Heathrow and Manchester airports have been criticised for offering a “poor” service to passengers with a disability in a new study carried out by the CAA.
They were among four UK airports – along with East Midlands and Exeter – to be ranked as failing to offer a “good” service to disabled passengers. All four airports have committed to improving their services.
The vast majority of airports received a “good” or “very good” rating from the CAA – those to receive a “very good” rating were Birmingham, Glasgow, Prestwick, Humberside, Inverness and Norwich.
The study looked at how long passengers had to wait for assistance in both departures and arrivals, passenger satisfaction levels with assistance services and how much airports have consulted with disability organisations.
The number of passengers requiring assistance when travelling through UK airports has increased by 66 per cent since 2010 to more than three million journeys last year.
Richard Moriarty, director of consumers and markets at the CAA, said: “UK aviation should be proud that it continues to serve a rapid increase in the number of passengers with a disability.
“Our surveys, along with the airports’ own studies, have shown high levels of satisfaction among disabled passengers and we have seen some examples of excellent service where assistance is well organised and delays are minimal.
“However, East Midlands, Exeter, Heathrow and Manchester have fallen short of our expectations and we have secured commitments from them to make improvements. We will monitor their implementation over the coming months to make sure that services for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility continue to improve.”