Did you know that most airports now offer additional help and support when flying with a person with learning disabilities or autism?
Any passenger who has a disability or reduced mobility is entitled by law to ‘special assistance’ when flying from UK airports, as stated by the Civil Aviation Authority. This means the airport being used has to offer help and assistance to ensure a less stressful journey for the passenger. This must also be provided free of charge.
Most provide visuals to prepare your loved one for what is going to happen along with special lanyards or wrist bands to assist passengers through security.
Also, don’t forget to get in touch with your travel provider to see if they can do more. And remember to check out the airport you’re flying to in preparation for your return journey, too.
Pre-book assistance with your airline.
When you book your flights, also look out for the airline’s assistance support. Sometimes it’s a box to tick and other times it’s an email address to contact. It’s really worth doing this because assistance in the air is the duty of the airline and assistance at the airport is the duty of that airport only.
Ask for assistance at your airport.
Even if you have pre-notified your family’s needs with the airline or have forgotten to do so at the time of booking, it is a great idea to visit your airport’s special assistance counter on arrival. Here you can find and ask for any support your family could benefit from, such as early boarding or an escort to the gate for departure.
All airlines must provide help and assistance, which is free of charge, and helps ensure you have a less stressful journey. To find out more visit the UK Civil Aviation website.
Occasionally it can go wrong: if you feel you need to complain here is the best way to proceed. https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/How-to-make-a-complaint/
There are a number of airports in the UK. Use the links for each airport to take you to their website where you can find further information that will help when travelling with a loved one with learning disabilities or autism or for any other reason you may require extra support at an airport.
On each website, you will be able to find videos, visual print out guides and lots more information.
Other UK Airports
Here you can find other UK Airports that we have not listed above.
Belfast City Airport:
Belfast International Airport:
Cornwall Newquay Airport:
City of Derry Airport:
Doncaster Sheffield Airport:
East Midlands Airport:
Glasgow Prestwick Airport:
Leeds Bradford Airport:
Liverpool John Lennon Airport:
What is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower?
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a simple tool for you to voluntarily share that you have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent – and that you may need a helping hand, understanding, or more time in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it is not there.
When travelling you may not want to share details of your loved ones or your own hidden disabilities. If this applies to you or your loved one when you are travelling, airports can offer a sunflower lanyard to wear on your journey through our airport.
This will identify you to staff as someone who may need additional support or understanding. staff at airports have been specially trained to recognise the lanyard and act accordingly. The sunflower is recognised at most UK airports as identifying hidden disabilities and if you have an existing lanyard from another UK airport or Sainsbury’s this will also be recognised and accepted here.
Globally 1 in 7 of us live with a disability. That is approximately 1.3 billion people.
Use the link below to take you to the hidden disability website.