Heathrow Express has partnered with one of the UK’s leading wheelchair basketball teams, London Titans, and launched a new ‘Heathrow Express charter’.
The charter was created by the airport rail link operator to support the team’s travel to this year’s EuroCup tournament and ensure a suitable experience on its trains for everyone by making accessibility for all a priority.
Heathrow Express says that the charter’s goals are to “continuously improve” the quality of the operator’s accessible travel offering. It said in a release it would do this by delivering the commitments within its Accessible Travel Policy, and to catering to passengers’ wide-ranging needs so that everyone can use the service confidently.
As the only rail airport transfer service with completely step-free access, the charter includes a commitment to maintaining level boarding so that passengers with wheelchairs and mobility aids can travel from train to plane and back again with ease.
“Heathrow and Heathrow Express have helped our club enormously. I wouldn’t be sitting here in Bosnia without both of those companies’ support,” said London Titans’ coach Matt Sealy during the Eurocup tournament in Bosnia last month.
“I have been travelling internationally as a wheelchair user since the age of 3. I am now approaching 41, and to say accessibility in the travel industry has improved during this time is a huge understatement!
“The most important need for myself has been the understanding of organisations, such as Heathrow Airport and Heathrow Express, to see my wheelchair as a part of me, and not a piece of luggage.”
Heathrow Express has also partnered with mobility charities and organisations to understand the needs of every passenger and to ensure its staff receive regular training that enables them to deliver a service that is accessible to all.
“We are delighted to be partnering with The London Titans and launching our new Heathrow Express charter. We want to set and maintain new standards to encourage more travellers to this service,” said Daniel Edwards, business lead at Heathrow Express.
“This means making sure everyone can look forward to a great experience, with peace of mind knowing that the facilities are globally recognised as compliant for all and that they will receive a warm human welcome at every stage.”
London’s new Elizabeth Line, which also runs from Heathrow into central London, does not feature level boarding at all its stations, despite the project presenting an opportunity to implement it.