Carer of a person with Parkinson's, a member of Parkinson's UK staff and staff from Belfast International Airport

Making Belfast International Airport more Parkinson's aware

Date

We've been working with staff at Belfast International Airport to improve their awareness of Parkinson's.

Many people with Parkinson's travel all over the world, and with a little planning ahead, most trips go without a hitch.

However, Derek who has Parkinson's, and his wife Kathleen recently had a problem when they travelled from Belfast to see their family in England. 

"We always plan well ahead when travelling, and follow the Civil Aviation guidelines on medication," said Kathleen.

“But on one particular trip from Belfast International Airport, we were taken into a separate room and searched because my husband had an apomorphine pump, despite having all our documentation in order.

"We found the experience very degrading."

Parkinson's UK stepping in

Parkinson's UK Campaigns Officer Caroline McEvoy set up a meeting with Kathleen and staff from the airport, who apologised for her and Derek's experience and agreed to work with Parkinson's UK to increase staff awareness of the condition.

Nabeel Gill, Head of Security at Belfast International Airport, said: "We are dedicated to ensuring all our passengers get through the security procedures as stress-free as possible.

"It's important our security staff are educated on passengers travelling with Parkinson's and how we can be empathetic to the person's needs, understand their concerns and have the correct process in place for conducting searches.

"We are pleased to be working with Parkinson's UK to ensure all our security staff go through the correct training to help ensure their travel experience is a positive one."

Following the meeting, Kathleen said: "I was very pleased with the outcome and hope that it will benefit Parkinson's travellers generally."

Tips on holidays and travel

Travelling this year? Don't forget to check out our resources for holidays and travel.

Making workplaces more Parkinson's aware

Find out more about how you can make workplaces more Parkinson's aware.

Read more about getting involved
A Parkinson's UK balloon