Help in the terminal
We have assistance host areas in each terminal, which is where you can find assistance from our agents. On departing you will also be taken to a host area to wait until your gate is announced. On arriving, you may have to wait in a host area before you can proceed through immigration.
Our host areas have seating, flight information screens and some have vending machines.
Host area locations
- Terminal 2:
Before Security - Check-in near Zone C
After Security - Follow signs to “B Gates”
- Terminal 3:
Before security - Level 1, above Zone A Check-in, opposite Pret a manger
After security - Near World Duty Free, past the toilets
- Terminal 4:
Before Security - Check-in, under sign for Zones A&B
- After Security - Next to Costa Coffee – follow signs to gate A7
- Terminal 5:
Before Security - Zone G and Zone A
After Security - Next to gate A23
- Terminal 5B & Terminal 5C:
In conjunction with our charity partners, we have produced a series of guides showing you what to expect at all of the different stages of the journey. They include quiet areas to relax, as well as where you can find help in the airport if you require assistance on the day.
Guides are available for each terminal for both arrivals and departures If you require these guides in a different format, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any shopping requirements please speak to your host in either the landside or airside assistance areas, so they can check whether one of our shopping experts is available to help. Our Shopping Ambassadors are Heathrow experts, equipped with both first class customer care and the knowledge of what our retail brands are offering so you don’t miss out.
Please note: While we will endeavour to fulfil all shopping requests, occasionally our team is fully booked. We require a minimum of 1 hour before boarding for shopping assistance. Food and beverages can be ordered via the Heathrow Grab app, and can be picked-up with your Special Assistance colleague on the way to the host point (after security).
For our passengers in Terminal 3, we have a rest and relaxation room that you can enjoy if you want to escape from the sights and sounds of the terminal to a quiet place. This room is situated opposite to gate 25.
Quiet room facilities are currently being developed across all terminals. Updated information will be available once completed. Please see our Assistance Guides for further infomation and where to find quiet areas.
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 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 2: After security - departures level, opposite Gate B47
- 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
The airport's directional signs are black on yellow, providing optimum contrast to assist all users.
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 pay phones in the arrivals area, after Customs.
Find information on travelling with an assistance dog.
Heathrow 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). SignLive is currently available at all our Assistance host areas and from our Passenger Ambassadors. If you require the use of this service, please let one of our Assistance agents know and they will be more than happy to help.Download SignLive app
Assistance dogs are specially trained to assist a disabled person and meets the full membership criteria of Assistance Dogs International (ADI). For more information visit AssistanceDogsInternational.org.
A dedicated dog relief area for customers travelling with assistance dogs can be found outside Terminal 2, past the coach and taxi lanes on the ground floor. There is also a safe walking route to access this grass area from T3. Please ask a member of staff for directions.
Should your dog need to use the relief facilities whilst inside the terminal building and past security, please call the Assistance team on 020 8757 2700 who will help you gain access to a suitable area outside the terminal.
Departing from Heathrow
For any passenger travelling with an assistance dog, it is recommended that you report directly to the Assistance Host Desk or call for further assistance from any of the help points, where you will be assisted to the airline check-in desk. The airline representative will conduct a number of routine checks to ensure that you are in possession of a valid Pet Passport for your assistance dog and that he/she has a valid booking for the flight. Once all the airline checks have been completed and you have been issued with a valid boarding pass, you will be assisted through the security screening area to the airside departure lounge.
Arriving at Heathrow
For any passenger arriving into Heathrow on an international flight with an assistance dog, you will be met by an agent from Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), who will check your dog and documentation for clearance under the Pet Travel Scheme. Confirmation that the dog has been cleared will be issued to you in the form of a certificate by the HARC agent. You will be required to present this certificate at customs and immigration checks. You and/or your assistance dog should not attempt to go through immigration or customs until it has been cleared by an official, in accordance with the PETS scheme. Anyone attempting to do, will be advised that the dog may have landed illegally and is liable to be sanctioned by the authorities. Once your assistance dog has been checked and cleared by the HARC Agent, an Assistance agent will provide assistance from the aircraft through immigration checks to the baggage reclaim area, where your baggage can be collected. Assistance will then be provided through to the landside area and on to any designated drop off points within the terminal building, as mentioned above.
Connecting at Heathrow
If you are arriving into Heathrow on an international flight with an assistance dog, and you are scheduled to transfer to a another departing flight, you will be met by an agent from Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), who will check your dog and documentation for clearance under the Pet Travel Scheme. Confirmation that the dog has been cleared will be issued to you in the form of a certificate by the HARC agent. Once the assistance dog has been checked and cleared by the HARC agent, an Assistance agent will provide assistance from the aircraft, following the normal transfer routings to the same terminal, or to the terminal of departure.
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.
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, you're welcome to do so.
Our Security teams can direct passengers to quieter lanes. Please approach a a member of the team to point you in the right direction.
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.
Use our interactive map to preview all walking distances, or see below for approximate timings.
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.
The majority of departure gates are 800m (about 20 minutes) from security.
Most departure gates are approximately 200m (about five minutes) from security. Some are 400m (about 10 minutes) from security.
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.
If you require a wheelchair for your journey but don't need an agent to push you, you are welcome to use any of our purple Staxi chairs. Just pick up one up free of charge from one of our Assistance host areas.
Travelling with your own equipment
If travelling with your own equipment, please present yourself to check-in on arrival so that your equipment is tagged with luggage labels. Then proceed to the Assistance desk so that your equipment can be checked for aircraft compatibility. Our Assistance team can make the necassary arrangements to meet you at the gate should you require assistance getting to your aircraft seat. Finally, continue your journey through security and to the departures lounge/gate. Your equipment will be placed on board the aircraft after you have boarded.
If you experience problems with your mobility equipment at Heathrow we can provide a temporary replacement to allow you to continue your journey. Just ask a member of our team, who will make the necessary arrangements.
Equipment at Heathrow
If you are not travelling in your own wheelchair, this is the type of chair that will be used within the terminal buildings.
Narrow enough for to fit the aisle of the aircraft, smaller aisle chairs are used for passengers who need assistance getting onto the aircraft and into the aircraft seat.
Buggies may be used instead of staxi chairs at certain parts of your journey within the terminal. N.B. Family members may not be able to accompany you on the buggy if there is no space. Assistance passengers will always be given priority. Our team will let your family members know where they can meet you.
Accessible transport between terminals is available to help passengers with reduced mobility. If you have passed through Immigration and Arrivals, an Assistance bus is available from the terminal forecourts.
So that we can assist as many passengers as possible, we sometimes use an i-caddy: a set of interlinkable wheelchairs in a row, pushed by an agent and an electric driver system.