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Travelling with Additional Needs or Hidden Disabilities

Welcome to Edinburgh Airport

We understand that traveling with additional needs or hidden disabilities can be a challenging experience and we are here to help.

We are committed to delivering the best possible experience and have been working in partnership with local organisations and industry experts to tailor our services for passengers with additional needs.

To help make your journey through Edinburgh Airport as stress-free as possible we are pleased to offer the following services and materials:

scottishautism wideaware euansguide Mindroom

Additional Needs Assistance

Terminal Team

We offer an Additional Needs service for passengers on the autism spectrum or with complex additional needs. Our team can meet you on arrival to the airport to help with check-in and security, and we can liaise with the airline about flight boarding. In security we must remain compliant with current regulations, however we will coordinate with our colleagues in the area to make the process as quick and straightforward as possible. We can also meet you from your return flight to ensure a smooth transit through immigration.

If you would like to use this service you must complete the booking form below and return it to [email protected] no later than 72 hours before your date of travel - Download booking form


  • Please contact your airline/travel agent directly to request Special Assistance to ensure that the cabin crew are aware of your needs, and so that assistance is reserved at other airports on your journey.
  • We recommend that you arrive a minimum of two hours prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight, irrespective of the destination. At Edinburgh Airport some of our carriers close their gates promptly at around 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. This recommendation will ensure a stress-free journey to the gate in time for your departure.
  • Call our Additional Needs team when you arrive at Edinburgh Airport. The contact number will be sent to you when your Additional Needs assistance is confirmed.
  • Please let our team know if you no longer require the assistance. We completely understand that situations may change and our services may not be required. This is important so that our team are available to assist other passengers.
  • If you are travelling in a group, we typically only fast-track the passenger requiring assistance and the immediate carers (two adults max.) This ensures that your journey is as quick and stress-free as possible.
  • If you have requested assistance for an inbound journey, the team will be waiting for you after you have disembarked . Look out for our team holding a sign with your name when you enter the building.



Passengers with Additional Needs/Hidden Disabilities can wear a lanyard or pin to make the staff aware of their hidden disabilities, allowing our teams to tailor their approach. You may use the lanyards or pins whether or not you have requested assistance.

If you would like a lanyard and/or pin we can send them by post or you can collect them at our Special Assistance Reception on your day of travel. Please contact [email protected] for more details.



Passengers on the autism spectrum or with complex additional needs can arrange a visit to the airport prior to travel to familiarise with the sights and sounds of the airport environment. Regrettably we cannot take visitors beyond Security or anywhere near the aircraft.

If you think this would be beneficial please contact us at [email protected] with your preferred date and time.

Additional Needs Materials for Children


To help prepare children with additional needs for the airport journey, we have an animated children’s video at

Please contact us at [email protected] for the password to access the video.

In addition, we also have two children’s books which feature the same story and character as the video, which we can send out to your postal address on request. Please email the address above, and let us know whether you would prefer Suzie Goes on an Aeroplane or Sammy Goes on an Aeroplane!

Airport Journey Social Story

We have recently developed a Social Story detailing the airport journey. We wanted to create visual guidance to help children and their families prepare for the airport experience; particularly those who have either not flown or not travelled through Edinburgh Airport before.

You can download our Social Story here .

Advice for Specific Hidden Disabilities

Hearing and visual impairments

For passengers who may have hearing or visual impairments we have created factsheets in a word document format which are compatible with most screen readers.

Induction loops can be found in locations around the terminal (look for signs showing the "sympathetic ear" symbol). Payphones and credit card telephones are available in all parts of the airport and are adapted for hearing aids. Guide and hearing dogs are the only dogs allowed in the terminal buildings. A dog spending area for assistance dogs only is located next to the multi-storey car park. A dog waste bin is located within the spending area.

Induction loops can be accessed in the following areas of the airport:

  • Gate 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • At gate 18 in our south east pier
  • Baggage belts 1, 2 and 3 in our international arrivals hall
  • At the entrance to Starbucks in our domestic arrivals area

Travelling with an Ostomy

We understand and fully appreciate that travellers with an Ostomy can find air travel, and the security process in particular, very challenging and a source of anxiety. We have been pleased to work with Stomawise to increase awareness in the local Ostomy community, as well as with our security team, of the challenges faced and how to overcome these.

Feel free to use our hidden disabilities lanyards or pins to alert our security team to your need for additional assistance through our security process and remember you can ask for a private search at any time. Our team will be considerate and understanding of your requirements at all times and our special assistance team would be happy to escort you through security if you wish, please pre-book this service through your airline.

If you have further questions about travelling with an Ostomy please contact us through our feedback form. We would also recommend looking at the Stomawise website ( which has useful hints and tips about travelling with an Ostomy within the ‘Lifestyle’ section.

Travelling with a Heart Device

Air travel should be relatively straightforward if you have been fitted with an implanted cardiac device. There are three main types of device which are inserted under the skin; pacemakers, cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. There are other cardiac devices which may be implanted for short or long term investigations or treatment so if you are unsure if you have one of these devices, always check with your doctor or nurse before planning to travel by air.

Please show your Patient ID card to a Security Officer when in the search area to ensure they can take appropriate action to assist you with your journey.

To minimise the risk of temporary interference to your heart device when going through airport electromagnetic security screening, you should:

  • Avoid touching metal surfaces around any screening equipment
  • Airport security wands could also temporarily affect your device or turn it off if the wand is held over it for a prolonged period of time (longer than 30 seconds). If you have shown your Patient ID card to a member of the security team they should know not to hold it over your device or the surrounding area.

There is a small chance that the metal parts of your device might set off airport security metal detector alarm. Therefore it is vital that you carry your personal Patient ID card with you at all times when travelling as it contains essential information. If you have concerns about security screening at Edinburgh Airport please speak to a member of the airport security team who will be happy to help you through the search area. Once on board the aircraft your device will not cause any interference to the aircraft’s electronic systems.

To access a copy of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s free publications please click on the links below or take a look at our website

If you would like further information please call the Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Advice Line Nurses on: 0808 810 0899 (Freephone) Monday to Friday 9:30-4pm.

For more information, these handy guides should help:

Air travel for people affected by chest, heart & stroke illness:

Living with a pacemaker:

Living with an ICD:

Remember to always carry your Patient ID Card with you in your hand luggage.

Listen to Feedback on our Services

Many of the services and materials which we offer have been developed in response to feedback from our passengers.

If you have any feedback on our services, or would like to share your airport experience with us, please get in touch via the feedback form at the link below: