Published on : Thursday, July 31, 2014
It sets out what services disabled people can expect from airlines, travel companies and airports and offers legal advice too. It has been developed in association with the Civil Aviation Authority and endorsed by the Department of Transport and other travel organisations.
The guide contains 15 top tips for a smooth journey, covering areas such as assistance dogs, accessibility, getting mobility and other essential equipment on board and seating arrangements. It will be distributed through airport, travel companies and organisations working with disabled people.
With over 90,000 passengers requiring special assistance travelling through its terminals, Heathrow warmly welcomes the guide as another way to ensure its passengers have the right information and are prepared for their journey.
Ahead of the London 2012 Games, Heathrow worked with the charity Whizz Kids and Lord Chris Holmes MBE and Ade Adepitan to better understand how to help passengers with reduced mobility travel through the airport. The legacy lives on across the airport, with enhanced changing facilities, including more signage in Braille to improved staff understanding and refined processes like reuniting those passengers with their wheelchairs.
Paralympian medal 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.
“As the guide says, passengers who require help should get in touch with their airline well ahead of travelling so that we can help make the right arrangements at Heathrow.”
The Commission has produced the guide as part of its work to improve the experiences of disabled people using air travel, and can be found on their website.