Coronavirus advice – Please check the latest government guidance before making any travel arrangements
- UK travel restrictions have now been lifted. You should check the requirements of the departure country or any countries you will transit in before travelling. Some countries require a negative test certificate for transit.
- Some airlines still require you to wear a mask.
Before you travel
- Make sure you aware of what exit and transit visas are required. Passengers holding some passports are now required to have a transit visa for many European countries which includes staying in the airport and going to a connecting flight. More information on this here: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/transit-schengen-visa/ . Consider the requirements for this before you make any booking.
- Make sure your baggage is under the allowance for the flight. The allowance will be provided with your tickets.If you don’t know the allowance please ask.
- Make sure you are not carrying any banned items – www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/banned-and-restricted-goods this includes some food – www.gov.uk/bringing-food-animals-plants-into-uk/food
- Take pictures of your bags and note what is in each one in case they get lost.
- You will be given an email with all the information you need – please print this or have it on you so you can show someone if you need to ask for help. This email will include; your journey information, information for your landing card and our contact details.
- Get advice from friends and family on what travelling internationally is like. Talk to them about what you need to do at the airport and how it works. There are also videos of the airports on You Tube – you can see what it will be like when you get there.
- Make a plan for what your family will do if they miss a connection or are lost in the airport. Have they got a phone to access WiFi? How will they contact you?
- Ask us any questions you need to.
- Plan to arrive at the airport very early – at least 3 hours before your flight.
On the journey
- There will be food provided on the plane included in your ticket price. It may be a good idea to take some snacks with you in case there is any delay and you cannot buy food in the airport.
- If you have a long journey make sure you sleep where you can and eat something and drink water so you don’t get ill.
- There will be a toilet on the plane you can use.
- If you need anything on the place you can ask the airline staff or other passengers.
- If you need advice you can ask staff on the plane or in the airport or other passengers. If you can’t speak the same language you can show them your journey details or ask them to call us or your partner in the UK.
- If there is an emergency please let us know as soon as possible. It is important to not miss any flights and to let us know there is a problem before the flight departs.
- You might need to stop at another airport on the way to your final destination.
- You will need to get off the plane and find where to get on the new plane. This might be far away in bigger airports. Make sure you go straight there.
- There will be screens in the airport with your flight number (which is on the email we provide) and the number of a ‘gate’ to go to. Follow the signs to get to the right place.
- If you are lost show a member of staff your email with the flight number and they can help you find it.
- It is important you go and find where to get your next flight as soon as you get off the plane. In some airports it might be far to walk or you might need to get on a bus or train.
- You should not need to go through immigration if you are changing planes unless you are changing in the UK. If you get to a check point make sure you show them the email so they know you are getting another flight.
Arriving in the UK
- Before you enter the UK you will need to complete a landing card. This will ask for some information about what you are doing in the UK. This might include; you journey details, the address you are going to, the name of the person you are coming to see, whether you are planning to work or not and information from your passport. Find out more about landing cards here.
- Follow people off your flight to immigration.
- You will need to go through immigration and show them your passport, visa and landing card. If there is a problem you can call us or ask the staff to call us or your partner.
- They may ask you about the end date on your visa. Your visa is an entry visa so that is the last date you can enter not the last date you can be in the UK.
- When you have gone through immigration you need to collect your bags. Follow signs for ‘Baggage claim’ or similar.
- There will be screens with your flight number. The screen will give you a number of a baggage carousel. Find out what a baggage carousel is here.
- Find the right baggage carousel. You might see people from your flight here.
- The staff put all the bags from the flight onto the carousel. It might take some time for your bags to come round.
- If they don’t come and bags have stopped arriving don’t worry. If you can find an information desk and explain your bags are lost they will help you fill in some forms. If you can’t fill in the forms bring them with you.
- When you have your bags you need to go through to arrivals.
- There will be a red door and a green door or a red path and a green path. If you have some controlled items in your baggage you will need go to the red door. Click here for advice on what items you need to declare.
- When you have gone through the doors you need to keep going until you see the person you’re meeting. There will be a place with a railing and lots of people waiting to meet passengers.
- You might need to go past shops, toilets, corridors to get to this point.
- We or your family will give you instructions on where to meet them when you arrive.
- If you cannot find them go to the ‘Information Desk’ and ask the staff to help you. Show them the email you have if you don’t speak English or ask them to call us.
- Unless you are told otherwise don’t leave the airport building until you have met the person collecting you.
For people meeting family members
- Make sure your family know to contact you if they have not travelled or they are stuck. Make sure they have your number written down so they can do this.
- Arrange a clear meeting point. We suggest waiting in a prominent location in arrivals so you see them when they come through the doors.
- It can take a long time between the flight landing and people getting to arrivals but you need to be there from the time the flight arrives.
- Listen to the announcements in case they are calling for you. Remember they may be pronouncing your name wrong.
- If you can no longer see people coming through from the flight your family is on and you are worried speak to the Information Desk. They can sometimes check if people are stuck at baggage claim or immigration. If you need to put someone on the phone to speak to them you can call us.
- If you would like someone to accompany you to meet your family and help with any problems please let us know early in the process so we can arrange this.
Please contact the person dealing with your case if you need help or advice at any point in the process.
Airports are really unfamiliar places and be confusing. There might be things you’ve not seen before. Make sure you’ve talked about these so you know what to do.
Biometric scanner – find out more here. To use these in an airport there will be some signs telling you where to stand and look. Copy other passengers if you don’t know what to do.