Terminal 3 Departures Preparing to travel Travel advice for anxious passengers About this guide Sections • About this guide • Finding your way around Terminal 3 • Sensory awareness – What you can expect • Information – Asking for help at the airport This guide is aimed at anyone who might feel a bit anxious about travelling through Heathrow, after all Heathrow is a large busy airport • Step-by-step journey planner – Departures and the journey through the airport can seem complex especially if you don’t know what to expect or what is expected of you. Plenty of help is at hand, you just need to know where to find it. Over the years we’ve had a lot of experience in assisting anxious travellers and we hope that this guide will enable you to prepare for your forthcoming trip to Heathrow and be confident in the knowledge that Heathrow might be big, but we’re not scary. We understand that everyone is different and if after reading this guide you still have concerns about your departures journey through Heathrow or if you just need more information then please • Preparing for • • • • • • • • Check-in Pre-Security Preparation Ticket Presentation Security Search Departure Lounge and Facilities Flight Information Finding your Departure Gate Boarding the Aircraft • Additional sources of information don’t hesitate to contact us. • Preparation checklist Finding your way around Terminal 3 Finding your way around Terminal 3 Finding your way around Terminal 3 Information Terminal 3 is one large building, with long piers where the aircraft park. Check-in and arrivals are both on the ground floor, with zones A – G in the check-in area. The departures area (security) is on the first floor upstairs from the check-in zones. Lifts, escalators or stairs will take you up to security. Because Heathrow is so busy it’s not possible to tell you which part of Terminal 3 that your flight will depart from until nearer your departure time. Digital information screens, located throughout the terminal, will provide you with this information and will tell you when it’s time to go to your gate If you travel to Terminal 3 by car, coach or taxi, you will by dropped off outside the main terminal building. If you travel to Terminal 3 by train, underground or bus, you will be dropped off at our central terminal area – which is located between Terminals 2 and 3. Short Stay Parking From here, just follow the signs for Terminal 3 departures. Visual Symbols Visual symbols, like this picture of our yellow signage can be seen throughout the terminal, as well as within this guide. . Inside the main terminal building you will find airline desks, check-in, security and most of our shops, restaurants and facilities. The departures area is separated by zones for each airline . There are signs when you arrive telling you what zone to check in at. Here are some of the icons that you may see on our signage. The information within this guide will tell you what you can expect at each stage of your Departures journey. Visit www.heathrow.com to view and download maps of Terminal 3. Check with your airline how far in advance you can check in. Download ‘Heathrow Airport Guide’ from your app store to start to plan your journey before you arrive at Heathrow. What you can expect A busy airport can be a very hostile environment if you have a sensory processing disorder. There are lots of reflective surfaces, bright lights, alarms, crowd congestion and lots of unfamiliar tastes and smells. We cannot offer a sensory friendly environment but we can tell you what you can expect and help you to come up with a plan. Sensory awareness Sight Taste and Smell Touch Reflective surfaces, different coloured lights, digital screens. Gasoline, air fresheners, perfumes, materials, food smells, cleaning products Temperature, crowded areas, unfamiliar surfaces Things that might be helpful Sensory toys, multi-layer clothing Things that might be helpful Sun glasses Things that might be helpful Scented handkerchief Things that might be useful: Sunglasses Sensory toys Weighted back pack Soft play area Headphones or ear defenders Hearing Balance Body awareness Tannoys, vehicle noise, alarms, crowd conversation, strange acoustics. Escalators, trolleys, travelators Escalators, congested areas Things that might be helpful Things that might be helpful Use lifts. If you feel dizzy or faint please request a wheelchair loan or assistance. Try to avoid the crowds by getting off the plane last or using lifts. Things that might be helpful Music, headphones, ear defenders. Using lifts instead of escalators Multi-layer clothing Keep safe! Trolleys, escalators and baggage reclaim belts can dangerous. A wide range of snacks is available to purchase from our food outlets. . Asking for help at the airport Information Here to help locations We have a number of fixed locations where you can find a person to speak to if you need help. Help call points Help Call Points can be found all around Heathrow. The call point could look different than the picture above. A map of Help Call point locations can be found here: http://www.heathrow.com/airportguide/getting-around-heathrow/airport-maps