We recognise that airports can be busy environments, which can add stress for neurodivergent travellers and their families, making the holiday experience challenging. We've partnered with Newcastle Airport to provide a tour of their facilities, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of the support services available.

Below is a video with Tara Hurst, Customer Operations Manager at Newcastle Airport, she explains each service in more detail. 

We understand the needs of neurodivergent people and their families. It's our job to ensure that all our passengers have a comfortable experience accessing the airport. The help is there for people they just need to ask us for support. 
What does the special assistance service offer?

The airport special passenger assistance aims to ensure that travellers with hidden disabilities or for people who need to access the service can navigate the airport safely, comfortably, and with dignity.

Hidden disabilities lanyard

The lanyard is available for passengers who may require extra time or assistance while navigating the airport. Wearing the lanyard discreetly signals to staff that the wearer may need additional support.

Special assistance at security

The staff are trained to provide appropriate support during the security screening process, including being aware of autism and co-occurring conditions. Searches are conducted efficiently and sensitively, and passengers can request private search facilities if needed.

Escorting services

Passengers can request assistance from check-in to boarding, including bypassing duty-free areas straight to the departure lounge and assistance gates.

Special assistance boarding and disembarking

Neurodivergent individuals and their families can access quiet special assistance areas at Gates 19 and 31 before boarding. Staff at Gate 31 are available to assist passengers with reduced mobility and wheelchair users, including access to the ambulift vehicle. Families are offered priority boarding to settle onto the aircraft first or can opt to board last.

eGates and Passport control

Passengers can use the eGates to help speed up your journey (you can use them instead of queuing up to go through Passport Control) or use lanes with the hidden disabilities symbol for direct access to passport control without queuing.

Sensory area 

This is currently located at Gate 19 and can be booked at the Special Assistance desk on arrival at the airport.

Online resources

We helped the airport create a range of online resources designed to help children familiarise themselves with the airport environment and what to expect during their visit. 

To book Newcastle Airport special assistance service and to find out more visit: