After passing through security a member of the OCS team will take you to the Special Assistance reception area. You can stay in this area if you wish or take advantage of the Departure Lounge facilities. A member of the OCS team will provide you with a time to ensure you return to the reception area in plenty of time to board your flight.
The Departure Lounge Reception Desk can be found on the first floor adjacent to Gate 1, it is signed as Special Assistance. There is seating and space to accommodate wheelchairs if required. Flight details are available from the information screens located in the area and there is a television tuned to the news channel, with subtitles for our customers who have hearing loss. You can purchase hot drinks from a vending unit, or if you wish visit one of the many retail outlets situated around the lounge.
We have a Changing Places unit in the arrivals concourse, the facility includes an adjustable bed, hoist and flexible wash basin and shower facilities. If you need to use this facility, please remember to use it before passing through security, alternatively OCS will be able to escort you back through security. We appreciate that this is not ideal and will be providing a second unit within the Departure Lounge during planned improvements scheduled for winter 2019/20.
Accessible toilets are also available in close proximity to the Special Assistance waiting area.
As part of the planned improvement works a Sensory Area will be developed for our customers that require it. Further updates will be provided on our website in due course.
We do not have any airbridges or piers at Bristol Airport therefore all our special assistance customers will be taken directly from the Departure Lounge to their flight either by wheelchair or minibus.
Once at the aircraft side a member of the OCS team will assist the customer up the aircraft steps, or if unable to manage steps an ambulift will be available. If using the ambulift, we stress that only the passenger requiring assistance and one carer or family member board the ambulift. As only a limited capacity, following this procedure ensures that during the peak of operation the vehicle is used efficiently minimising possible delays.
If you wish to make your own way to your designated gate lounge, gate information will be available from any of the numerous display screens situated throughout the Departure Lounge. Please note that gates 7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16 do not have any lift access, please see below approx. walking distances for each of these gates:
Gate 7: Approx 1 minute walk
Gate 8: Approx 1 minute walk
Gate 9: Approx 2 minute walk
Gate 10: Approx 2 minute walk
Gate 11: Approx 3 minute walk
Gate 12: Approx 4 minute walk
Gate 13: Approx 5 minute walk
Gate 14: Approx 7 minute walk
Gate 15: Approx 7 minute walk
Gate 16: Approx 7 minute walk
Normally customers requiring special assistance will board the flight first, this will depend on the individual airline policy. This makes it a lot easier, before it becomes busy with everyone boarding at the same time.
If you’re using an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter our special assistance staff will make sure your scooter is safely turned off or your wheelchair folded. It is really important that you provide details of how your scooter is powered off before you get to the aircraft side. This will enable the OCS team to ensure your scooter is safely stowed without any delays to departure.
Once on-board OCS will provide an aisle chair, our special assistance staff can use to assist you to your seat if you need help with this. Please do tell a member of crew when boarding the flight if you have a hidden disability as this allows them to provide you with the best service possible during your flight.