Calls made from one of our Help Call points are answered by our Airport Operations Centre. It is just like calling someone on loudspeaker phone. Press the button and wait for someone to answer before speaking. Other people who can help me Can’t find help? Approach an Airport Worker – they will be wearing an ID. How to Get Assistance If you suddenly need help during your journey, there are several things you can do: • Look for a person wearing the Helping Hand badge. • Use a Help Call Point • Speak to anyone wearing an Airport ID who can direct you in the right direction • Look for a nearby here to help location Main Building (Before Security) Level 0, Arrivals hall - Ambassador position at the Information desk. Level 1, Departures - Special Assistance Area, opposite Pret above Zone A Main Building (After Security) Near World Duty Free, past the toilets Please note that whilst we are passionate about transforming customer service at Heathrow, we are on a journey with our hidden disabilities programme to develop it to suit our passengers. We already have over 1000 colleagues trained to assist you and are working to expand this across our airport. Departures journey - Summary Step-by-step journey planner 1 2 3 4 5 6 Check-in and Bag Drop Prepare for Security Ticket Presentation Security Search Departure Lounge Departure Gate If you need a boarding pass or if you have a bag to check-in then this can be done in the Terminal 3 Departures Check-in area. To help you get through security quicker you should check that your bags don’t contain any liquids, sharp objects or other forbidden objects. Once you have your boarding pass and have checked in any bags that you need to you should go to the first floor via the lifts, stairs or escalators and go to security. Read the “Pre-Security Preparation” section within this guide. If you need additional help then go to the Special Assistance area upstairs from Zone A check-in area). Use the visual prompts and signage before security to remind you of the security rules. Only passengers who have a valid boarding pass are allowed to go beyond this point. You will need to show your boarding pass to go through the barrier. Use the desk that is manned by the officer instead of using the automatic gate. There is a lot to see and do in the Departure Lounge and it can get very busy. The departure gate is the location where you will exit the Terminal building to board your aircraft. This is where you and your belongings are checked to make sure that you are not carrying anything considered to be dangerous. You should remain in the main seating and shopping area until you are provided with your departure gate number. There will be plenty of information which will help you to confirm whether you are in the right place. Read the “Pre-Security Preparation” section within this guide” Read the “Departure Lounge Facilities” section within this guide. The airline agent will tell you when it is time to board the aircraft. Passenger ambassadors can be found in this area, should you need any help. This area can get very congested and noisy so headphones to listen to music or ear defenders can be useful . If you’re feeling anxious then you should ask for help from the airline service agent at your departure gate. All passengers need to go through security search. Check-in Preparing to travel If you have bags to check in: • Go to a check-in desk in your airline zone and wait to speak to an airline representative • Bags that are checked-in (hold baggage) will be taken to the aircraft using a series of conveyor belts. They will then be loaded in to a special area of the aircraft (baggage hold) reserved just for suitcases and cargo. • You will be given a receipt which you should keep safe until you have been reunited with your bag at your destination airport. • The airline representative will print your boarding pass for you. • Once you have your boarding pass and have checked in any bags that you need to, you should make your way up to security. Security is located above the check-in zones. Before you get to the Airport Take time to review the security information on the Heathrow website and the baggage section on your airline’s website. This will help you to decide whether you need to check in a bag or whether you can carry it on the aircraft as hand luggage. At the Airport If you need any help then go to the Special Assistance area on level 1, upstairs from check in zone A. Self-service checkin machines are also available for some airlines. If you do not have bags to check in: • If you did not print your boarding pass at home, go to a checkin desk in your airline zone and wait to speak to an airline representative. • They will print your boarding pass for you. • Once you have this you should make your way upstairs to Security. • If you already have your boarding pass printed and have no bags to drop off go straight to security when you arrive at the terminal. Pre-Security Preparation Preparing to travel In this area you will find lots of visual prompts to remind you of what you are allowed to take through