Special Assistance at the airport
Here's what to expect when you journey through the airport.
If you are a Blue Badge holder you can park in a disabled parking space in one of our car parks.
Blue badge holders can receive up to 40 minutes parking for a reduced fee of £5.00 in the Drop & Go car park. Simply drive up to the exit barrier and scan the barcode on the reverse of the blue badge.
Family and friends who are dropping off customers with a Blue Badge, will still be able to use the Drop & Go car park by scanning the Blue Badge on exit at the barrier and benefiting from the 40 minutes stay duration for £5.00. If the Blue Badge holder needs to take the Blue Badge away with them on their travels, a copy of the Blue Badge will need to be retained by the vehicle driver and the details of the Blue Badge provided at the exit barrier to allow the reduction in fee.
There is also a dedicated drop off point in our Drop & Go Car Park. A Help Point is available to call for assistance or you can ring 01275 473449.
Once in the Terminal please proceed to the OCS reception desk which is located in the terminal concourse. This desk should always be manned by our special assistance service provider OCS. If this is not the case, there will be a phone and number available for you to call.
A member of the OCS team can help with check-in and Bag Drop if needed.
The Changing Places facility at Bristol Airport is located in the Arrivals concourse.
There is a dedicated assistance lane through security (Lane 1) where the staff are trained to take care of customers with additional needs. If you have booked assistance and have checked in at the Special Assistance reception desk a member of the OCS team will help you through the security process.
If you are travelling independently and would like to take a quieter route through to the Departure Lounge, after passing through the dedicated security lane follow the “sunflower route” which will take you up to the mezzanine level, avoiding the Duty Free shop. Alternatively ask a member of the OCS team and they will guide you through to the Departure Lounge reception area.
After passing through security a member of the OCS team will take you to the Special Assistance reception area on the first floor, adjacent to Gate 1. There is seating and space to accommodate wheelchairs if required.
Flight information screens are located in the area. You can purchase hot drinks from a vending unit, or if you wish visit one of the many retail and catering outlets situated in the Departure Lounge. 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.
Accessible toilets are also available in close proximity to the Special Assistance waiting area.
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 it has only a limited capacity, following this procedure ensures that during the peak of operation the vehicle is used efficiently minimising possible delays.
Below show the approximate walking distances to each gate:
Gate Walking distance Gate 7 and 8 1 minute walk Gate 9 and 10 2 minute walk Gate 11 3 minute walk Gate 12 4 minute walk Gate 13 5 minute walk Gate 14, 15, 16 7 minute walk
Please note that gates 7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16 do not have any lift access.
Normally customers requiring special assistance will board the flight first. This will depend on the individual airline policy.
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 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 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.
Arriving at Bristol
When you arrive at Bristol Airport you will be met by a member of the OCS team who will assist you off the aircraft through Immigration (international flights only) and into the Baggage Reclaim Hall, where they will assist with the collection of your baggage and onward to complete your journey.
As with your departure from Bristol, please make sure you have booked special assistance with your airline in advance. They can then inform OCS of your needs on arrival and importantly are ready to provide the service to you.
Airline staff will ask assisted passengers to remain seated after landing until the special assistance staff arrive. This will allow the other passengers to disembark first, which means you can leave the aircraft at your own pace, and with as little or as much help as you need. It also aids the special assistance staff to identify and assist everybody that requires assistance.
Your wheelchair or mobility aid will be off loaded from the aircraft hold and made ready and available in the Ambulift as you disembark the aircraft.
The special assistance staff that assist you from the aircraft may not be the person who takes you all the way along the arrivals route. Sometimes, after disembarking, passengers are taken to a seating area close to the Arrivals Hall. Special assistance staff will then provide the assistance you need through the airport, whether this is a walking escort or wheelchair.
If you are an international passenger, you will require to pass through Immigration and have your passport checked. If you are being assisted by OCS, they will take you through a special route which will make it easier, especially if you are using a wheelchair.
The special assistance staff member (OCS) can help you retrieve your luggage from the luggage belt. Once your luggage has been retrieved OCS will escort you to the landside arrivals concourse to meet with your onward method of travel.