Four of the UK’s biggest airports are failing disabled passengers

Four of the UK’s biggest airports have been criticised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for falling short in terms of accessibility.

Birmingham Airport, London Stansted and London Gatwick have been labelled as “failing to meet expectations”, and Manchester Airport, for the second time, has received the rating “poor”.

However, there is some improvement in the UK’s airports. London Heathrow, which received the rating “poor” last year, and is now “good”.

Travel is a major concern for passengers with reduced mobility or a disability and the CAA reports that it received 3 million requests for mobility assistance. For 42% of people, it was the first time they had received any assistance.

Credit: CAA

Some airports have made a concerted effort to provide parity for all their passengers.

“Liverpool has provided an efficient, timely service to passengers throughout the year, with 88% of people rating their experience as excellent or good. Edinburgh has created and kept close ties with local disability groups, and has a regular ‘Disability Forum’,” says the report.

However, while 16 airports received the “very good” label, there are still a lot of improvements to be made.

“Our research further shows that, although small in relative terms, there is a minority of disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility that are very dissatisfied with how their journeys went,” says the CAA in its report.

The CAA noted that although passenger satisfaction was overall high (around 83%), the numerous comments from passengers suggest that, when things do go wrong, the impact on individuals is significant.

“There still is more to do to improve journeys for disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility,” it concludes.

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