Leeds Bradford airport bosses defend record on supporting disabled passengers

Leeds Bradford Internationa Airport (LBIA) bosses have defended their record on supporting disabled passengers after criticism in a major new study.

LBIA was rated in the ‘taking steps’ category - the third of four rankings which included ‘very good’, ‘good’ and ‘poor’ ratings - alongside London Heathrow, Luton, Sheffield and Glasgow airport in the study by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The report ranked 30 of the busiest UK airports against key measures like how long passengers have to wait for assistance; passenger satisfaction with the assistance provided and how much consultation airports had with disability organisations regarding assistance services.

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LBIA scored well in the former two categories, but was criticised for the latter as one of the airports which “have met other performance targets, but who have yet to consult sufficiently with disability organisations”.

“It is disappointing that these airports do not list any consultative activity on their websites but we are pleased to report that all the airports have provided us with details of how they plan to meet this obligation in the near future,” the report writers said.

A spokesman at Leeds Bradford Airport said in response to the report: “As part of this CAA analysis, we are on track to deliver a good performance standard this year.

“Special assistance is provided to all passengers with a disability or reduced mobility travelling through Leeds Bradford Airport.

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“Added to this, we have several ongoing initiatives that will further enhance the customer journey for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility; including working with Guide Dogs for the Blind and directly with local disability groups to receive their feedback and guidance for reasonable adjustments within our airport.

“We have also recently increased equipment available, including specialist vehicles and wheelchairs.”

The spokesman stressed LBIA was “focused completely on providing the very best customer service for every passenger”, pointing out its extensive work to “ensure that people with a disability and reduced mobility can travel with ease and convenience to have a great journey to their destination”.

“We welcome any feedback from disability groups,” he said.