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Travelling by air

Hidden disability lanyard

Thank you to a parent who told us about this.

For children who find airports stressful, Gatwick and Heathrow have a “hidden disability lanyard” (same for both airports). Your children wear it around their neck (or you can wear it for them). We use it when we travel. The boys got to skip the queue for check in. Security sent us straight through, and the people checking us were much more patient and helpful (especially as xxxxx was refusing to have his toy scanned- they asked to cuddle it, and then popped it through while he wasn’t looking). It can be a bit hit and miss, as it depends on what staff you get (and how well that person has been trained), but it makes travelling a whole lot easier.

You can pick one up free at the airport (at the assistance desk), or, if you email them, they might be able to send you one in advance. It is green, with sunflowers. They mailed one to us. Makes life SO much easier when travelling!


Find out more about this and other advice about travelling if you have hidden disabilities (opens a new window)


You can find out more about disability assistance and accessibility when flying on the GOV.UK website (opens in new window) 

Flight Video Guides

Your Guide to Flying with a Disability

In partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the Queen Elizabeth Foundation have produced a film that gives information and insights about travelling by air and the support available. With unique access to a real life flight, follow Jon and his Dad through every aspect of their journey, highlighting what’s involved and including useful links to more information you may need. 

You can watch the film in different ways, either from start to finish so that you can see everything involved, or in specific segments that focus just on the information you need most. The film is subtitled throughout. 

You can watch the full film above or visit the QEF website to watch in segments (opens a new window)