Getting extra help
Special assistance is here whenever you need it
At London Southend Airport, we always ensure that everyone can travel through the airport with ease. If you or anyone travelling with you needs extra help, please ask. We have a whole range of special assistance services to make your journey smoother and simpler.
From check in all the way to the departure gate, we now provide better understanding and assistance than ever for passengers with a range of needs, from giving you more time to manage your documents, to preparing you for security checks. Our patient, professional support team will explain exactly what to expect as you travel through the airport, speaking clearly and straightforwardly at every step.
If you are blind or visually impaired
We can provide a wheelchair or a member of staff to help you, from check in all the way to the aircraft, including introducing you to your designated crew members on board.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing
We can provide a wheelchair or a member of staff to help you, from check in all the way to the aircraft, including introducing you to your designated crew members on board. We also aim to provide support staff who are trained signers.
If you have difficulty walking
We can provide wheelchair assistance from check in all the way to the aircraft, including help to push the chair.
If you are unable to walk long distances or can’t manage steps
We can provide wheelchair assistance from check in all the way to the aircraft, including help to push the chair. We use an ambi lift for easyJet flights and an Xpax chair for Stobart aircraft.
If you are immobile
We can provide lift assistance up to the aircraft using the ambi lift system or an Xpax chair, as well as aisle chairs on specific flights. No matter which airline you are flying with, a trained member of our ground handling team can carry the designated seat on-board the aircraft.
Scooters and wheelchairs
All the airlines flying from London Southend Airport can accommodate mobility scooters and manually-powered wheelchairs. Please book this service with your airline in advance, as airline authorisation may be needed before you travel.
How to get help
It’s important to book assistance in advance of your flight, so everything can be ready for you at the airport. Please contact your airline or tour operator before your date of travel.
Where to go for help when you arrive at the airport
When you arrive at London Southend Airport, please head for the ticket desk in the entrance concourse of the terminal – this is the assistance meeting point. If you need help getting from the car park, please press the assistance button on the entrance barrier.
If you have a hidden disability
At London Southend Airport, we know that many disabilities aren’t visible – and that the airport itself can be a challenging environment. When you have a hidden disability like autism or dementia, or if you are sight or hearing-impaired, the unfamiliar, bustling airport can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
We want to do our best to support everyone who travels from our airport, so we have a dedicated programme to provide extra help. We’ve provided specialist training for key staff so they can play their part in making sure you enjoy a stress-free airport experience.
If you have a hidden disability, or are travelling with someone who has, we can provide a discreet blue wristband to wear as a subtle sign to our staff that additional support might be required. The wristbands are free of charge and available from the ticket desk in the terminal building.
It’s entirely up to you whether to request a wristband. If you’d rather not wear one, you can approach any member of our team at any time – they’ll always be happy to help.
Download the leaflet [PDF]
Getting to and from the airport
Our modern railway station has been designed with easy access in mind. A covered walkway links the station to the terminal. There are passenger lifts to the platforms on both sides of the station – and station staff will be happy to help you get around.
In the terminal, the check in concourse, departures and arrivals are all on the ground floor. Airport security and our SkyLife lounge are both on the mezzanine level. Lifts, escalators and stairs enable easy access for everyone. If you think you may need help to board or leave your aircraft, or at any point during your journey through the terminal, please contact us before you travel, or visit the ticket desk in the main terminal.
There are conveniently located disabled bays in our short stay and long stay car parks. If you need help getting to or from your car, please contact us before you travel or press the assistance button on the barrier prior to entry.
Long Stay 1 car park is closest to the terminal, with the shortest distance to the check in concourse.
