Luton Airport Rated Poor For Disabled Assistance
- Written by George Sensalis
On Tuesday, the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority published an interim report about the quality of service U.K. airports have given to disabled passengers over the past six months. This interim publication highlights what improvements airports have made to ensure that disabled people can travel as easily as possible during these difficult times for air travel and which airports failed to meet the regulator’s minimum service standards.
Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Stansted, and Manchester airports were struggling at the beginning of the year, each with unacceptable wait times for arriving travelers. However, improvements have been made in later months.
Bristol, Leeds Bradford, and London Heathrow airports were struggling as well at first but improved in later months, not to the same degree as Birmingham or London Stansted though.
But instead of seeing improvement like these three, Luton airport was hit with a poor ranking due to having waited so long to make changes. This led them to fall below their performance targets and deteriorate further over time. It also turns out that Luton Airport failed to accurately track its performance throughout all the time covered by the CAA’s performance analysis. In March 2022 Luton Airport switched to a new, untested IT reporting tool.
The Civil Aviation Authority has commended East Midlands and Liverpool International Airports for making the effort to enhance customer service despite harsh conditions this summer. The authority also found that major improvements had taken place in October at both London Stansted Airport and London Gatwick, which now meet their targets under the Very Good ranking criteria.
Performance at Heathrow was ranked disappointing during all monitoring periods, missing arrivals standards on various occasions. The CAA noted that Heathrow’s high number of transit passengers along with multiple terminals caused unique challenges for the assistance service.
London Luton Airport failed to live up to expectations across every monitoring period this year, showing poor response rates each time. Disappointingly, it demonstrated a lack of improvement while consistently falling short of CAA's benchmarks, seeing too many people left stranded without any kind of support on far too many occasions. The CAA also noted that data provided by London Luton Airport has not been collected accurately or thoroughly.
The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority launched the reputational enforcement methodology in 2014. Every year, the CAA publishes a report ranking airports between very good and poor.
This methodology allows consumers to know which airports provide good support for disabled people and which fall below acceptable service standards,