Bristol Airport have exciting news; April will see the full launch of their new hidden disabilities assistance care,a programme put in place in an attempt to increase ease of travel for passengers with specific extra needs at the airport.
With planned implementation around the end of March 2017, qualifying passengers will be issued with a pass which is expected to be a similar size to a credit card.
This will allow passengers to discreetly indicate to airport staff that they may need extra assistance throughout the facilities. The card will be able to identify a range of specific needs and medical conditions, such as alerting staff to extra time needed to board, extra assistance for reading of departure boards, and whether or not the use of sign language is required.
A great example of when the card would be used is when the boarding pass is handed in for inspection.
The new plans are in partnership with OCS Group, a special assistance provider who work within many UK Airports, who have in turn collaborated with Thumbs Up World Limited to create a pocket sized booklet containing useful medical information.
The content includes what to expect at the airport, along with photographs of vital medical points within the terminal, as well as important places of interest such as check-in and security.
Phil Holder, the Operations Manager at Bristol Airport, said:
‘We are delighted to work with OCS and listen to feedback from families and various charities in the development of the hidden disabilities special assistance card. For families it will remove and reduce some of the stress knowing that staff are aware and understand the challenges they may face.
‘The booklet will also be a great help to families and provides information in advance of their visit and allows the family to complete the booklet together not only before they visit, but during their time at the Airport also.’
Customer facing staff at Bristol Airport have been trained in a full awareness programme ahead of the new initiative beginning in March. The hidden disabilities assistance card, lanyard or booklet are available by request at the OCS special assistance desk within the main terminal prior to check-in.