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Disabled Airport Travellers Given ‘Unacceptable’ Support

December 15, 2022

    Disabled passengers are suffering from “unacceptable” levels of support at many UK airports.

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that many disabled and less mobile passengers missed summer flights at London Heathrow due to poor accessibility performance.

    Bristol, Leeds Bradford and Luton Airports also had an “unacceptable level of service to disabled people”.

    The CAA said Heathrow’s Terminal 5 had “particularly poor performance”.

    Its report said that “many passengers” did not make connecting departures in the terminal.

    Some disabled and less mobile passengers at its Terminal 3 were also forced to wait for more than an hour to be transferred from one piece of equipment to another, it said.

    This contravened the CAA’s own guidance.

    Aberdeen, Belfast International, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London City Airports were rated as “very good” for their accessibility performance during the whole period analysed, which was between the start of April and the end of October.

    ‘Not delivering’

    Paul Smith, director of consumers at the CAA, said the aviation industry had faced “unprecedented challenges, but too many passengers at UK airports have been waiting for unacceptable amounts of time for assistance on arriving flights on too many occasions”.

    He added: “We strongly believe that everyone should have access to air travel, and we welcome the substantial improvements that airports have made for disabled and less mobile passengers.

    “We will continue to consider whether we need to take further action where airports are not delivering an acceptable level of performance, and not showing sufficient and sustained improvements.

    “We want to see immediate further improvements, as well as airports being well prepared to provide a high-quality service during next year.”

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