security. A traffic-light colour coding system (red, amber, green) will help you to decide what action, if any, you need to take. Only passengers who have a boarding pass which is valid for travel are allowed into the pre-security preparation area. At this stage in your journey you should only have your hand baggage with you. Any hold baggage will have already been given to your airline at bag drop/check-in. Passenger Service Ambassadors (dressed in a purple uniform) are located in this area to answer any questions you might have. If you have any of the items on you at this point which are shown as being forbidden through security then you should put them in the bins provided. Any liquids, gels, creams or pastes (max 100ml per item) should be placed in to one of the re-sealable plastic bags available. You will need to show this bag to an officer when you get to the Security search area. Ticket Presentation Preparing to travel If the gate does not automatically open, further instructions will be given to you on the small information screen. You will be directed by the information on the screen to go and see the officer at the desk who will be able to assist. At this stage in your journey, checks will be made to make sure you have a valid boarding card. The automatic gates will scan your boarding pass to check whether you have a boarding pass which is valid for travel. Always keep your boarding pass and passport in the same pocket or bag so that you don’t struggle finding them. The automatic gates are quick and easy to use but there are occasions where you might be unable to use an automatic gate and will need to go to the assistance desk where a security officer will help you. When to seek assistance? • If you have no barcode on your boarding pass • If you are travelling with young children • If you are aged 16 and under • If you have trouble using the automatic gate • If you would prefer to have the checks done by an officer Security Search 1 You are now approaching security search and you should expect to queue. Preparing to travel 2 3 4 5 When you reach the front of the security search lane you should put your possessions into the trays provided (remembering to follow the four simple steps on the left). This should be followed by your hand luggage and any other items that we recommend you to remove such as your watch, belt, hat, shoes or other large metal jewellery items. Any baggage or items placed in the trays will now be x-rayed to check that you have no items that could be considered unsafe on-board an aircraft. Whilst your bag goes through the X-ray machine you will be asked to walk through an archway metal detector. If the archway metal detector beeps and flashes a red light when you walk through it, then an officer will need to do further security checks. You can use as many trays as you need. You will lose sight of your things for a moment while they go through the x-ray machine. If your baggage/trays pass the security check then they will appear out of the x-ray machine, ready to collect, after you’ve walked through the archway metal detector. If your baggage fails the security screening process then it will be put to one side and an officer will need to do further security checks which will include a manual search of your bag. You may have to wait for a while. You should not walk through the archway until the officer calls you forward or makes a hand gesture telling you to approach them. If the light on the archway flashes green when you walk through and no beep is heard, you can now collect your bag and any other possessions that you were separated from. If your bag has been put aside to be searched you will have to wait until it has been returned to you. The officer will ask you to stand with your arms and legs apart while they gently pat your clothing. They will use a hand metal detector to check that you have not got any sharp items or weapons on you. You might also be asked to go through a body scanner. See glossary for further information. Departure Lounge Preparing For In the main departures lounge you will find lots of shops, restaurants and facilities. You will also find all of the Departure Gates. Main Departures Lounge With so much to see and do in the Terminal it’s important that you remember to get to your Departure Gate on time. Information to help you find exactly when and where in the terminal your flight will depart from can be found on the information screens or by checking the Heathrow app. Our yellow information signs will show you the direction to, and time it takes to walk to your departure gate. More information on all of the facilities on offer within Terminal 3, including maps can be found on the Heathrow website, on our app, or displayed at key information points around the building. Departure Lounge Facilities Special Assistance Family Lounge You will find the special assistance area within the World Duty Free shop past the toilets. For younger passengers there is access to a Soft Play Area located by the Ted Baker store, just follow the signs for Lounge A. Stairs and a lift will get you to the first floor. It