How to fly with ease when you have limited mobility

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Posted on: 11 May 2018 by Amy Smith Brown

Mobility issues are commonplace in airports. And when you reach a more advance age, they can ruin your entire holiday.

Indeed, there have been a spate of stories recently involving passengers with limited mobility being kept on planes for hours after arrival, or else airports failing to cater for the elderly in a number of other ways.

Yet in these labyrinthine flight hubs, there are many ways to achieve comfort and convenience before and after your flight.

To help you negotiate airports a little more easily if you’ve got limited mobility, we recommend trying these steps.

Choose airport parking

Airport car parks are necessarily vast, especially for larger facilities like Gatwick or Stansted. And if you’re parking your car yourself, that could mean a long walk from your parking spot to the terminal.

There’s no easy way around this unless you’re willing to spend a little extra. Most UK airport parking facilities allow private providers like Looking4Parking and others to provide onsite valet services for convenience and comfort. These valets will pick up your car directly from the terminal, saving you the discomfort of a long journey.

The cost of these services will vary depending on how long you need your car stored, but the cost is worth the extra comfort.  

If driving to the airport yourself seems like an arduous task then we recommend asking a friend or family member to drive you there.

Special assistance

The vast majority of UK airports will provide any limited mobility passengers with special assistance if requested. To ensure they’re prepared for your arrival, give them a call at least 48 hours in advance.

Special assistance could include help for wheelchair-bound passengers, a member of staff carrying your bags for you, or guidance through the security check process. Either way, it’s available if you ask.

On Arrival

You’ve boarded the flight without trouble and reached your destination. But if you have trouble disembarking from the plane, wait until other passengers have left and ask flight attendants for assistance.

To ensure you receive help promptly, inform a flight attendant of your additional needs during the flight.

Hidden disability

Not everyone of a mature age looks as though they require special assistance, even if their sprightly appearance belies hearing, sight or physical impairments.

However, many airports are working side by side with hidden disabilities charities to serve this undervalued community more efficiently. Gatwick, for instance, provides anyone from the hidden disability community with a lanyard so members of staff understand they may require additional assistance.

Hopefully our list has helped you travel with ease. Got any tips you think we’ve missed? Then let us know in the comments below.

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Mel Brent posted 14 February 2020

As far as I know, on difficult trips you can use Transport Chairs. This seems to me a better option. These chairs can be used not only for people with disabilities, but simply for those who are very tired of traveling. This is a convenient opportunity to save strength for both an elderly person and a pregnant woman, for example.


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