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  By Mike Valeriani
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Heathrow Airport and Disabilities

By Mark Farrell


Disable wheelchair symbolIf you or someone you know is planning a flight to or from Heathrow, you can plan on a smooth journey regardless of special needs.

Heathrow offers facilities designed to accommodate travellers with disabilities, and special assistance is available, as well.

Whether you are travelling in a wheelchair, with a guide dog, or extra assistance would be helpful due to illness or any physical impairment, you will receive the support you need at Heathrow.

Special accommodations make every aspect of flying through Heathrow as convenient as possible for disabled and elderly travelers: parking, transport throughout the airport, check-in, dining, shopping, and boarding or disembarking from your plane.
Parking Assistance at Heathrow

Whether you require short term or long term parking, you will find convenient blue/orange badge parking is available near terminal access routes. You can take advantage of Help Points located near these parking spaces in short term parking areas to request immediate assistance with baggage or wheelchair push. If you can lift the green telephone located at the Help point, you can receive free assistance. For long-term parking, travelers should call the car park ahead of time to arrange for transfer and assistance to their terminal.
Heathrow Help Bus.

Heathrow airport Special Assistance LogoIn addition to Help points, travellers with special needs can take advantage of the Heathrow Help Bus. Assisted transportation is provided between all terminals at Heathrow and the central bus station. You can request the Help Bus by lifting the green telephone at Help Bus or Help Point areas located at all arrivals' forecourts and Stand 6 in the central bus station. You may also ask Heathrow staff members for assistance with calling the bus, or dial 020 8745 6261 from any public phone.

Disabled Accommodations at Heathrow's Terminals

Heathrow Airport's terminals are designed to accommodate disabled travellers. You'll find hearing-aid adapted telephones at wheelchair height, ramps, wide pathways, and convenient disabled toilet facilities in every terminal.

There are induction loops available at various points throughout Heathrow, and text pay phones are located just outside of customs at all arrivals areas. Check-in areas feature reserved seating for disabled travellers, as well. Reserved seating features an induction loop, ample space for wheelchairs, low-level screens with flight information, and seats with two armrests.

Security Checks for the Disabled

Any passenger in a wheelchair will need to be hand searched in order to pass through security. Wheelchairs activate metal detectors, so this is the only way Heathrow personnel can ensure the security and safety of all travelers. Disabled travelers may ask to be searched in private according to their personal preference.

Assistance from Travel-Care

Disabled and elderly travelers (or anyone requiring assistance) can contact Travel-Care at Heathrow for help. Travel-Care is an independent agency that offers help Monday through Friday, from 09.00 - 17.00. Contact Travel-Care in advance if you require assistance by calling +44 (0)208 745 7495. Travel-Care is located in the Queens Building between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

Contact Heathrow for more Information

You can find out more about disabled travel and assistance for the elderly or other special needs passengers at Heathrow by phoning 44 (0)870 000 0123, or for the hard of hearing, dial +44 (0)20 8745 7950. Information is also available at Heathrow's official website.

If you need special assistance for your passage through Heathrow, you can take advantage of services provided by your airline in addition to Airport and Travel-Care staff. Plan ahead who will be providing assistance when and where during your journey, and make those arrangements in advance of your arrival. You'll find travel is much smoother and more enjoyable when you pre-arrange assistance prior to arrival at Heathrow.





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