Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It brings adventure, perspective, education and experience - a disconnect from the stress and monotony of everyday life. It forces you to step outside of your comfort zone, allowing you to connect with different cultures, languages, places and people. Travel is memorable and rewarding, an experience that should be accessible to all. The sad reality is that while many of us take for granted the ability to take spontaneous trips abroad, it is not that simple for those who live with a disability.
More than three million Australians are living with a disability and they are often at the mercy of the individual modes of transport, service providers and the supporting infrastructure when it comes to seamless travel. It shouldn’t be this way. And that is why Brisbane Airport is striving towards building Australia’s most accessible airport by providing facilities that are accessible to all members of the community, including passengers and visitors living with a disability. We strongly believe in fostering greater social inclusion by removing the barriers that often inhibit travel, and work closely with our airline partners and a number of organisations representing the interests of various disability groups to make continual and meaningful improvements in accessibility.
Are you a traveller with special needs planning a trip via Brisbane Airport? Read on for tips on planning your trip, getting to and from the airport, parking, moving around the both terminals as well as services and facilities you will find at BNE.
If you have accessibility requirements, advise your airline or travel agent at the time of booking. Be confident and clear about your needs, as each airline has different guidelines and requirements for additional assistance. By taking the time to ask the relevant questions, you will find the airline that is the best fit for you. Some of the questions to ask may include:
- Which medical conditions require a ‘fit to travel’ clearance?
- Am I able to travel with my own wheelchair or mobility aid? If so, are there size restrictions?
- Am I able to obtain assistance to check-in, move through the airport and get to the departure gate?
- Is there equipment available to assist with getting on and off the plane?
- Will I be able to receive personal assistance during the flight? (ie. opening meal containers or getting to the toilet)
- Do you offer special airfare rates for carers?
- Is priority boarding available?
- Are there any restrictions and/or requirements for travelling with my service dog?
Once you have your travel booked, it is also worth double-checking your airline has a record of your requests 24-48 hours before you arrive at the airport. This will allow your airline sufficient time to arrange personalised requirements that will ensure your transit through BNE is smooth and comfortable.
If you are living with a disability that isn’t immediately obvious to airport staff and would like some additional assistance moving through the terminal, you can request a hidden disability information pack from BNE (allow up to a week for the pack to be posted out to you).
The pack contains a journey guide providing information about the airport, a lanyard and an information card that you can choose to wear or carry when you visit the airport. The card is recognised by BNE staff across the terminals who can provide you with support and assistance.
Getting to BNE
It is recommended to arrive at least 90 minutes before your domestic flight is scheduled to depart to ensure you have plenty of time to check-in, pass through security and make your way to your boarding gate.
If you are being dropped off at the Domestic Terminal, there are six accessible parking spaces located under the skywalk pedestrian walkway, approximately 160 metres from the terminal entrance along the passenger pick-up and drop-off road. By displaying a valid Disability Parking Permit, you are able to park and leave your vehicle for up to 30 minutes, allowing time to assist passengers to and from the terminal. If you don't have a valid permit and wish to use these spaces, wave hello and identify yourself to a Kerbside Officer.
If you need to be dropped off closer to the Domestic Terminal, there are two accessible parking spaces located approximately 50 metres from the entrance on the taxi drop-off road. To book one of these spaces, contact BAC reception on 3406 3261 between 8am and 3:45pm Monday to Friday to reserve a spot. You will need to provide at least 24 hours notice.
Brisbane Airport does not offer a porter service. But if you’re looking to park at the airport and don’t have a travelling companion to help with the suitcases, consider the ParkValet concierge service. Book online, drop off your vehicle (on Level 3 P1 at the DomesticTerminal), and the concierge will assist you with your luggage to and from the terminal.
It is recommended to arrive at least three hours before your international flight is scheduled to depart to ensure you have plenty of time to check-in, pass through security and make your way to your boarding gate.
If you are being dropped off at the International Terminal, there are four accessible parking spaces located on the Departures Road on Level 4. These spaces are directly outside the entrance to the terminal. Given the proximity to the terminal, parking is limited to a maximum of five minutes and it is not possible to leave your vehicle unattended at any time.
If you have a family member or friend escorting you to or from the terminal, they will need to park in the car park. Short term parking is available in the terminal car parks starting from $5 for the first hour with ParkShort. Accessible car parking is available at both short-term and long-term car parks at BNE. You will need to display a valid Disability Parking Permit to use these spaces as fines apply for misuse.
The ParkValet concierge service is available on Level 1 of the International Terminal car park, just drop off your vehicle and the concierge will assist you with your luggage to and from the terminal.
All passengers, visitors, belongings and assistance animals are subject to security screening before entering the departures area of the terminal. If you have special needs and require an alternative screening method, alert airport staff before you commence the screening process.
Changing Places bathroom facilities
The Changing Places bathroom facilities provide an adult change table, hoist, toilet fitted with moveable handrails, and additional space for the use of people living with a profound disability and their carers.
Find a Changing Places facility
- Domestic Terminal: Located on the central ground floor area near Qantas baggage carousel 3.
- International Terminal: Located on Level 4 behind Flight Centre.
Assistance animal facility
Assistance animals are welcome at BNE, and have a special toilet and watering facility available to them in both of our terminals:
- Domestic Terminal: Level 2 in the Central Terminal area near Gate 25.
- International Terminal: Level 3, Departures area (after Passport Control) behind the Coffee Club.
There is always room for improvement, and we welcome passenger feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to expand our services. If you are living with a disability and have transited through BNE, please remember that you can pass on any feedback, concerns or questions at any time via the online feedback form.