Gatwick hosts Twitter PRM Q&A

On Monday, 19 November 2012, Gatwick Airport held its second live Twitter Q&A session. On this occasion, the questions being addressed were about Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) and the PRM services available at Gatwick Airport.

Using the #askgatwick hashtag, the public were asked to pose questions relating to the way in which the airport operates services for Passengers with Reduced Mobility.

The Twitter session was helpful and informative.

Airports are responsible for providing services for PRM from the moment they arrive at the airport terminal until they reach the door of the plane this is where the airline takes over responsibility.

Gatwick offers a 24/7 PRM service, however, anyone requiring assistance should book in advance, ideally at the time of booking travel – services should be booked through your airline or travel agent. By pre booking, the airport can guarantee assistance, although, at Gatwick, there is a roving team of support staff available to assist passengers.

Surprisingly, the airport offers assistance from Gatwick train station too, but again this must be prebooked to ensure assistance. If you fail to prebook assistance, there are help points available once you enter the airport.

It became apparent from the Q&A that services could be improved if airlines and the airport could better communicate so that the airport could have a better understanding of the needs of passengers requiring PRM service.

A drop-off point for people in wheelchairs is available at the South Terminal forecourt with one soon to be available at the North Terminal. This drop-off point is available to all.

For further information on the PRM services available at Gatwick visit http://www.gatwickairport.com/prm or for a full transcript of the Q&A visit http://gatwickairport.tumblr.com/post/36069889144/paul-fitch-q-a-transcript

Gatwick to host live Twitter Q&A on PRM

A live Twitter Q&A on the subject of Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) will be held this morning, Monday 19th November, with Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations, Paul Fitch.

The session will run for one hour from 11am on the @gatwick_airport Twitter feed and give media and public an exclusive chance to ask questions about the extra assistance offered to people with reduced mobility and disabled passengers in real time.

Participants are invited to submit questions immediately as well as during the discussion, using the hashtag #askgatwick.

Monday’s Q&A will discuss service, facilities and options for PRM and disabled passengers. This covers a diverse passenger segment, including people who need guidance when passing through the airport due to walking difficulties, learning difficulties, and those who are deaf, hard of hearing or vision impaired.

Gatwick has invested £2 million improving and upgrading PRM facilities at the airport. almost 400,000 passengers were given extra assistance on their journey through the airport in 2011.

Paul has been instrumental in transforming the PRM service that Gatwick offers. From new, clearer signs to toilets and washing facilities, additional specialist equipment and fully trained staff, the service Gatwick offers embraces the full customer journey from drop-off to plane.

During the question and answer session, Paul will be live on the Gatwick Airport Twitter feed, using his in depth knowledge to discuss questions and feedback, from public and media alike. Paul will be examining the issues PRM passengers face when travelling as well as offering information about the PRM activity at Gatwick.

Paul has accountability for circa 200 staff directly employed and a further 700 indirectly.  His goal is simple; to consistently deliver outstanding customer service to the growing number of people choosing Gatwick Airport as their preferred option.

This will be the second Q&A session that Gatwick has hosted on its Twitter feed, which has over 40,000 followers. The first was run last year with the Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, who received over 120 questions from the public and media alike.

A full transcript of the Q&A session will be taken and be available at www.gatwickairport.tumblr.com .

Gatwick opens Changing Places toilets

Two new airside Changing Places toilets have been officially opened at Gatwick Airport.

Julie Clough and her mother Margaret Clough, campaigners for Changing Places, opened the facilities on 6 September. Changing Places toilets cater for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and other people with severe disabilities who require the support of at least one carer.

Head of Airport Communications at Gatwick, Lindsay Baldwin, said “London Gatwick is Europe’s leading airport for point-to-point flights and has the busiest single-use runway. Over 33.6million passengers use Gatwick each year; 1 in 6 of Europe’s population is disabled, so it is vital we provide appropriate facilities, in all ways.

“Margaret made us aware of the worth of a Changing Places toilet, beyond our conventional accessible toilets, and we judged it a valuable addition, to make people’s experience of London Gatwick as enjoyable as possible.”

Margaret Clough said: “We’re so pleased that Gatwick has taken the decision to install a Changing Places toilet. This demonstrates their commitment towards creating a safe and easy way for carers and those with disabilities to travel freely through the airport.

“This new changing facility will make a huge difference to Julie and other families who need additional support when flying out from the airport.”

The Changing Places campaign is run by the Changing Places Consortium and sponsored by Total Hygiene.