Special assistance FAQs
If you need special assistance we're here to help. Find out more below about the different types of assistance we offer, how to book plus any other questions you might have.
How do I know if I will need assistance?
If you have a condition or disability and you feel that assistance from staff at Gatwick would make your journey easier, then you should book assistance. From difficulties with mobility, to hidden disabilities like Alzheimer’s and ADHD, our staff are on hand to help you every step of the way.
I have special needs. What facilities are available at the airport?
Our special assistance pages will tell you more about all the available facilities and what to do if you have pre-booked assistance.
If you have a disability or you experience mobility difficulties and need help to get to your flight, you should contact your airline at least 72 hours before you fly to let them know you need assistance.
If you arrive at the airport without booking special assistance, please head straight to one of our assistance desks and we will try to help as best we can, but we do give priority to passengers who have booked in advance. Find out more about booking assistance.
Will I still be able to stay with my family or group through security if I have organised special assistance?
If you have booked special assistance and are unable to travel through the airport without a carer or companion, we will ensure that they can accompany you throughout the entire journey. If you are travelling in a larger group then it would be best to nominate one person to stay with you. Companions may be asked to vacate our mobility equipment should it be required for special assistance passengers.
Will I continue to get assistance on my flight?
Yes. To get assistance at the airport you need to book through your airline, so they will be aware of your needs. Your assistance will continue for as long as you need it on your journey.
Is there any help I can get when I travel to the airport?
Most public transport operators have arrangements for passengers with special needs and information about these services can be found on our public transport pages. There are blue badge spaces and extra help on hand in our airport car parks if you’re arriving at the airport by car.
I have a condition/disability but I don’t want special assistance, is that ok?
If you feel you don’t need assistance through the airport then that is entirely your choice. We do offer a special lanyard for our passengers with hidden disabilities or disabilities they do not want to share details of. This will identify you to staff as someone who may need additional support or understanding and our staff have been trained to recognise the lanyards and act accordingly. Find out more about how we can help you.
Do you consult with disability organisations?
Our Passenger Advisory Group (PAG) forms part of the formal Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM*) and takes a keen interest in the comfort, care, safety and security of passengers using the airport. They make recommendations to Gatwick Airport for improvements in these areas, as well as reviewing feedback from our passengers. PAG is made up of a cross section of both regular and occasional air travellers, and they all bring some knowledge of the airport and a genuine interest in the way our services and facilities interface with passengers.
As part of their role PAG members monitor services and facilities at the airport and actively work with Gatwick to improve the passenger experience. Members are also encouraged to work independently with the airport to build relationships with key managers and project leaders. PAG also has a four member strong sub-group with a particular interest in our assisted services.
Members visit the airport several times a year, monitoring and assessing facilities in order to make recommendations. These visits include formal quarterly meetings with Gatwick.
Gatwick Airport is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA undertakes regular in-depth reviews of our business and concluded in 2014 that PAG should have a formal consultative role in the development of the airport’s five year Capital Investment Programme (CIP). PAG is therefore now consulted alongside GAL’s airline customers for input on the overall five year CIP and separately on the major development projects through joint Gatwick/airline/PAG working groups.
We also engage with a number of organisations working with hidden disabilities, such as the National Autism Society, RNIB, Mencap and Alzheimer’s Society. View the full list of charities we work with.
* The Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) is constituted to meet the requirements of Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 for an airport “to provide adequate facilities for consultation with respect to any matter concerning the management or administration of the airport which affects the interests of users of the airport, local authorities and any other organisation representing the interests of persons concerned with the locality in which the airport is situated.
Do you report on your performance standards in this area?
Here's our service level agreement for what you should expect from us as a passenger with reduced mobility or a disability while you are at the airport.
We publish performance against these service standards every six months. You can view all our performance reports on our reporting page and the bi-annual reports which include PRM data are clearly marked.