After the recent horror stories of Heathrow airport losing BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner’s wheelchair; plus Nikki Emerson, a Commonwealth Games athlete on an Emirates flight being told she would upset passengers by crawling to the toilet, you begin to lose faith that change will ever come.
So it is most welcome that one British airport is making an effort to make airport journeys easier for those with visible and invisible disabilities alike. Gatwick Airport welcomed families that had a member with a hidden disability to a Disability Day and went through procedures and schemes to make travelling easier. This involved a special assistance team, buggy rides and a lanyard scheme which has been in place since 2016 but is only now receiving recognition.
Making airports and aircraft easier for the disabled to navigate makes travel simpler, less stressful and more enjoyable for all concerned. Those of us in The British Polio Fellowship living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) have very mixed experiences when it comes to travel and events like this one at Gatwick make all the difference. The hope is other airports, airlines and service providers will follow suit.
If you have PPS and feel like you have been treated unfairly at an airport, on a plane, or anywhere else, make your voice heard. Visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call us on 0800 043 1935 and we can put you in touch with your local Branch. Well done Gatwick.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship