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. Listen to the show on the BBC’s iplayer
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.
Have you had a positive experience like Aaron’s here at Heathrow Airport? We’d love to hear from you – tweet us @yourheathrow or leave a comment below