Heathrow staff go the extra mile to show they care


By Heathrow

Published 25th September 2013

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Dealing with large crowds is often a stressful experience for people, particularly when they’re travelling and the crowd is more than 90,000 people. yourHeathrow caught up with one young man who faces even greater challenges in these situations…

For 22-year-old severe autistic sufferer, Aaron Stewart, his condition amplifies this anxiety every time he travels, but thanks to the collaboration and care of Heathrow staff his journey’s have been made easier.

With home in the UK and school in the USA, Aaron travels through Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at least four times a year. To reduce the stress of flying, Heathrow and British Airways staff have worked together for the past five years to ensure Aaron’s journey is exactly the same, time after time.

The same staff meet Aaron at check-in and take him through the same security channel, he visits the same shops before going through the same gate, onto the same bus, and into the same seats of every aircraft. If any detail of the journey is different, Aaron might refuse to get on to the aircraft.

Allowing Aaron to board the aircraft in this way prevents him from feeling overwhelmed by the experience of travelling which can be unnerving for lots of passengers.

This remarkable story of Heathrow Airport going the extra mile for Aaron recently received national media on Radio 4’s “You & Yours” programme.

Last year Heathrow helped over 900,000 passengers with reduced mobility through the airport. This ranges from passengers with problems of sight and hearing to mobility.

If you’re travelling through Heathrow in the near future and in need of assistance please contact your airline in advance to help you with your journey.

Heathrow Airport and NATS are proud to announce the winner of the plane-spotters photo competition, as voted by our digital audience, is Ian Schofield!

Ian’s photo of a Cyprus Air A320 taking flight from the Northern Runway took out the number one prize, with Tim Easter claiming second prize for his British Airways A380 pic.

Ian will now get the rare opportunity to go airside with Heathrow staff and take pictures from the tarmac, while Tim gets an equally cool tour of the Air Traffic Control tower with the NATS team.

Almost 2000 people voted during the competition via the NATS blog, Heathrow Airport Facebook page and yourHeathrow website.

The entrants were all participants during Heathrow’s first plane-spotters day held on September 3.Are you an AvGeek? Share your photos with us on twitter @yourHeathrow!

English four-piece boy band sensation Union J took centre stage to open Dixons Travel’s new store in Heathrow’s Terminal 5. YourHeathrow went airside to see the stars in the flesh and check out the new tech paradise.

Sponsored by Monster, Union J serenaded the T5 audience, performing Love Story, Beneath your Beautiful, Call Me Maybe, Bleeding Love and Carry You. Following the opening concert, Union J held a ‘meet and greet’ with five thrilled fans who won a competition to attend.

Band admirers who were unable to able to attend showed their support on Twitter as JJ Hamblett (one of the four boys) tweeted ‘at Heathrow’ to his 70,000 plus followers.

Dixons Travel’s new store boasts a futuristic feel with digital signage, a KNOWHOW service bar and rear projection ‘floating screens’. The interactive and free-flowing store layout has been designed to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to enjoy their in-store experience.

Dixons will launch another store in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 in 2014. Next year will also mark 50 years since The Beatles arrived at Heathrow and we’re hoping the modern-day chart topping sensations Union J and their fans will return to celebrate it and open the next new Dixons.


By Heathrow

Published 9th September 2013