London Southend Airport, alongside London Stansted Airport, is the closest airport to many people living in Essex, and provides an impressive range of domestic and international flights. London Southend Airport have taken a range of measures to make sure that special assistance is available for people who need it, including for older people who may struggle with mobility, or are affected by dementia.
Fortunately, in regards to travelling to the airport, the train station is just a 2 minute walk from the passenger terminal and the furthest car park is 3 minutes away.
Here is everything you need to know about accessibility at London Southend Airport, and how to go about organising special assistance if it’s needed for your relative.
- Special Assistance at London Southend Airport
- Travelling with Mobility Aids at London Southend Airport
- Disabled Parking at Southend Airport
Special Assistance at London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport has a dedicated team to provide special assistance to ensure that everybody’s journey is as smooth as it can be. This can include help with travelling through the airport, baggage retrieval, and immigration. To access this assistance, you need to organise it in advance with your airline.
How to Book Special Assistance
If you require special assistance while at the airport you need to inform the airline, tour operator or travel agent that your relative is flying with, providing at least 48 hours before you fly. Special assistance needs to be arranged with the airline, not the airport itself.
When you arrive at London Southend Airport, head to the ticket desk in the entrance concourse of the terminal – this is the where your pre-arranged assistance will meet your relative.
Accessibility at London Southend Airport
Facilities for People Hard of Hearing
Hearing loops are situated at the ticket desk, check-in desks and boarding gates. Visual information is provided throughout the terminal via Flight Information Display Screens.
There are also staff that are trained in BSL, some of whom also have mobile hearing loops.
Blind and Partially-Sighted Passengers
Guide Dogs are welcome in the airport. It is important to note that guide dogs can only travel if they are registered with the Pet Travel Scheme, and you should also discuss bringing a guide dog with your airline and holiday destination.
You can find more advice about travelling with guide dogs from the UK Government website.
Hidden Disability Assistance
If you have a hidden disability (or are travelling with someone who has), such as dementia or anxiety ,or if you are sight or hearing-impaired, the unfamiliar, bustling airport can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
London Southend Airport operates the blue wristband scheme to assist people with hidden disabilities. The airport can provide a discreet blue wristband to wear as a subtle sign to their trained staff that additional support might be required.
The wristbands are free of charge, and can be requested from the ticket desk in the terminal building – you do not need to pre-book.
Travelling with Mobility Aids at London Southend Airport
If your relative requires their mobility equipment to help them travel through security, then they will be able to pass through a gate to the side of the security arch.
A trained member of the London Southend security team will perform the search. Your relative will have the option of a private rooms for these searches, which they can request as they go through security.
All of the airlines that fly from London Southend Airport can accommodate mobility scooters and manually-powered wheelchairs on their flights. You should inform your airline in advance, as airline authorisation may be needed before you travel.
Disabled Parking at London Southend Airport
Travelling to and from the airport can be a difficult part of travelling with older people. Fortunately, London Southend Airport is well-designed to minimise and difficulties.
There are conveniently located disabled bays in both short stay and long stay car parks. Long Stay 1 disabled parking bays are closer to the terminal than Long Stay 2.
If your relative needs help getting to or from their car, you should contact the airport before they travel on 01702 538517 or by emailing LSAparking@SouthendAirport.com. Alternatively, your relative can press the assistance button on the barrier as they enter the car park. There are also assistance buttons on the pay on foot machines, in all of the car parks.