Oxfordshire planes

Overview

The nearest international airports to Oxfordshire include Birmingham, London Luton and Heathrow Airports. 

Passengers with a disability or reduced mobility are legally entitled to support, commonly known as ‘Special Assistance’. Airports and airlines must provide help and assistance, which is free of charge and helps ensure you have a less stressful journey.

Special assistance is available to passengers who may need help to travel, such as older people, those with a physical disability, including wheelchair users, and those who experience difficulty with social interaction and communication, such as people with autism or dementia.

Key tips

Always allow plenty of time to plan your journey. It may be worth considering:  

  • If you will need help whilst in the airport and on the plane. Will you be travelling with mobility equipment? 
  • Booking Passenger Assistance in advance through your airline or tour operator. Make sure you provide at least 48 hours’ notice of any help you need. 
  • When booking assistance, you should be able to provide the size of your mobility equipment, including the total weight with or without the user. 
  • What local transport do you need once you arrive at your destination? Can you pre-book an accessible taxi? 

Remember, your local Central England and Greater Manchester Hubs Mobility Advice Service can provide helpful advice and information.

Nearest airports

Heathrow Airport 

www.heathrow.com

You can find information regarding special assistance on the Heathrow Airport website

Parking for Blue Badge holders

Blue Badge parking is available in all car parks but cannot be booked. For assistance when you arrive at the car park, contact:  

020 8757 2700 (Terminal 2, 3 & 4) and 020 8283 6415 (Terminal 5).

Blue Badge drop-off

There is no dedicated Blue Badge drop-off at Heathrow Airport. Drop-off areas are located right outside the terminal which is the easiest and quickest way to drop-off passengers.

A charge now applies at Heathrow every time a vehicle enters the terminal drop-off areas. (If you enter a drop-off area a second time, you will need to pay the charge again and every time after that.)

Birmingham Airport 

www.birminghamairport.co.uk

You can find information regarding assisted travel on the Birmingham Airport website.

Parking for Blue Badge holders

Blue Badge holders are entitled to up to 30 minutes free parking at the Premium Set Down car park, providing they show their Blue Badge and car parking ticket at the NCP Customer Service Desk. Charges apply after 30 minutes. You can also pick up disabled customers from this car park. 

Car Parks 1, 2, 3, 5, and the free drop-off and set-down area also provide disabled parking. Normal charges apply.

For assistance with car park bookings, contact: 

0345 0507080 or bookingenquiries@ncp.co.uk

London Luton Airport

www.london-luton.co.uk

Parking for Blue Badge holders

Blue Badge parking is available in all car parks. Disabled spaces cannot be booked. Blue Badge drop-off is available. Follow the link below for information.

If you have booked special assistance, you are recommended to use the Terminal Car Park 1 or 2 for ease of access. Contact the car park operator for further information: 

07809 492373 or email luton.customerservices@APCOA.com.

Special assistance

If you require special assistance whilst at an airport, you should inform your airline, tour operator or travel agent at least 48 hours before your flight.

It is best to give as much notice as possible both for your outbound and return journeys so the necessary arrangements can be made to give you the assistance you require.

Your airline will pass on your special assistance booking prior to your arrival at the airport. If you arrive at the airport and have not booked in advance, all reasonable efforts will be made to assist you.

London Luton Airport

When you arrive at the airport, you should confirm your special assistance requirements at the check-in desk. Further information regarding the assistance provision is available on the London Luton Airport website.

Birmingham Airport

As well as pre-booking, if you require assistance at Birmingham Airport, you should visit the Assisted Travel Help Desk no later than 3 hours before the scheduled departure time. The Assisted Travel Help Desk is located on the ground floor of the terminal building, next to check-in zone B. 

Help Points are available for you to request assistance in car parks and outside the terminal.

Birmingham Airport have worked with Autism West Midlands to produce a video detailing each step of the journey. This can help a passenger with autism to experience the sights and sounds of the Airport before they travel.

You can watch the video and find out about more about assisted travel on the Birmingham Airport website.

Heathrow Airport

If you require assistance on arrival at the airport, you should locate the nearest call point to request assistance and you will be assisted to your chosen method of check-in. Further details are available on the Heathrow Airport website.

Hidden disabilities

If you or someone you are travelling with have a hidden disability, most UK airports support the Sunflower Lanyard scheme. A lanyard will discreetly inform airport staff that you may require additional support.

Lanyards can be collected from the Assisted Travel Help Desks at the airports.

Travelling with mobility equipment

For passengers taking a mobility aid – such as a scooter or wheelchair – onto the aircraft, your airline must be advised in advance preferably at the time of booking. 

You should provide details to your airline, tour operator or travel agent which outline the dimension, weight, make and model of the mobility aid. You will be able to travel with your mobility aid from arrival at the airport up until the point of boarding the aircraft. 

The ground handling team will ensure your mobility aid is made safe for carriage on the plane and you or a person in your travelling party may be required to liaise with the team to ensure the mobility aid is immobilised.

You will be reunited with your mobility aid at the aircraft side after disembarking. In the unlikely event there is any damage to your mobility equipment, the Special Assistance team will make every effort to provide you with a temporary replacement.

It is worth remembering that regulations in other countries may differ from the UK.  You are advised to check and plan accordingly.

For further information, the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) website lists the specifications of specific mobility equipment, which may be useful for air transport. 

Transfer equipment

Hoists and additional seating supports are generally available, but you should check with your airline in advance. You can lease equipment for the flight as well, but it is worth checking with your airline to make sure it can be used.

Assistance dogs

You may take your Assistance dog into the terminal with you. 

It is important to remember that guide dogs can only travel if they are registered with the Pet Travel Scheme and if allowed by your airline and holiday destination. For further information on travelling with an assistance dog, visit the dedicated webpage on the Gov.uk website.

Medication

You are allowed to carry essential medications including medicinal liquids over 100ml in your hand luggage and any medical equipment if it is essential for your journey. You will need a letter from your doctor to travel with the medicine to prove this is prescribed. 

Batteries on aircrafts

The batteries that power wheelchairs and mobility aids are considered dangerous goods when carried by air. You may only travel with a battery-powered mobility aid with your airline’s approval. 

Disclaimer
Any advice or information given by the Hubs Mobility Advice Service is impartial and correct at the time it is provided. However, as operators may change their services or equipment prior to your journey or booking, you are strongly advised to check any details directly with them shortly before you expect to travel.