We have compiled the available information from all major airports in the UK & Ireland, detailing their accessibility arrangements.
*Please note: all information below is current on the airport websites as of 28th November 2020. COVID related restrictions may mean that details of some services have changed. Please contact individual airports for complete details before you travel.*
Bristol Airport has a lanyard and card scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities and a guide for passengers with Autism or who are travelling with children who have Autism.
Carlisle Airport will be opening in 2019 and we hope to find out more about their hidden disability facilities when the airport opens.
East Midlands Airport have a lanyard which you can collect at the Pink Passenger Services desk.
Leeds-Bradford Airport operate a lanyard scheme for people with hidden disabilities and have an airport guide for passengers with Autism.
Liverpool Airport offers a ‘Butterfly Flyer’ to help passengers with hidden disabilities through security. They also have a downloadable guide to the airport.
London City Airport operate a lanyard scheme and have a visual guide to getting around the airport.
London Gatwick Airport operate a lanyard scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities, have produced an Autism friendly visual guide for children and are the only airport that we have found in our search that references the anxiety that can be felt by young children with ADHD.
London Heathrow Airport also operate the Sunflower hidden disability lanyard scheme.
London Stanstead Airport also operate the Sunflower hidden disability lanyard scheme and offer free fast track security for travellers with Autism and up to three members of their family as part of their Special Flyer Autism Awareness Scheme.
Luton Airport have a lanyard system in place and you can obtain a lanyard from the airport or wear a sunflower lanyard that you have obtained at another airport or Sainsbury’s store.
An invisible disabilities lanyard is available at Manchester Airport and there are several booklets and videos available that describe a journey through the airport which you can find here.
Newcastle Airport operates a hidden disabilities lanyard scheme, an Autism Passport, a travel advice booklet for parents with Autistic children, an airport journey booklet and an airport activity book for children.
At Southampton Airport you can access a ‘helping hands’ lanyard, they have introduced tactile signs and have a quieter passage.
Belfast International Airport ask that passengers with reduced mobility:
- Inform the Airline/Tour Operator when booking the flight or no later than 48 hours before the flight is due to operate. Please advise of the type of assistance required and if any personal mobility equipment such as a powered scooter or wheelchair will be used.
Belfast International Airport have contracted OCS to provide their assistance service. OCS have trained staff and a range of specialist vehicles and equipment. On departure, the service is available from the customer’s point of arrival at the airport to their seat on the aircraft. On arrival, the service is available from the aircraft seat to the customer’s onward mode of transport. The OCS Assistance Desk is located to the left side of the Check In Hall. This service is provided free of charge.
Autistic passengers booking assistance through their airline or tour operator, should book DPNA assistance, if there is an option to give further information regarding the assistance required, type the word “Autism” which enables the special assistance provider to give the appropriate level of help.
An Autism Awareness Lanyard is available to assist with your journey through the airport and can be collected on the day of travel from the OCS Special Assistance desk in the Check-In Hall on production of a boarding pass. The lanyard should be shown to Airport Staff where additional assistance or support may be required at any stage of the airport journey. Please note that the lanyard does not permit fast track through Security or Passport Control.
Passengers with Hidden Disabilities who would like to travel independently through the Airport can be provided with a lanyard which discreetly identifies them to Airport staff as requiring additional support.
Passengers with a lanyard can approach security using the left hand Priority Security lane who will direct them to a Special Assistance Lane. Please note that the lanyard does not permit fast track through Security or Passport Control.
Familiarisation visits, prior to travel, will be considered on request. For further information please email email@example.com.
Dublin airport ask that passengers with reduced mobility:
- Contact and notify your airline, travel agent or tour operator with details of their assistance requirements at least 48 hours in advance of the departure of your flight.
- It is very important that passengers requiring mobility assistance ensure that they contact their airline, travel agent or tour operator directly as their onward travel may be affected by the safety rules an air carrier applies to the carriage of persons with reduced mobility.
Dublin airport also offers the following services for passengers with reduced mobility:
- Car park facilities for persons with reduced mobility in Long Term and Short Term – click here.
- Specially adapted facilities including toilets and lifts all clearly signposted.
- A series of induction loops to facilitate the amplification of announcements for passengers with hearing difficulties.
- A counter loop system at the information desk to facilitate clear communication with the information assistants on duty.
- Set down areas on the departures road
- Changing Places Facility – located in the arrivals hall in Terminal 1
- Assistance Dog Relief Room – Located in Terminal 2
- Privacy rooms – located in both terminals
Dublin Airport has special arrangements for Autistic passengers and will issue an “Important Flyer” lanyard or wristband to passengers who apply in advance, have travel booked and supply medical evidence of an Autism diagnosis.
