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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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Disabled toliets and Changing Places

Toilets are provided throughout Heathrow, in arrivals and departures, before and after security. Most include a unisex, wheelchair-accessible toilet. Occasionally the accessible toilet is located inside the men's and ladies' toilets.

Changing Places

Changing Places will have additional equipment and space to use the toilets safely and comfortably. They can be found in the following locations:

  • Terminal 2: After security - arrivals level, opposite Gate 18
  • Terminal 3: After security - departures level, opposite Gate 7
  • Terminal 4: Arrivals - opposite London Underground escalators
  • Terminal 5: After security - departures level, Special Assistance Lounge - Lichfield Suite, opposite Gate 20

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.


SignLive logoHeathrow has been working with a UK deaf-owned organisation called SignLive to install online video interpreting services across Heathrow. This innovative service allows deaf passengers to communicate with the Heathrow team, by using an app which connects them to a qualified British Sign Language interpreter within seconds. SignLive will be available from 08:00 - 20:00 (Monday to Friday) and 08:00 - 13:00 (Saturdays). We are running this on a trial basis and if successful, we hope to extend the cover during all operational hours. SignLive is currently available at all our Special Assistance host areas. If you require the use of this service, please let one of our Special Assistance agents know and they will be more than happy to help.

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.


Airport parking

Book with official Heathrow parking
Airport lounges