Arranging Airport Assistance

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Arranging Airport Assistance

Read our guide if you would like to arrange airport assistance. This guide is full of FAQ’s, guidance on how to arrange airport assistance and prevent problems when travelling.

Airport Assitance

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When a passenger with a disability requires assistance from an airline to move around the airport, the airline will need to offer the requested assistance. This assistance can be in the form of guide assistance for an individual who is blind or wheelchair assistance for an individual with a mobility impairment. To be offered such special assistance, the passenger must inform the airline staff at the time of booking or at the airport for the passenger with a disability requiring this service.

Requesting special assistance at the airport

If you require airport assistance at the airport then follow these simple guidelines to help you arrange this for yourself or the person you're travelling with.

Assistance points

When you arrive at the airport you need to go to the assistance point. This can either be located inside or outside of the terminal. Assistance points will normally have a type of disability-related logo and include a buzzer button or telephone to allow you to call for assistance. You can reach the assistance point by the following sign within the airport. If you require additional assistance at in the airport, for instance during security searches, some airport special assistance desks can provide people with hidden disabilities an ID badge.

Staff at assistance points can help you or your accomplice with:

  • support to get to the designated “special assistance” area in the terminal building
  • checking-in and bag drop
  • taking you through security, into the departure lounge and to the departure gate


Special assistance staff can escort you that includes taking you in the airport while you sit in a wheelchair, through the airport and up to the departure gate. They will also help you get to your seat and with stowing your carry on bags if required. If you have a personal wheelchair or electric mobility aid you should be able to use your own equipment right up to the departure gate. Many airports have an appointed area within the departure lounge where you can wait until your flight is called out.

To assist with the process equipment such as ambi-lifts, ramps, and small wheelchairs (which are used on the aircraft) may be used.

At your destination airport

Once you arrive at your destination, your personal wheelchair or mobility aid will be provided to you at the arrival gate.

Depending on the country you're visiting, you may be allowed assistance through immigration, customs, baggage reclaim, and all the way to the designated arrival point include car parks, train stations and drop off points.

Arranging Airport Assistance

When should I ask for airport assistance?

It's recommended that you ask for assistance at least 48 hours before your flight booking. This information will then be given to the airport and the service provider. You could experience delays and may not receive the service that you need if you don't provide advance notice.

How can I request wheelchair assistance?

If you require wheelchair assistance between your flights, contact Alternative Airlines on +44 (0)1293 874 920. We will be able to inform the airline you are flying with that you or a member of your party needs a wheelchair service and provide you with any other information you may need. You may request airport wheelchair assistance if you have impaired or reduced mobility. This consists of passengers recovering from a surgery or an injury, in addition, to those with a chronic condition, such as arthritis, that makes walking difficult. For more information please see our guide on wheelchair assistance on flights.

What kind of assistance can I ask for?

You need to be clear about the type of assistance you require. This will help prevent delays and ensure that you get suitable support.

This can could include:

  • airport transfers, for example, cars or bus to the terminal building
  • the use of an airport wheelchair to get to the gate
  • assistance whilst getting through security searches
  • support with boarding the aircraft and getting seated
  • specific seats on the aircraft

Airlines will need to know if:

  • you are carrying an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter
  • your condition means that you require extra care and attention