is signposted just past security. The area is open from 6.00am – 9.00pm for Children aged up to 9 years (Height restrictions apply) There is no charge to use this facility. Children will need to wear socks. Preparing to travel Quiet Rest Area There is a rest and relaxation room near gate 24. This is space away from the crowds of other passengers where you can sit and wait for your flight. Please note that is a quiet space. No1 Lounge/ Spa The No1 Lounge is an independent facility (open to all passengers) it offers a quiet place to rest and relax. There is a time limit on how long you can stay and a charge to use the lounge. Follow the signs for Lounge F, there are stairs or a lift which will take you there. For more details or to make a booking see our website: www.heathrow.com/airportguide/terminal-facilities-andservices/lounges Flight Information Preparing to travel Your Flight Information – change to non code share flight Whatever type of boarding pass you have, you only need to know where to find 3 important pieces of information to help you use the information screens and find your departure gate. 1 Departure Time 2 Destination 3 Flight Number 2 3 1 A codeshare agreement is where two or more airlines share the same flight. This means that each airline publishes and markets the flight itself. If a flight is operating on a codeshare, our screens rotate the information to show multiple flight numbers. The boarding pass below for instance shows a flight to Helsinki – this is actually a British Airways flight, advertised under a codeshare with American Airlines. 3 2 1 2 3 1 You can use this information to find your departure gate on our flight information screens. Their display looks like this: 1 2 3 Flight Information Find your flight on the Information Screens Use the information screens to find out where your flight will depart from Preparing to travel Follow the signs to find your departure gate Confirm you are at the correct gate What you can expect to know and when 2 hours or more At this time any information about which gate your flight may depart from could change. You are most likely to see the GATE SHOWN message for your flight. 45-60 minutes By this time you should have a specific gate number. You are most likely to see the GO TO GATE message of your flight. 30-40 minutes You should have a specific gate number by this time and be at, or on your way to your departure gate. You are most likely to see a BOARDING message. Listed below are some of the messages you may see on the information screen and the actions you will need to take. GATE SHOWN Your gate number is not yet known. Check the screen at the time given and your gate number should be shown at that time. BOARDING Your flight is close to departing – go to the gate number which is shown in orange. FLIGHT CLOSING Your flight is very close to departing – go immediately to the gate number which is shown. Some gates are quite a long walk. Make sure you leave enough time to get there. Some flights have multiple flight numbers and therefore you will see this information scroll. This does not mean your flight number has changed or that you are flying on a different airline. DELAYED TO or PLEASE WAIT Your flight has been or is likely to be delayed. You should seek further information from your airline or ask for help. Electric Buggies are used to help passengers who can’t walk very far. They make a beeping noise so you know they are coming. Download ‘Heathrow Airport Guide’ from your app store and store your personal flight details. The app will then provide you with regular status updates on your flight including latest departure time and call to gate information. Boarding the Aircraft Preparing to travel All of the Departure Gates have clear signs to help you confirm that you are in the right place. If you are in the right place then there should be an airline representative at the desk and the screen should show your flight number. If the screen at the Gate does not show your flight you might be in the wrong place. You should check the Flight Information screens to make sure you have the correct gate or ask for help at the Airline Customer Service desk. The airline representative will make the announcement telling you that they are ready to board the aircraft and will ask passengers seated in certain rows to come forward to the desk to start boarding. Once you have confirmed that you are at the right location you should take a seat and wait for further instructions. Your boarding pass and passport will be checked . You should use this time to get your passport and boarding pass out (as you will need to show these documents). You should also check your boarding pass to find where you will be seated as many airlines will ask passengers to board the aircraft by seat row order. Your seat number is shown on your boarding pass. The number tells you which row and the letter is the specific seat number. For instance: When the checks are complete you will be allowed to past the desk to walk down the air bridge (pictured above) and on to the aircraft where you will be met by the airline cabin