Getting extra help
London Southend Airport prides itself on making your journey easy.
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.
The train station is just a 2-minute walk from the passenger terminal and the furthest car park is just 3-minutes.
Booking Special Assistance
If you require special assistance while at the airport please inform your airline, tour operator or travel agent at least 48 hours before you fly. It is best to give as much notice as possible both for your outbound and return journeys so we can make the necessary arrangements to give you the assistance you require.
Where to go for help when you arrive at the airport
If you require any assistance when at London Southend Airport, we have a team to help at all stages of your journey including:
- 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.
- Assistance to and from points of onward travel (taxi, car park, X30 and rail station)
- If you need help getting from the car park, please press the assistance button on the entrance barrier.
- We provide a wheelchair and/or a member of staff to help you, from check in to the aircraft, including introducing you to crew members on board. Please ask a member of staff if you wish to visit one of our many concessions.
- We offer a choice of boarding and disembarkation via Ambulift or Aviramp. 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.
- Assistance with baggage retrieval
- Assistance with customs and immigration procedures
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.
At the load area, any mobility equipment that's not needed to help you get through security should be placed in the load trays.
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.
Medical equipment in your luggage
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.
Blue Band Scheme
If you have a hidden disability (or are travelling with someone who has), such as autism, dementia, anxiety or if you are sight or hearing-impaired, the unfamiliar, bustling airport can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
We can provide a discreet blue wristband to wear as a subtle sign to our staff that additional support might be required. You do not need to pre-book, the wristbands are free of charge and available from the ticket desk in the terminal building.
We've provided specialist training for all customer facing staff so they can play their part in making sure you enjoy a stress-free airport experience.
Download the leaflet [PDF]
Therapy dog programme
We are proud of our joint partnership with Canine Concern to bring therapy dogs to the airport. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can help even the most nervous of fliers regain their confidence. Our four-legged friends will roam the terminal every week to offer a friendly stroke or a furry cuddle to anyone who needs.
All of our therapy dogs are trained by Canine Concern to bring comfort and reduce anxiety – particularly around nervous people, those experiencing stress, or those with hidden disabilities.
Please be aware the therapy dogs are onsite during specific days and times. For more information please visit our Therapy Dogs page.
If you are blind or visually impaired
Guide Dogs are more than welcome at the airport. We regularly work with the Guide Dogs for the Blind who bring their puppies along for familiarisation training. Please note that guide dogs can only travel if they are registered with the Pet Travel Scheme and if allowed by your airline and holiday destination. For further information on travelling with an assistance dog, please visit the dedicated webpage on the UK Government website.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing
Hearing loops are situated at the ticket desk, check-in desks and boarding gates. Visual information is provided throughout the terminal via Flight Information Display Screens.
We also have many mobile hearing loops to assist and aim to provide support staff who are trained signers.
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.
Contact - to book 48 hours in advance.
For further information on boarding the train at other stations, visit the Greater Anglia website.
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 first floor. Lifts and escalators are in place for access. If you think you may need help boarding or disembarking the 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 concourse.
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.
For pick up/drop off: There are conveniently located disabled bays in our Short Stay car park (charges apply) which provides the closest option for accessing the terminal. There is also the option of using Long Stay 3 (15 minutes free), which is approximately 200m walk from the terminal building. If you need help getting to or from your car, please contact the airport before you travel (contact details below) or press the assistance button on the barrier as you enter. There are also assistance buttons on the pay on foot machines, in all of our car parks.
For parking: There are conveniently located disabled bays in our Long Stay 1 and Long Stay 2 car park for when you are pre booking or simply turning up to park. Please note that Long Stay 1 disabled parking bays are closer to the terminal than Long Stay 2. If you need help getting to or from your car, please contact the airport before you travel (contact details below) or press the assistance button on the barrier as you enter or before you exit.
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 4 - 5 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 5 - 6 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.
- Download our Summer 2019 reporting data [XLSX]
- Download our Winter 2018/19 reporting data [XLSX]
- Download our Winter 2017/18 reporting data [DOCX]
- Download our Summer 2017 reporting data [XLSX]
- Download our Winter 2016/17 reporting data [DOCX]
- Download our Summer 2016 reporting data [PDF]
- Download our Winter 2015/16 reporting data [PDF]
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.
Working with disability groups
At London Southend Airport we take an active role in our community and meet regularly with disability groups. We have 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]
We work in partnership with organisations representing disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to review and improve our service provision. We have worked with a number of disability organisations with particular focus on those representing hidden disabilities.
- Dementia Friends
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Guide Dogs for the Blind
For further information on our recent work with disability groups see below;