Advice for passengers or their carers with hidden disabilities travelling through Gatwick
Airport journeys can be stressful for many people, especially if you are unsure of what to expect on the day. Here you can find advice to help parents and carers who are travelling with children and vulnerable adults whose difficulties may not be immediately apparent to our staff.
We are working with a number of charities to identify how we can improve the airport experience for our vulnerable passengers who may not want to share details of their hidden disabilities.
If this applies to you or someone you're travelling with, we can offer you a special lanyard to wear on your journey through our airport.
If you are wearing the lanyard, staff should recognise it and understand that you have a hidden disability and that you may need a little extra help or time. However, they will not know what your particular disability is, or what challenges and issues you may face. If you have specific requirements, please ask a member of staff for help.
To pick up a lanyard at Gatwick, please go to one of our Assistance Reception areas. We will be happy to give you a lanyard, even if you haven't requested or need special assistance.
For more information please email us at: HiddenDisability@gatwickairport.com
Facilities for the hard of hearing and partially sighted
Induction loops are available where there are signs showing the 'sympathetic ear' symbol. The airport directional signs use black text on a yellow background, for maximum visibility. Guide and hearing dogs are the only dogs allowed in the terminal buildings.
Travelling with passengers with dementia
Airports can be busy and confusing at the best of times. If you have dementia then these feelings are amplified many times and the airport can become bewildering. Alzheimer's Society produces a really useful factsheet with tips and advice about planning a holiday for people affected by dementia, including arranging travel insurance.
We are committed to making Gatwick accessible to everyone and have been rolling out Dementia Friends to our front line staff. Dementia Friends has enabled staff to understand more about dementia, so that they are able to recognise and offer more support to passengers and their travel companions.
Autism spectrum disorder
The National Autistic Society has some helpful advice on what to do if you're travelling with children or adults with autism. We also produce an autism friendly visual guide to travelling through Gatwick Airport which will help familiarise you with what to expect at the airport in advance of your holiday.
Young people with ADHD
Children and young people with ADHD are very susceptible to anxiety and find any change to their normal daily routine potentially stressful. We recommend that you take time to prepare your child for the journey in advance and bring lots of activities to keep them busy at the airport and on the plane.
Travelling with IBD
If you have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) you may find the thought of travelling quite daunting, whether that’s due to toilet accessibility, going through security with a stoma bag or other IBD related concerns. To help alleviate any anxiety and ensure you have a more positive travel experience, Crohn’s and Colitis UK have put together a travel and IBD factsheet to help you feel more comfortable when planning a vacation or business trip.
Getting familiar with the airport
While we do not offer specific tours, sometimes visiting the airport in advance of your trip can help, especially with young children. You will be able to familiarise yourselves with the airport layout and check-in areas.
Travelling with children
Visit our travelling with children page to get advice to help you get off to a stress-free holiday
Fear of flying
Despite the safety of flying, you may be one of the many people who feel nervous in advance of your trip. If this is spoiling the idea of your holiday, then help is available. Find out more about self-help tutorials and courses for nervous fliers run by airlines.