Travelling to Palma Mallorca with Hal we were interested to find out how accessible Stansted Airport was and the news is good – we were very impressed.
- Special Assistance is located just inside the terminal building and the staff are welcoming and helpful. They accompanied us to check in (where there were a few perks for special travellers, such as free check in for hand luggage and no queues). Then they took us to security via the special assistance fast track which was super quick. Hal and his wheelchair were thoroughly searched, though I’m not a bit surprised as he is obviously a villain.
- Isn’t it time for tea? We were booked on an 8pm flight so it was crucial that Hal had something to eat – he is extremely vocal when hungry and we wanted a peaceful flight. Roger spotted a Wetherspoons (it’s an instinctive thing) but it looked a bit full. We needn’t have worried. Scott and Julia went out of their way to accommodate us, cleared a table, brought us drinks and served Hal’s food, and did all they could to make us comfortable and relaxed. Hal scoffed his fish and chips with alacrity and my Gin Fizz was really rather good.
- Getting onto the plane. This was no problem at all. Special assistance staff took us to the plane, a Heath Robinson contraption which delivers the food trolleys also delivered Hal. The worst bit was transferring Hal from his own wheelchair to the plane seat. However he survived the ordeal and apparently even enjoyed it. So for Hal it really is all about the journey!
- Other useful things to know about Stansted Airport. There are two Changing Places toilets – one airside and one at arrivals. I cannot say how happy this makes me. We didn’t try them out but knowing that we can use them if we need to is great. And the car park buses are ramped and easily accessible. We travelled with Easyjet who tell me they transport 1400 disabled people each day, and they certainly did a good job looking after us.