How do I book help for a disabled person at an airport?
Passengers with sensory, physical or learning disabilities are legally entitled to support when they travel by air. For example, in airports they have the right to receive help at specific arrival points, assistance getting to and registering at check-in, help moving through the airport and assistance boarding the plane.
But how do you book this kind of help? In this post, we explain the services that are available and how disabled passengers can access them.
How airports can help passengers with disabilities
To make sure that you have access to all the help you need, you should let the airport know of your requirements before your arrival - ideally at least 48 hours ahead of your flight. Usually, this is done by informing your airline or travel agent, who will pass the information onto the airport. You can also make certain arrangements yourself, such as booking airport parking.
Airports provide accessible parking. To make sure you get one of these spaces in a location that suits you, it’s a good idea to book in advance. At Liverpool Airport, we provide disabled parking for Blue Badge holders in a range of locations, including our long stay and short stay car parks, as well as our Express Drop Off and Pick-Up area and Fast Track car park. You’ll find yellow call points near our accessible bays that you can use to get assistance. Alternatively, you can call 0151 907 1030 for help once you arrive.
Airports must provide assistance desks where disabled passengers can go for help. As mentioned previously, you should notify your airline or travel agent of your needs before your journey and they will ensure that the departure and arrival airports are expecting you. You’ll find an assistance desk located in the middle of the main terminal at Liverpool Airport.
Staff at the assistance desk will be able to help you in a number of ways depending on your specific requirements. For example, they can take you to a designated ‘special assistance’ area within the terminal, escort you to check-in and bag drop off and help you to go through security, get to your gate and board the flight.
These assistants can also help to move luggage from your vehicle and escort you to the accessible toilets. If you’re flying into an airport, they can help you get off the aircraft and through passport control, collect your luggage and help you to reach your onward travel.
Assistance dogs are welcome in airports, but you must contact your airline in advance to ensure you can travel with them. Also, if you’re travelling with one of these dogs, make sure you get in touch with the assistance desk as soon as you arrive at the airport.
How to check wheelchair access at an airport
Airports must be accessible to disabled passengers. For example, they have to provide a variety of wheelchair accessible facilities, such as lifts and disabled toilets. You can visit the website of the airport you are travelling from to discover more about wheelchair accessibility, or you can contact their customer service helplines. At Liverpool Airport, we provide a full range of accessible facilities, including Aspire Premium Lounge.
How do I get wheelchair service in the airport?
If you’re taking your own wheelchair to the airport, you will be able to use it right up until you board the plane if you wish. At this point, it will be taken and stored in the hold until you disembark, when it will be returned to you immediately. Bear in mind that you’ll need to book your wheelchair or electronic mobility aid (EMA) in before you travel, notifying your airline of the type of equipment and its make and model.
You also have the option of using wheelchair services provided by the airport. Speak to your airline to find out more about the options and to reserve the equipment you need. At Liverpool Airport, we provide a variety of mobility aids, including regular wheelchairs for getting around the airport and models designed specifically for boarding the aircraft and moving up or down the aisle to your seat.
Is there disabled drop off at Liverpool Airport?
As mentioned earlier, there are accessible Blue Badge parking bays available in the Express Drop Off & Pick-Up area at Liverpool Airport. You’ll find this facility adjacent to the short-stay multi-storey car park. You can use the drop off parking spaces free of charge for up to 40 minutes. To do so, you’ll need to present your blue badge and travel documentation at the car park office on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park. You’ll then be given a ticket you can use to exit the car park.
There is lots of assistance available for disabled passengers at airports, so it pays to make sure you know what support is on offer and how to access it. Bear in mind that if you or another person in your group has a disability, you may need to allow more time for checking in and getting to your departure gate. Your airline will be able to advise you on this.