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Special assistance: terminal facilities

Facilities for people with disabilities or special needs in the terminals at Heathrow.

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Facilities for the hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted

Induction loops are found throughout the airport (look for signs showing the 'sympathetic ear' symbol). Payphones and credit card telephones are available and are adapted for hearing aids. There are also text payphones in the arrivals area, after Customs.

Assistance dogs are allowed in the terminal buildings (see below).

The airport's directional signs are black on yellow, providing optimum contrast to assist all users.

Reserved seating

There are reserved seating areas in every terminal within the general seating areas, marked by signs. They generally have:

  • Low-level flight information screens
  • An induction loop
  • Arms on both sides of seats
  • Space for wheelchair users.

Security checks

Our security staff are obliged to carry out a hand-search whenever a passenger activates the archway metal detector alarm. If you are a wheelchair user, that’s likely to be the case. We recognise that it may be more suitable to have this search carried out away from the main search area, so please don’t hesitate to request this if you’d prefer it.

If you are using a wheelchair provided by the airport and wish to walk through the archway, to avoid an unnecessary search, you're welcome to do so.

Average distances and times to gate

Journey times to gates will vary depending on the terminal and your destination. To help cover these distances we provide moving walkways, lifts and a transfer shuttle in Terminal 5.

Departure gates are subject to change and prior notice will be given on the flight information screens in the terminal. You can also check departure gates with your airline at check-in.

Terminal 2

All departure gates in the main terminal ('A' gates) are approximately 200m (about five minutes) from security. Gates in satellite terminal T2B ('B' gates) are 800m (about 20 minutes) from security.

UK and Ireland flights depart from 'A' gates.

Terminal 3

The majority of departure gates are 800m (about 20 minutes) from security.

Terminal 4

Most departure gates are approximately 200m (about five minutes) from security. Some are 400m (about 10 minutes) from security.

Terminal 5

All gates in the main terminal ('A' gates) are approximately 400m (about ten minutes) from security. Gates in satellites T5B and T5C ('B' and 'C' gates) are 600m (about 15 minutes) from security (via transit system). Domestic and EU flights usually depart from 'A' gates, other international departures from 'B' and 'C' gates.


Most toilet blocks at Heathrow include a unisex, wheelchair-accessible toilet. They can be found on our terminal maps.

Find closest accessible toilets

Changing Places

Changing Places facilities are aimed at those with more severe physical or mental disabilities. They are equipped with:

  • Height-adjustable adult-size changing bench
  • Hoist
  • Space for carers
  • Extra-wide rolls of paper
  • Shower
  • Non-slip floors.

Further information:


  • Terminal 2: Arrivals (passenger-only area), opposite Gate 18
  • Terminal 4: Arrivals (public area), ground floor near Underground station
  • Terminal 5 (Lichfield Suite): Departures (after security), opposite Gate 20.

Assistance dogs

An assistance dog is one which has been specially trained to assist a disabled person and meets the full membership criteria of Assistance Dogs International (ADI). For more information visit

  • Assistance dogs include guide dogs, 'hearing' dogs and service dogs
  • Please advise your airline of your intention to travel with an assistance dog
  • Your dog will usually be able to travel with you through the airport. Where this is not possible for any reason we will make suitable alternative arrangements for you and your dog to travel together
  • We have approved relief areas for animals in all our terminals. Please speak to a member of airport staff for help reaching these locations.

Travelling with your own mobility equipment

We can provide mobility devices to assist you at the airport, along with assistance from our service provider, but you're welcome to use your own mobility equipment if you prefer. Your airline can advise you whether your device can be used in the aircraft cabin or must be stored in the hold.

Electrically powered equipment can be used but please consult your airline about any size or weight restrictions they may stipulate. Your airline can also advise on how to prepare the device for loading on to the aircraft.

If you experience problems with your mobility equipment at Heathrow we can provide a temporary replacement to allow you to continue your journey. Please ask a member of our team, who will make the necessary arrangements.

Airline contact information

Help with shopping

If you'd like assistance with shopping at the airport, you may wish to use our reserve-and-collect service. Call us on 0800 678 5324 or email us for further information.

Further information

For further information about special needs assistance at Heathrow Airport please call 0844 335 1801 (UK only). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please call the Heathrow minicom service on +44 (0)20 8745 7950.

Airport parking

Book with official Heathrow parking
Airport lounges