crew who will help you find your seat and give you instructions on where to put your bags. Row 18 Seat F If you think you might struggle with this part of the journey. please speak to the airline representative when you arrive at the gate as many will allow passengers with Autism to pre-board (get on the aircraft first.) Useful Links Heathrow Website http://www.heathrowairport.com/ Heathrow Express https://www.heathrowexpress.com/ Transport for London https://tfl.gov.uk/ National Express http://www.nationalexpress.com/ Civil Aviation Authority http://www.caa.co.uk/ VAT Refunds https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-7041-tax-free-shopping-in-the-uk The National Autistic Society http://www.autism.org.uk/about/family-life/holidays-trips/preparation.aspx Additional information Checklist I know how to find my way around Heathrow Preparation checklist I still have questions about I have a plan to avoid sensory overload I can use the step-by-step journey guide to help me prepare I know what to do at each stage of my journey I know how to read my boarding pass I know how to use the flight information screens I know where to ask for help on the day if I need Contact us If you have any further questions or concerns please email: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m still worried about Glossary Additional information Gate / Departure gate Check-in/Bag-drop Checking in is the process that passengers go through when they arrive at an airport. At check-in, you tell your airline that you have arrived. The airline gives you a boarding pass that entitles you to travel through the airport to your aircraft. At Heathrow you can check in at the airline check-in desks or use the self-service check-in consoles. Some people check in online before they leave home. If you have baggage which you need to check in, you will drop it off here. Boarding pass A boarding pass is a document that entitles a passenger to a seat on their aircraft. The ticket you have booked with your airline is digitally transformed into a boarding pass, allowing you access onto the aircraft. Some passengers pick up their boarding passes when they check in at the airport. Passengers who check in online usually print out their boarding passes at home. Some passengers do not print their passes, but use digital boarding passes on their mobile phones. Every passenger needs a boarding pass to get through security at Heathrow. Airline An airline is a commercial organisation that flies passengers by aircraft from one airport to another. When you book a flight, you book it with an airline. When you pay, your airline gives you a ticket. Airlines that fly from Heathrow have their own staff and check-in desks at the airport. Glossary Additional information Information screens Information screens provide up-to-date information on all flights from Heathrow. There are information screens in every part of the airport so you can check on your flight whenever you want. Look on the screen for your flight number. When it's time to make your way to the departure gate, the screen will show you the gate number for your flight and the time for boarding your aircraft. Body Scanner A body scanner is a tool that security officers use to check passengers for items that could be dangerous on an aircraft. The scanner is a cubicle with glass sides. It looks a bit like a round telephone box. If you are asked to step into the scanner, someone will show you where to go. Inside you will see signs that show you where to stand. The process is quick. A scan takes less than 30 seconds. Nothing will touch you. The scanner is a good way to avoid a more intrusive search. However, if the scanner detects anything unusual, someone will still have to search the area of your body identified by the scanner. Archway Metal Detector An archway metal detector is another tool that security officers use to check that passengers do not have any forbidden items on them (such as sharp, metal items). The archway is a bit like a door frame and there is plenty of space for you to walk through it. If it beeps, you will have to be searched by a security officer. They will always ask your permission before touching you, and have been trained to be as non-intrusive as possible, whilst keeping our airport safe. All passengers have to pass through the Archway Metal Detector, except for those who are physically unable, who will have a body search by an officer. Glossary Additional information Airbridge/Jetty An airbridge or a jetty is a moveable bridge which is placed against an aircraft door to allow passengers to board or disembark. They are covered passageways which connect the terminal building to the aircraft. They are sometimes quite narrow and do not have any windows. If your aircraft is not parked at a gate with an airbridge, you will be taken by bus to your plane. Gate/Departure Gate Gate and departure gate are two names for the same thing. The gate for your flight is the part of the airport terminal where you board your aircraft. Every gate has its own reference code.
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