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Tips for Gatwick disabled passengers and PRM

Travelling through a busy airport, such as Gatwick, can be quite stressful for some people, not least those with reduced mobility and disabled travellers.

Many disabled passengers are anxious about how they are going to access Gatwick airport once they have arrived at the terminal and how they are going to progress through the terminal to their aircraft.

Under EU law, airports are responsible for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) from the moment they arrive at the airport until they reach the doors of the plane, and, when their plane lands, from the aircraft until the passenger leaves the airport. This law not only covers disabled passengers, but anyone who has reduced mobility, even if it is due to a temporary injury.

In order to book assistance, passengers must inform their airline of their needs at least 48 hours prior to travel, but preferably when they book their flights.

PRM facilities at Gatwick
Facilities for PRM at Gatwick are good with the airport having recently spent around £2million upgrading facilities and purchasing new equipment. The wide access paths and ramps both landside and airside make the journey though the airport relatively easy. The airport has created a Service Level Agreement which details what services and timescales passengers with reduced mobility and disabled passengers can expect

Gatwick Airport has partnered with OCS to deal with all requests for assistance. OCS can be contacted 24/7 on +44 (0)344 892 0322 - select option 5.

Help Point telephones
Telephones are situated in the car parks, on the forecourts and around the airport for passengers to contact PRM assistance desks. Any passenger is welcome to use these phones to ask for assistance even those who have not booked assistance. The airport also has telephones at a suitable height for use by those in wheelchairs.

Toilets
There are a choice of disabled toilet facilities, two adult Changing Places – one in each terminal – and plenty of reserved seating.

Induction Loops
For hard of hearing or partially sighted passengers, Induction Loops are provided throughout the airport, visible with the ‘sympathetic ear’ symbol.

Travel Care
Based in the South Terminal, Travel Care is an independent charity offering dedicated help and assistance to those who need extra assistance travelling through the airport. They can be contacted on 01293 504283.

For queries about Gatwick’s special assistance call (0)844 892 0322 and select option 2.

Arrival at Gatwick
It is Gatwick Airport’s responsibility to assist disabled passengers as soon as they arrive at the airport, not just at check-in. If passengers with mobility issues require special assistance to get from their car to check-in they must contact Gatwick airport in advance.

To book special assistance call Gatwick Airport on 01293 507502.

Procedure at arrival
On arrival at Gatwick passengers should contact special assistance from the internal phones situated just inside the terminal doors.

At Gatwick South Terminal, the contact number for special assistance is 2007.

At the North Terminal, the special assistance phone number is 7618.

Gatwick Airport’s special assistance will help passengers to get to the check-in desks and through the airport. Once at the aircraft doors, responsibility for the passenger transfers to the airline.

When arriving back at Gatwick, the airport is responsible for PRM from the time they leave the aircraft, right through baggage reclaim until they exit the airport.

Don’t forget, Help Me Park’s meet and greet valet parking is particularly suitable for disabled drivers as - providing the original controls of a vehicle are in place - disabled drivers are able to drive right up to the airport in their specially-adapted vehicle, then just exit their vehicle right outside the terminal. We then take your vehicle and park it in our secure car park and bring it back to the terminal forecourt when you return.

Information updated October 2015.