10 DECEMBER 2018
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Visually-impaired passengers at Heathrow now have access to on-demand, personalised assistance via an app called Aira as part of the airport’s multi-million pound investments to improve journeys for all passengers.
The app, available free, connects passengers directly to a trained professional agent for advice on navigating through Heathrow and assists with finding specific locations including gates, special-assistance facilities, retail outlets and restaurants.
It also provides live information on news affecting their journeys. It can be accessed by pre-loading on mobile phones or passengers can pre-book special assistance through their airlines and seek information on the app at the same time.
The number of passengers requesting special assistance at Heathrow is rising by some 8% each year, with more than 1m requests in 2017 alone – more than any other European airport.
Heathrow director of customer relations and service Jonathan Coen said the airport was taking proactive steps to transform its service to these passengers, backed by £23m investment in an upgraded contract with special-assistance partner OmniServ.
Last year, the airport launched the use of the ‘SignLive’ app which connects passengers to trained British Sign Language translators on demand, before and after their travel through Heathrow.
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