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Old 6 Aug 22, 03:45 PM  
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#1
jdndt
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Location: Yorkshire
Talk me through Special Assistance

We have booked special assistance for my son through United Airlines.

Do we check in then go to the Special assistance desk or go to the desk before checking in?

We are flying from Heathrow if it makes any different.
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Old 7 Aug 22, 07:36 AM  
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Lpf
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I donít know about Heathrow or United but we did special assistance at Bristol for a European holiday recently (and am assuming itís the same when we book for VA at LHR)

- go to special assistance desk when you arrive at the airport
- when your check in desk opens (or if already opened) they escorted us to the front of the queue by a different lane and check us in)
- escort to special assistance security Lane
- once airside, check in to their special assistance desk who give you a time to return for aircraft transfer support
- we had breakfast and a shop then went back
- minibus transport direct to the plane with no heading to the gate etc. we were first on the plane.

For a child with autism, this was brilliant.
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Old 7 Aug 22, 07:37 AM  
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Lpf
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Check in and security was 9 minutes for us due to the support (and DS said that was still 9 minutes of torture for him with all the people)
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Old 7 Aug 22, 09:39 AM  
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jdndt
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Thank you Lpf - my son also has autism and finds it difficult. He once lay on the floor for 2 hours at LAX and no one helped us so I thought special assistance would be helpful for him. You've proved to me it's the right decision.
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Old 7 Aug 22, 11:33 AM  
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TC Devon
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We contacted virgin and Heathrow and basically and they both said if hidden disability there is no help. Wear lanyard and people will help us. They did nt.

Mco- again i contacted mco x3 times, filled in special assistance form. Two autistic children and we heard nothing. I tried chasing but no one ever replied. I wore my sons lanyard once we landed, he wonít wear things around his neck. Daughter wonít wear it either. No one helped. The queue was massive we were pretty much at the end. It was nt fun. He cried and got stressed the entire time. He gets so wound up. He is almost sick
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Old Yesterday, 02:58 PM  
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Lpf
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Originally Posted by TC Devon View Post
We contacted virgin and Heathrow and basically and they both said if hidden disability there is no help. Wear lanyard and people will help us. They did nt.

Mco- again i contacted mco x3 times, filled in special assistance form. Two autistic children and we heard nothing. I tried chasing but no one ever replied. I wore my sons lanyard once we landed, he wonít wear things around his neck. Daughter wonít wear it either. No one helped. The queue was massive we were pretty much at the end. It was nt fun. He cried and got stressed the entire time. He gets so wound up. He is almost sick
You can book it as a wheelchair user / restricted mobility etc - this gets you the same support you need as a hidden disability. When you get to the desk, you just tell them what you need and decline the wheelchair. Then when you land, you Ďwaití for your wheelchair and the staff take you, again - just donít use the actual wheelchair (or do if the stress of the environment is too much)

Ours was booked as a wheelchair because the only other code was for intellectual disability which didnít seem right either for autism.
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM  
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MillyMoo
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I'm glad I read this! When I looked at Heathrows website it made me think that if we wore the lanyards all would be ok and that special assistance was more for those with physical disabilities!
I'll have another look for when we go next year, thank you!
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Old Yesterday, 03:23 PM  
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T.jenni
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It's tricky this year, under normal circumstances my daughter will 'manage' the airport she will get upset when people stand too close to her in queues etc but she can manage for short bursts of time. There is no way she will not explode/implode if she is in a queue of angry adults for 3 hours worried about I'd Heathrow will lose her case. I'm dreading it to be honest
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