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Assistance at the Airport

Do you offer special assistance at the airport?

At Limitless Travel, we understand how difficult it can be to fly with a disability. This handy guide details what you need to know to ensure you are making the most of the disabled assistance at airports when you fly overseas.

From booking your ticket, to disembarking the plane, everything you need to know is right here, so flying needn’t be a daunting experience. Remember – airport assistance is there to make your journey easier and have plenty of experience in helping people with a range of disabilities such as wheelchair users and those with autism and who are deaf.

Should I research special assistance before I book a flight?

Before you book any disabled holidays or even your airline ticket, it is very important that you research which airlines can provide the type of special assistance you require.

Each airline has a slightly different policy, so it is best to ensure you understand what the airline can and cannot do to provide the level of special assistance you need to have a safe and accessible flight.

The best place to do your research is with the airlines directly, either on their disabled access website page, or by calling the airline via their dedicated special assistance contact number.

How to book special assistance at the airport?

When you book an airline ticket, it is advisable that you book your airport assistance straight away. Airlines need plenty of notice, so they can make sure that they have the right number of specialist staff on the ground.

To book specialist assistance at airports, it is advisable to call the airline you have booked your tickets with and explain to them the type of assistance you will need. The airline will book your airport assistance, and may also ask for details and dimensions of any mobility equipment you are bringing with you.

It is handy to keep the dimension, battery type, and any other important information about your mobility equipment, as it is likely you will be asked multiple times for this information at the airport.

What's the best way to plan?

Once you have booked your airline ticket, and the airport assistance you require, it is advisable to do some planning to make your trip as smooth as possible. For example, how do you plan to get to the airport?

Do you need to order a taxi? Will you need assistance with your luggage from the taxi to the special assistance check-in desk? Limitless Travel can assist you with this step once you have made your booking, to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the departure days of your disabled holidays abroad.

It’s advisable to hire a disability hoist. Hiring a hoist can make your life much more convenient when you're away from home. Hoists are beneficial for both users and caregivers, as they lower the risk of physical strain and injury while making transfers easier to manage.

What should I do when I check into the airport?

When you arrive at the airport, you should make yourself known at the special assistance desk. Here, you can request assistance with luggage, the use of a wheelchair, and special assistance through security.

The staff at the desk will inform you of how to check-in for your flight, and will tell you where to meet the airport assistance staff if you do not require assistance through security. Airports are generally very accessible, but you can also ask here for the disabled friendly toilets to be pointed out for you.

How do I spot airport assistance staff?

Airport assistance staff will always wear high visibility clothing and will be around the airport at all times. If you need assistance for something in particular, you can call their attention.

If you would prefer a qualified carer to provide you with assistance at airports, you can meet the care team at a designated airport on each and every one of our holidays. They will be there to provide holiday care if required, as well as airport assistance, and general support.

Holiday care is available in a range of different package types; call us on 0800 711 7112 to find out more. Please note that standard airport assistance staff will not be able to assist you with any personal care, so it is advisable that, should you need assistance in the bathroom at the airport, you purchase one of our holiday care packages.

What about aircraft assistance?

Any steps up to the aircraft are avoided in one of two ways; via ramp or via ambulift. If a ramp is being utilised, airport assistance staff will accompany you to the door of the aircraft, in your own wheelchair if you are using one.

Here, you will be requested to transfer into an aisle wheelchair, which will be able to fit down the aisle of the aircraft. You can then transfer into your aircraft seat. An ambulift is a vehicle that is fitted with a lift for wheelchair access. Once you are safely secured inside, the ambulift rises to the aircraft door, and from this point onwards the procedure is the same as with a ramp.

For more information try our disabled friendly holiday destinations which include BrusselsGreece and Dunblane.

What qualifies for special assistance at the airport?

Flight assistance at airports is typically provided to passengers with disabilities. Disabilities that qualify for special assistance service include:

1.Mobility Disabilities:

  • Passengers with mobility impairments may have difficulty walking, standing, or climbing stairs. They often use wheelchairs, scooters, or electric mobility aids.
  • Special assistance may include wheelchair assistance throughout the airport, accessible boarding ramps, and priority seating on the aircraft.
  • Accessible restrooms and facilities are also provided to ensure comfort during the journey.

2.Visual Impairments:

  • Travellers who are blind or have low vision rely on tactile or auditory cues for navigation.
  • Special assistance involves guiding passengers through the airport, providing information in Braille or large print, and ensuring they are aware of their surroundings and boarding gates.

3.Hearing Impairments:

  • Passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing may have difficulty understanding announcements or communicating with airport staff.
  • Assistance includes visual cues, written communication, and sign language interpreters to ensure effective communication.

Cognitive or Developmental Disabilities:

  • Passengers with cognitive impairments or developmental disabilities, such as autism, may require additional support.
  • Special assistance may involve providing a quiet and sensory-friendly environment, allowing pre-boarding to reduce stress, and ensuring clear communication with caregivers.

5.Medical Conditions:

  • Individuals with medical conditions, such as respiratory issues or the need for medical equipment, may require specialised care during travel.
  • Assistance includes ensuring that necessary medical equipment is accommodated, and medical personnel may be available in case of emergencies.

6.Temporary Disabilities:

  • Travellers recovering from injuries or with temporary disabilities, like a broken leg, may need assistance until they regain full mobility.
  • Special assistance can involve priority boarding, wheelchair support, and accommodations for any medical equipment needed during the recovery period.

7.Age-Related Disabilities:

  • Elderly passengers may face mobility challenges, reduced stamina, or difficulties understanding and following airport procedures.
  • Assistance may include wheelchair support, priority services, and clear communication to ensure a comfortable journey.
Two people sitting on a beach with a wheelchair nearby.