Walking distances and times
Long Stay 1 car park to check in concourse 2 minutes - 115 metres / 378 feet / 126 yards
Long Stay 2 car park to check in concourse 3 minutes - 269 metres / 881 feet / 294 yards
Long Stay 3 car park to check in concourse 3 minutes - 246 metres / 808 feet / 269 yards
Short Stay car park to check in concourse 2 minutes - 115 metres / 378 feet / 126 yards
Check in concourse to security 2 minutes
Security to departure lounge 1 minute
Departure lounge to furthest aircraft stand 2 minutes
Arrivals hall to Short Stay or Long Stay 1 car parks 3 minutes
Arrivals hall to Long Stay 2 or 3 car parks 4 minutes
At London Southend Airport, we aim to provide high standards of assistance to everyone who needs extra support throughout their journey at the airport, and to minimise waiting times.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone who has requested assistance in advance will reach their aircraft in time for departure. We will make every effort to provide assistance to our passengers who have not requested help in advance. We constantly monitor our quality standards to ensure we are meeting our targets and commitments to passengers with reduced mobility and other needs.
Working with disability groups
At London Southend Airport we take an active role in our community and meet regularly with disability groups. Over the past year we have developed partnerships with organisations working with hidden disabilities, working with the Alzheimer’s Society via the Strategy and Commissioning Officer for Dementia. We are proud to be the UK’s first dementia friendly airport.
We have also produced a leaflet giving advice to those with dementia, and their carers, about how to improve the quality of their journey through the airport.
Download the leaflet. [PDF]
Security at London Southend Airport
At London Southend Airport, we aim to ensure that the security process is simple and easy for all our passengers.
On entry to security
If you have booked assistance with your airline in advance, you can use the dedicated fast track lane through security. This will take you directly to the security ‘load area’ where a member of our team will be able to help you.
Medical equipment in your luggage
Once you’re at the load area, please let our staff know of any medication or medical equipment in your hand luggage. This will be handled with the utmost care by our security team.
Mobility equipment (excluding wheelchairs or mobility scooters)
At the load area, any mobility equipment that’s not needed to help you get through security should be placed in the load trays.
Mobility equipment needed for passing through security
If you need to use mobility equipment to help you get through security, you will be able to pass through a gate to the side of the security arch. Then, a trained member of our security team will perform a full search, including a search of your mobility equipment. Private rooms are available for these searches, so if you’d rather be searched in a private room please let us know when you’re going through security.
Departing from Southend Airport
If it’s needed, you’ll be able to keep your personal mobility equipment with you until you’re on board the aircraft. If you need to use your mobility equipment until you board, please ask to have the equipment tagged with a baggage tag at check in/bag drop. Also, if you need your equipment to be placed into any bags or covers while on board, please ensure it is tagged at check-in. This will help ensure smoother boarding for everyone.
If you don’t need your equipment for boarding and settling in a seat, please hand it to a member of our ground handling team who will be near the steps of the aircraft at ground level. They’ll check to ensure all that everything has been correctly labelled and tagged (and bagged if necessary). They will then ensure the equipment goes last into the hold so it’s removed first on arrival and made ready for collection.
If you use an ambi-lift to enter the cabin, our ground handling team will use your personal equipment to help you board the aircraft and find your seat. If you have any equipment which needs to be placed inside bags or covers, please tell our ground handling team once they help seat you on board the aircraft.
Arriving at Southend Airport
When you arrive at Southend Airport, your mobility equipment will be waiting for you when you leave the plane. If you are able to leave via the stairs, your mobility equipment will be waiting at the foot of the front stairs, along with a member of our team who’ll be able to help you.
If you use an ambi-lift to leave the plane, your mobility equipment will be placed into the lift, and a member of our team will be waiting for you on the ground to help.
In the unlikely event that your equipment becomes damaged in the hold of the aircraft, or doesn’t arrive at London Southend Airport, we have a variety of mobility equipment which you can use until your own equipment is fixed, replaced or delivered back to you.
Guide and hearing dogs are the only dogs allowed in the London Southend Airport terminal building, except for those travelling on flights. Guide dogs can travel with you if they are registered with the Pet Travel Scheme and approved by your airline and holiday destination.
How are we doing?
To help us measure our performance and look for ways to improve, please take a moment to feed back about our Special Assistance service at the airport. This independent survey, designed by the Civil Aviation Authority, should only take a few minutes to complete. Thank you.