SEND Gatwick Airport advice - Coronavirus update
Please note: all flights to and from Gatwick are temporarily operating from our North Terminal.
We understand that air travel in this current coronavirus (COVID-19) world is a new experience for everybody. It is our priority to ensure that all our passengers and staff at the airport keep healthy and safe and follow the UK Government’s guidelines. There are four key things we would like you to do as you travel through the airport to protect yourselves and your fellow passengers. These are also displayed throughout our terminals.
- Wear a face covering while travelling through Gatwick - following government leglislation, this is now compulsory on all public transport, including airports.*
- Maintain social distancing.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Keep your hands clean on the go by using hand sanitiser.
* It is not compulsory for children under 11 to wear a face covering. They should not be worn by children under the age of three or by those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.
All our staff will also be wearing face masks in passengers areas of the airport.
Our North Terminal is open for flight arrivals and departures and all flights to and from Gatwick are temporarily operating only from this terminal. If you arrive by train, then please take the free shuttle between terminals. If you are driving, then please book one of our parking options.
If you are arriving into the UK you must complete a Government form up to 48 hours before arrival. Please download the completed form to your phone or print it, as you may be required to show it at Border Control. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also has the latest guidance for people travelling overseas.
Advice for travelling through Gatwick
There are a number of differences you will see when you travel through the airport. Our video (above) shows what you can expect to see when you travel through Gatwick now. You can also view or print our infographic with all the necessary information.
- All our staff working at the airport will be wearing a face mask or covering in passenger areas of the terminal and all passengers will be required to wear a face covering too.
- You will see protective screens in place at many places including check-in, boarding and gates. This is to protect both you and those working at Gatwick. There are also additional cleaning measures in place to help you feel reassured. These include dedicated staff to clean common use surfaces, touchscreens, handrails etc. We have also installed special ‘PPE bins’ in the terminals which are clearly marked for the disposal of face coverings and gloves only.
- You will hear in-terminal announcements and see plenty of signage and digital reminders to about keeping to social distancing rules and to wash or sanitiser your hands regularly throughout your journey.
- We have installed a large number of hand sanitiser stations throughout the terminals, and other places where you can wash your hands are clearly marked.
- You will also notice that seating arrangements have been changed to ensure social distancing measures can be observed. Families and groups travelling together will, however, be able to sit together
- In some areas of the airport, one-way flows will be in place.
Can I still get special assistance at the airport?
Yes, our special assistance services are still available should you need them. If you require help at the airport, please book as normal through your airline or tour operator.
Our special assistance desks are located inside the terminal and someone will be able to help you. If you need assistance from outside the terminal, please use one of the help phones located on our forecourts or inside the car parks to speak to a member of our team.
For more information about special assistance, please see our dedicated pages.
If you have a disability that may not be immediately obvious but would appreciate support from staff in airports , then you may be interested to know there is a lanyard you can wear to signal this.
The lanyard, which is entirely voluntary for people with hidden disabilities and their families, acts as a discreet sign for staff that additional support or help may be required.
The lanyard is sometimes known as the “sunflower lanyard” because of its appearance – a strip of green with a pattern of sunflowers. Once you get one, it is yours to keep and use for future travels or shopping trips where the scheme is recognised.
In 2016, Gatwick launched the first-of-its-kind lanyard for passengers with hidden disabilities who may require additional support when travelling through the airport.
For instance, by wearing the lanyard at Gatwick or other major UK airports, you could receive support with:
- getting more time to prepare at check-in and security
- getting a more comprehensive briefing on what to expect as you travel through the airport
- staff assisting with reading a departure board or sign.
How to get a lanyard
If you’re due to fly from a major UK airport, you should be able to ask for a lanyard from an airport assistance desk, or order it in advance, depending on your chosen airport. Find out more about the best way of getting the lanyard by contacting the airport before you travel.
This initiative is being supported by RNIB and other charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss.
Autistic spectrum disorder
The National Autistic Society has some helpful advice on what to do if you're travelling with children or adults with autism. We also produce an autism friendly visual guide to travelling through Gatwick Airport which will help familiarise you with what to expect at the airport in advance of your holiday.
It is a calming and relaxing environment, designed for passengers with disabilities like autism, dementia or cognitive impairment, who will benefit from a safe and distracting place when in unfamiliar surroundings.
The sensory room is wheelchair accessible and free to use to passengers after security, flying from our North Terminal.
How do I book?
To use our sensory room before your flight, you must pre-book to guarantee your space - click here to book, or contact the special assistance team on 01293 507500. Gatwick recommends you arrive at the special assistance reception at least three hours before your flight.
To help you decide whether you need special assistance at Gatwick, we've drawn up a full list of all the distances you may need to walk at the airport. Use our walking distance chart to find out how far it is from the car park to check-in or from the departure lounge to the gate rooms.
We have two adult Changing Places located on the arrivals routes in both of our terminals. These facilities are available for all arriving passengers and include an adjustable bed that lowers to ground level, a hoist and flexible wash basins, within a large wash room with full shower facilities.
Changing Places are free to use and do not need to be pre-booked. There is a sign adjacent to the facility with a phone number to call to gain access. These facilities are clearly sign posted if you are an arriving passenger.
For departing passengers, we also have a small Changing Place located on the upper level of the South Terminal departure lounge with an adjustable bed and wash basin. However, if you are departing from North Terminal, we advise you to go to the Special assistance desk located in the departure lounge, where a member of the special assistance team will be happy to escort you to the facility which is on the arrivals route. Please allow plenty of time to get there.
Special Assistance Area
The special assistance area has capacity to seat up to 90 people and has been designed with a premium lounge feel, providing bespoke chairs and soft furnishings to provide a quiet, calm environment for passengers to relax in before their flight.
Travelling with IBD
If you have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) you may find the thought of travelling quite daunting, whether that’s due to toilet accessibility, going through security with a stoma bag or other IBD related concerns.
To help with any anxiety and make sure you have a more positive travel experience, Crohn’s and Colitis UK have put together a travel and IBD factsheet to help you feel more comfortable when planning a vacation or business trip.
Who to contact
- 01293 507500
Where to go
- London Gatwick Airport
- RH6 0NP
- Get directions
Time / Date Details
- Time of day
- Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old
- SEN Provision Type