Dublin Airport has a sensory room, aimed at helping to calm passengers who might feel overwhelmed in busy and unfamiliar airport surroundings.
The new space is located after security screening and just before the 400 gates, and is designed specifically for Autistic individuals, people with dementia, cognitive impairments or other special needs.
To find out more about the facilities available at Dublin airport, please call 01-7047783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a comprehensive range of information for passengers requiring special assistance on Aberdeen Airport’s website including information about how Coronavirus may affect services.
This section includes information and advice to help passengers requiring assistance including those with additional support needs to plan their journey through Aberdeen Airport and several videos that may help you to plan your trip to the airport that include subtitles and BSL.
For passengers with additional support needs, Aberdeen Airport ask that you request assistance with your airline or travel agent and ensure that you book as “DPNA assistance” when asked what help you need. You should also ask the airline or travel agent to add a comment describing the assistance required. They also encourage passengers requiring this assistance to get in touch with the assistance provider at Aberdeen International Airport in advance of your date of travel via email at email@example.com or by phone on 01224 725767.
They are able to provide support to people with a variety of hidden disabilities including Autism, Dementia, Hearing Loss, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health impairments and anxiety issues.
Passengers with Hidden Disabilities can also request a lanyard/card in advance and familiarisation visits of the airport in advance of the date of travel can be arranged by contacting the Duty Manager team by email firstname.lastname@example.org, to make the necessary arrangements.
If you would like to contact the airport with any specific queries you can get in touch by email PRM.Aberdeen@uk.g4s.com
Edinburgh Airport request that passengers requiring special assistance:
- Advise their airline or travel agent in advance – ideally, more than 14 days prior to departure or at the time of booking their flight. The minimum notice they advise is 48 hours prior to departure. However, if you have been unable to book assistance they will make all reasonable efforts to assist you on the day.
There is a Reserved Seating Area/Mobility Assistance reception area outside the Domestic Arrivals doors (sign posted “Special Assistance”) opposite the Airlink 100 bus stance. Staff remain on site throughout the day and can be contacted via one of our Call Points – this line is manned 24/7.
Edinburgh Airport work with ABM Aviation to provide special assistance at the airport and you can email them at EmailUsForConfidence@ABM.com with queries whether you are an arriving or departing passenger. Airlines are responsible for passengers on board the aircraft.
Passengers with Hidden Disabilities who require 1-1 assistance can pre-book this through their airline at least 48 hours prior to departure. Hidden Disability lanyards and pins that let staff know that passengers may require some extra assistance when travelling through the airport are available on-site. You can also download a social story about visiting the airport.
Glasgow Airport has an extensive section on their website full of information for people requiring special assistance at the airport.
Glasgow Airport request that passengers requiring assistance:
- Inform their airline at least 48 hours before they travel, however, they advise giving their airline as much notice as possible for both departure and arrival. This is best done at the time of booking travel arrangements.
Assistance will be provided free of charge to and from all of the on airport arrival points up to the departure point at the gate and likewise for the return journey. This includes from Car Park 1 and 2 as well as car and taxi drop off/pick up points and bus stands.
Passengers with Hidden Disabilities can be provided with a lanyard discreetly identifying them to airport staff as requiring additional support. Airport staff who have received Autism Awareness training wear a logo on their lanyards. Every customer-facing team has a member of staff who is specially trained as a Dementia Friend who can also be identified by the logo on their lanyard. You can view the logos indicating staff Autism or Dementia training on the website.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport request that passengers with reduced mobility who require assistance:
- Inform their airline at least 48 hours before they fly, ideally giving as much notice as possible for both your outbound and return journey.
We could not find any further information about assistance for Autistic passengers or passengers with Hidden Disabilities on their website, so we recommend that you contact the airport directly.
Cardiff Airport ask that any passengers requiring special assistance do the following:
- At the time of booking your flight or up to 48 hours in advance of travelling, please contact your airline directly or via your travel agent to pre-book assistance. You should always pre-book with your airline or travel agent if you require assistance.
- You should also tell your airline if you intend to take your own mobility aid such as wheelchair or scooter.
You can also find out information about car parking on their Special Assistance parking page.
Cardiff Airport recognises The Sunflower Lanyard scheme for people with hidden disabilities. Passengers with a hidden disability can wear a lanyard, pin badge or wristband to discreetly indicate to staff that they require some extra support when navigating through the airport.
The Sunflower Lanyard scheme products can be requested, free of charge, in advance by contacting the Special Assistance desk at the Airport, or picked up on the day of travel.
Cardiff Airport also offers familiarisation tours where customers can pre-arrange a visit to the airport before they are due to travel. These visits are subject to availability and do not include going onto an aircraft.
For more information about the help available at Cardiff Airport, contact their 24 hour service on 01446 729329 or email us at PRMDesk@cwl.aero.