love meet and greet airport parking is particularly suitable for any special assistance passengers as our drivers meet you right outside the airport, take your car and park it in our secure car park and return it the terminal forecourt when you return from your holiday.
By Sarah Anglim at 19 Jul 2018