Bristol Airport: Report finds 'unacceptable level of service to disabled people'

The airport was exceptionally busy over the summer period.

Bristol Airport has been criticised for having an 'unacceptable level of service to disabled people', according to a regulator.

The Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) report found their overall performance for pre-booked disabled and less mobile passengers had fallen 'below its arrival standards'.

The report reads: "Bristol faced challenges with essential equipment being unavailable over the summer causing their performance to suffer.

"Although there was slight improvement from quarter one to quarter two, there was little further improvement in October.

"However, over the second quarter and October, Bristol has shown commitment to making improvements and engaged positively with the CAA and airlines including implementing an improvement plan and setting up an operational improvement group."

In response, a spokesperson for Bristol Airport said: “We are disappointed with the results of the recent CAA disability survey.

"We will continue to work with OCS, the special assistance provider, to provide consistent and high-quality assistance to all customers and put remedial plans in place to address the issues to ensure we continue providing high levels of service and assistance, our customers expect.

“Record numbers of customers with disabilities are travelling through Bristol Airport year on year, and we take it very seriously to provide assistance and help that meets individual customer needs.”

The regulator found equipment issues had contributed to the level of service not being up to standard

The CAA findings come as many disabled and less mobile passengers missed summer flights at Heathrow due to the airport’s poor accessibility performance, and other airports including Leeds Bradford and Luton Airports were criticised by the regulator.

Paul Smith, director of consumers at the CAA, said: “The aviation industry has faced unprecedented challenges, but too many passengers at UK airports have been waiting for unacceptable amounts of time for assistance on arriving flights on too many occasions.

“We strongly believe that everyone should have access to air travel, and we welcome the substantial improvements that airports have made for disabled and less mobile passengers.

“We will continue to consider whether we need to take further action where airports are not delivering an acceptable level of performance, and not showing sufficient and sustained improvements.

“We want to see immediate further improvements, as well as airports being well prepared to provide a high-quality service during next year.”