We have been pretty quiet on the social media front of late!
We have however been super busy getting our heads around the minefield of admin, forms and knowledge needed to ensure our youngsters have everything they need to travel. We believe it is vital that parents have peace of mind when their young ones travel alone and as that is what we do it’s our job to make sure that is the case.
So what is it currently like for young people travelling from Heathrow with an Airport Angel?
The first consideration should be travel to the airport; our youngsters are arriving by taxi, train and National Express coaches. Some of these public transport services are reduced so planning is essential, even local bus services to Heathrow have reduced the number of services per hour. Our Airport Angels meet the students/children from their transport and head into the Terminal with them. Recently many of them are having their Covid Test at Heathrow, something that for a small fee we have bolted on as an additional service. Once at the test centre – for their pre-booked test, our staff see them in and wait outside with the luggage. A few minutes later we head off with them to wait for their results. We are happy to do this from a coffee shop if food and drink are a priority!
The process takes no more than 30 minutes (for Antigen Lateral Flow Tests), results are emailed and they can head off to check-in. Passengers may be required to present verification for their trip if required by the country of destination, rules for each country can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/travel-abroad and due to the mountain of information this is something that parents have to take responsibility for. Once checked in it’s off to Security, plastic bags sorted for liquids and it’s through you go. The process is no different, the only thing you may notice is how much quicker it is due to the huge reduction in traveller numbers, there’s no need to be allowing any extra time for the Check-In/ Security process. We hope that sooner rather than later we will be telling you that passenger numbers are up and it’s busy again!
Once Airside, things are pretty normal with most of the shops and restaurants open and of course nowhere near as busy. Heading off to the gate we try and use the moving walkways rather than the shuttle as social distancing is not easy on these small shuttles and we are all about ensuring safe travel. It does seem that people do forget about social distancing at the airport, once at the gate this becomes apparent as everyone seems to be crowding to get where they want to go. Boarding passes are scanned, verification for travel (if destination requires this) can be checked and that’s pretty much it. Our Airport Angels wait until the student/child is through the final desk in case of any problems so we are on hand to help.
So for us the key things are;
- Covid tests being taken at the airport are pre-booked with additional time in place to go through the test process.
- You have signed one of our declaration forms so we know what your instructions are if there is a positive result.
- All the correct paperwork for the country of destination, completed passenger locator from and passport along with the negative Covid test result are all together for presentation at check-in.
- We have produced 2 documents giving more detailed information and links on International Student Visas and Departing from / Entering the UK during these ‘complicated’ times. We are happy to send these via email on request.
We are doing everything we can to help; information and rules are changing daily so we have to ensure you are aware that the information provided by us is for guidance only. All information should be confirmed with the airline and the GOV.UK website specific to you or your child’s travel.Airport Angels accepts no liability for passengers arriving at or departing from the UK with missing or incorrect travel documents. It is the passengers/parents responsibility to ensure they have this to prevent additional charges or missed departures.