Special assistance FAQs
Find answers to frequently asked questions about Special Assistance at Heathrow.
Do I need any special documentation?
Not at all, just have your passport and ticket or boarding pass at hand.
I don't have a disability but would like help
How do I know if I need assistance?
You should book assistance if you have a disability or condition and feel your journey would be easier if you had assistance from our team.
Will I be able to stay with my family?
We will endeavour to keep you with your family as much as possible. Occasionally you may have to travel in a buggy and there will only be space for those requiring Special Assistance and one carer. In this case we will always let your remaining family members know where the next stop or meeting point is.
Will I receive assistance with my luggage?
Luggage Assistance can be arranged for you free of charge for reasonable amounts of luggage.
Can I go shopping?
If you are able to go shopping independently, you are welcome to do so. Just let our agents know that you will be leaving the host area. Unfortunately our team currently do not provide assistance with shopping. However, you may wish to use our Reserve & Collect service. Call us on 0800 678 5324 or email us for further information.
Can they assist me with getting to the airport?
Our service is currently only available within Heathrow. If you need assistance getting to the airport and would like a 1:1 service, you could try Heathrow Chauffeur Service.
Are there any quiet areas in Heathrow?
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.
I’m a first/business class passenger – can I still enter the lounge?
Yes. You will still have to report to our Special assistance host area before going through security, but our team will ensure that you reach the lounge and are picked up from there when your flight is ready to depart.
Will I also get assistance on my flight?
Airlines are responsible for communicating essential information about a flight in accessible formats. Airlines are also obliged to provide assistance to and from the toilet and most will have onboard wheelchairs on each of their aircraft. However, Civil Aviation Authority guidance states that Airline staff are not expected to assist passengers with activities such as eating, drinking, taking medication or using the toilet facilities. If you require assistance of this kind you may need to travel with a carer.
What is the process at Security?
All passengers, including those requiring Special Assistance, have to go through security checks. If you are not able to walk through our Archway metal detector, one of our security officers will conduct a manual body search. This will be as non-intrusive as possible, but if you would prefer to have this done in private you may request to. More information on the process at security can be found here.
Can the assistant accompany me to the toilet?
Our team will assist you with reaching our toilet facilities. They will not accompany you or assist you in the cubicle.
Is my assistance dog permitted on board?
Yes - Airlines must accept all assistance dogs for air travel without charge.
Dogs will normally sit in the space on the floor in front of the seat . A safety harness should be taken on the plane to enable your dog to be secured during take-off and landing. You should contact your airline at least 48 hours in advance to let them know that you will be travelling with an assistance dog.
More information about travelling with an assistance dog can be found here.
What happens if my mobility equipment is damaged?
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.
Do I need a fit to fly certificate?
You may be asked for proof of your “fitness to fly” when requesting assistance. If you have a stable condition, there is generally no need to be cleared for travel. The CAA website contains more information: https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/PRM/Getting-medical-clearance-to-fly/.