After the pandemic, it's exciting to be able to travel further afield to enjoy a well-deserved holiday. But airports aren't the easiest places to navigate, especially if you or your travel companion has mobility, sensory or cognitive difficulties.
The good news is that most airports have accessible facilities and trained staff who can assist you from your arrival at the airport, to boarding the plane. Our partners, AllClear Travel Insurance, share their tips for arranging assistance when travelling by plane:
1. Ask in advance: Speak to your travel agent and airline at least 48 hours before travelling so they can organise help for you.
2. Be clear about your needs: Tell them what help you need, or any conditions you have that might make travelling through an airport challenging. This will help the assistance service to tailor their support to meet your needs and avoid delays. For example, if you get overwhelmed in crowds, the assistance service may be able to organise extra help getting through check-in and security.
3. Ask questions: Make a list of any questions about the airport or airline's accessibility services, how they work or who to contact, to give you peace of mind. For example, what are the walking distances to the departure gates? Are there wheelchairs on the flight to take you to the toilet?
4. Keep a written confirmation: Bring a record of your assistance request to the airport with you, along with contact numbers for the assistance services, in case things don't go to plan.
5. Visit your GP before travelling: Your GP can provide you with a fit-to-fly certificate if you need one. You should also request enough of your medication to last the length of your trip and cover any delays.
6. Buy comprehensive travel insurance: This will ensure that you're covered if there's an unexpected medical emergency at the airport or at your destination.
Read our guide to holidays after a stroke. You can also call the airport directly to find out about their services. You can also get information about the special assistance services available at the UK's major airports.
AllClear will give up to 20% of your premium to the Stroke Association when you purchase a policy. Find out more about their travel insurance policies or call 0808 168 8733.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the summer 2022 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.