SEND Gatwick Airport advice
If you have a disability of any kind or your mobility is reduced, we offer a range of services and facilities to help you here at Gatwick.
We want to create a great experience for everyone who travels through our airport regardless of their needs. We know airports can be a stressful experience and present challenges for many people and our services aim to assist all passengers on their journey through Gatwick.
There are many services and facilities on offer at Gatwick to help passengers who may need a little extra help or who have specific requirements. We also provide several services for passengers travelling with hidden disabilities. You can find out more information about these services, including our industry leading hidden disability lanyard which has since been adopted by other airports. More information is below.
Update to our services following COVID-19
We have reviewed our special assistance service in light of COVID-19. You will see a number of changes at the airport. You can read all of the changes on our dedicated page.
The special assistance reception areas located by the dedicated drop-off point on the forecourts are not currently staffed. Please use the phone to speak to a member of staff and somebody will assist you. Alternatively, you can make your own way to the terminal, where someone will be able to help.
Gatwick is the first UK airport to open a sensory room. 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 departing from the North Terminal.
What’s in our sensory room?
The ‘chill-out zone’ for those needing calm includes floor cushions, bean bags and digital display panels, which generate colourful visual wall features. The separate ‘interactive zone’ stimulates the senses through activities including:
- Catherine wheel - colour and sound displays including firework effects.
- Abstract tactile panels – raised and recessed fluid shapes in contrasting textures.
- Colour match panel – classical music, mood lighting, and game to improve memory, colour recognition and motor skills.
- Sound to light show – sounds converted into a dazzling light show of colour.
- Waterless rainbow tube – colour wheel with both calming and stimulating effects.
How do I book?
To use our sensory room before your flight, you must pre-book to guarantee your space - click here to book. We recommend you arrive at the special assistance reception at least three hours before your flight.
The sensory room is located after security, so can only be used by passengers flying from our North Terminal.
Assistance desks and help points
If you have booked assistance, please make your way to one of our special assistance reception desks located in and around both the North and South Terminals. The desks are clearly sign posted and staff will be on hand to help you.
There are special assistance reception areas located by the dedicated drop-off point in both terminals. These areas are heated and have comfortable seating. Our dedicated staff will log your arrival and arrange help to the check-in concourse if required. If the desk isn’t staffed, please use the phone to speak to a member of the special assistance team and somebody will help you.
Alternatively, you can make your own way inside the terminal to one of our reception desks there.
Special assistance help points for all those with a disability or mobility difficulties are located on both terminal forecourts, short stay car parks, stations, baggage reclaim halls and on some routes within the terminals where there are long walking distances. Assistance is free. You can also ask for help with your wheelchair or baggage to get to check-in.
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.
Please note that these facilities are only available if you are flying into or from Gatwick, as they are located after security.
If you need additional assistance to board the aircraft we can arrange an Eagle Hoist, available on a first come first served basis. This will need to be booked 24 hours prior to travelling.
To book the Eagle Hoist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Customer name and contact details
- Date of travel and flight details
- Passenger’s height and approximate weight
- Have you used the service before?
Once your booking is confirmed you will get an email confirmation. Watch how Eagle Hoist works on this video.
Dolby Vivisol is running a trial service at the airport for passengers requiring oxygen therapy abroad. They can offer a private oxygen supply booking service, oxygen equipment for your journey, installation of equipment at your destination address and advice on managing your oxygen whilst travelling abroad.
Reserved seating areas at Gatwick can be clearly identified by special assistance signs. They are located throughout the airport in the general seating areas.
Unisex accessible toilets are located at or near near most toilet blocks. Occasionally the accessible toilet is located inside the men's or ladies' toilets.
We have a mix of right and left hand transfer toilets. If you need a peninsular pan we suggest using the Changing Places facilities.
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