Transforming special assistance
Transforming Special Assistance at Heathrow
The aim of the Special Assistance Team at Heathrow is to make sure the airport is accessible to everyone. We have three clear objectives for our assistance services to ensure we 'provide the right service for the individual in the moment':
- To increase our focus on the experience our passengers have using the service.
- To look at ways in which we can enhance the assistance we provide to our passengers when travelling through Heathrow.
- Where we can, improve our infrastructure to make our facilities as efficient and comfortable as possible.
To see the level of engagement download the consultation register (Excel format)
What we’ve been up to
On 22 March 2017 we held our consultative committee meeting. Representatives from nine different charities were present and Heathrow provided updates on the improvements being made to assistance services at Heathrow. The committee members offered feedback and advice and several actions were taken away by Heathrow. Read the consultative committee minutes (110KB PDF)
Developing an Autism awareness scheme
Working with Autism West Midlands, Heathrow will soon be launching an Autism Awareness scheme as we are passionate about supporting passengers of all needs travelling through the airport. We will be launching a range of materials to support passengers with an Autism Spectrum Condition, including a series of Assistance Guides, which will help prepare passengers for their journey and understand what to expect. More information will become available in 2017, so please keep checking this page for further updates.
Attending the national awards for Changing Places
The Terminal 2 and Development teams won two awards in the ‘Changing Places’ category for best Ultra-accessible Toilet and Adult Change Areas.
Becoming world’s first dementia friendly airport
We have committed to becoming a dementia-friendly airport. Working with the Alzheimer’s Society, we aim to make the journey through Heathrow easier for those affected by dementia. We know that travelling can be a stressful, confusing experience, so we have started training our frontline staff to ensure they can adapt the service to support passengers with dementia.
We will be launching a range of materials to support passengers with dementia, including a series of Assistance Guides which will provide information for passengers with various Hidden Disabilities and help prepare them for their journey through Heathrow. More information will become available in 2017, so please keep checking this page for further details
Welcoming Whizz-Kidz for Disabled Access Day
Organised jointly by Heathrow partners, Virgin Airways and Omniserv, Whizz-Kidz were taken on a tour of Heathrow to experience the airport's service first-hand. The tour supported both Disabled Access Day and the Whizz-Kids’ #GetOnBoard campaign whose aim is for a more inclusive transport system.
In return, valuable feedback was provided on how the airport can make all passengers’ journeys more comfortable and accessible.
Developing our teams to provide personalised support
In conjunction with Omniserv, we have introduced Senior Trained Additional Assistance Roles (STAAR). The STAAR team members provide further support to passengers with more complex needs and requirements. The agents training is enriched with input from the Heathrow consultative Committee charity partners.