Special facilities and services
If you have a disability of any kind or your mobility is reduced, we offer a range of services and facilities to help you here at Gatwick.
We have created a special assistance brochure to help your journey through the airport. It also includes maps.
Our sensory room is a calming and relaxing environment, designed for passengers with disabilities like autism, dementia or cognitive impairment, who will benefit from a safe and distracting place when in unfamiliar surroundings.
The sensory room is free to use, accessible for wheelchairs and availability is on a first come, first served basis to passengers departing from the North Terminal.
What’s in our sensory room?
The ‘chill-out zone’ for those needing calm includes floor cushions, bean bags and digital display panels, which generate colourful visual wall features. The separate ‘interactive zone’ stimulates the senses through activities including:
- Catherine wheel - colour and sound displays including firework effects.
- Abstract tactile panels – raised and recessed fluid shapes in contrasting textures.
- Colour match panel – classical music, mood lighting, and game to improve memory, colour recognition and motor skills.
- Sound to light show – sounds converted into a dazzling light show of colour.
- Waterless rainbow tube – colour wheel with both calming and stimulating effects.
How do I book?
To use our sensory room before your flight, visit the special assistance reception in the departure lounge to reserve a 45 minute session. We recommend you arrive at the special assistance reception at least three hours before your flight.
The sensory room is located after security, so can only be used by passengers flying from our North Terminal.
Throughout the airport we have a number of assistance reception desks with reserved seating where our team are on hand to help you. If you have booked assistance, please make yourself known at one of our assistance desks - located both before and after security.
Special assistance help points for all those with a disability or mobility difficulties are sited on both terminal forecourts, short stay car parks, stations, baggage reclaim halls and on some routes within the terminals where there are long walking distances. Assistance is free. You can also ask for help with your wheelchair or baggage to get to check-in.
We have two adult Changing Places located on the arrivals routes in both of our terminals. These facilities are available for all arriving passengers and include an adjustable bed that lowers to ground level, a hoist and flexible wash basins, within a large wash room with full shower facilities.
Changing Places are free to use and do not need to be pre-booked. There is a sign adjacent to the facility with a phone number to call to gain access. These facilities are clearly sign posted if you are an arriving passenger.
For departing passengers, we also have a small Changing Place located on the upper level of the South Terminal departure lounge with an adjustable bed and wash basin. However, if you are departing from North Terminal, we advise you to go to the Special assistance desk located in the departure lounge, where a member of the special assistance team will be happy to escort you to the facility which is on the arrivals route. Please allow plenty of time to get there.
Please be aware that these facilities are only available if you are flying to or from Gatwick, as they are located after security.
We are currently planning a new Changing Places before security in the South Terminal.
If you need additional assistance to board the aircraft we can arrange an Eagle Hoist, available on a first come first served basis. This will need to be booked 24 hours prior to travelling.
To book the Eagle Hoist, please email email@example.com with the following information:
- Customer name and contact details
- Date of travel and flight details
- Passenger’s height and approximate weight
- Are you using your own sling?
- Have you used the service before?
Once your booking is confirmed you will get an email confirmation. Watch how Eagle Hoist works on this video.
Dolby Vivisol are running a trial service at the airport for passengers requiring oxygen therapy abroad. They can offer a private oxygen supply booking service, oxygen equipment for your journey, installation of equipment at your destination address and advice on managing your oxygen whilst travelling abroad. Visit their website for more information, call 0330 123 0305 or email the team.
There are reserved seating areas clearly identified by special assistance signs throughout the airport in the general seating areas.
Unisex accessible toilets are provided near most toilet blocks. Occasionally the accessible toilet is located inside the men's or ladies' toilets.
We have a mix of right and left hand transfer toilets. If you need a peninsular pan we suggest using the Changing Places facilities.
Exclusive Grain Store service for special assistance passengers
If you’re using our special assistance service in our South Terminal, you can order food and drinks from Grain Store and have them delivered straight to you. A member of the Grain Store team will take your order from the Special assistance area, allowing you to relax and wait for your flight. Choose from a range of fresh sandwiches, salads, pastries and desserts, plus hot and cold drinks. View the menu and see what's available before you arrive. We will have a similar service in the North Terminal soon.
Use our guide to check how far you may have to walk at the airport.