13:00-16:30, Holiday Inn, M4 Junction 4, London
Roberto Castiglioni (RC) – HAAG Chair
Panita Vig (PV) – HAAG
Christiane Link (CL) – HAAG
Clive Locke (CLO) – HAAG
Michael Carver (MC) – British Airways, HAAG
John Fishwick (JFI) – British Airways, HAAG
Graham Race (GR) – HAAG
Geraldine Lundy (GL) – VS, HAAG
Carlo Alberto Cima (CC)– HAL
Ciara Thorn (CT) – HAL
Samantha Berry (SB) – Omniserv
James Fremantle (JF) – CAA
Joe Beattie (JB) – HAL
Simon Fraser (SF) – HAL
Tonia Fielding (TF) – HAL
Nicole Miersch (NM) – HAL
Scott Fuller (SFU) – HAL
Sara Marchant (SM) – Gatwick Airport
Edwina Silo (ES) – AOC, HAAG
Athena Stevens (AS) – HAAG
Antony Marke (AM) – Omniserv, HAAG
Martyn Sibley – HAAG
13.00 – 13.05 Chair welcome and updates
The chair welcomed all attendees. RC introduced the new HAL COO, Chris Garton who gives a summary of his previous work experience and his commitment to improve the special assistance service at Heathrow. Jonathan Coen, HAL Customer Relations and Service Director, stresses Heathrow’s commitment to push for changes on the special assistance propositions. CLO asks Chris if in his opinion Gatwick is ahead of Heathrow. Chris doesn’t feel he can give an opinion about the two services and he believes there shouldn’t be competition but collaboration to change the industry as a whole. Chris and Jonathan leave the meeting.
13.05 – 13.10 Clive Locke introduction
Clive introduces his background and he looks forward to work with the group to bring changes to Heathrow.
13.10 – 13.35 CAA Airport Assessment Framework (James Fremantle – CAA)
JF summarises the CAA role on assistance to disabled people and those with reduced mobility. The CAA has created a framework for assessing accessibility at UK airports in 2014 and shared special assistance requirements with all UK airports. Also he shares 2017 data including total number of special assistance passengers in the UK (3.4 million – numbers have rapidly increased twice as much as all passengers between 2010 and 2017). JF mentions that there isn’t a requirement for all airports in the UK to have a similar advisory group but it is especially recommended to large operations such as Heathrow. It is also mentioned that it is embedded in the law that airports must have set targets, record timings and must publish this data and submit it to the CAA – James praised Heathrow on the accuracy of the information that it is submitting and he shares that there are still some struggles in other UK airports. Also, JF mentions that the CAA enforces airports to publicise and promote the CAA satisfaction survey or their own survey. CL feels that often special assistance passengers have very low expectations which means that often survey results show a higher score than what it should be. James acknowledge this opinion. GR asks if there is an option for making the survey compulsory to each passenger who uses the service. SF mentions that this is not possible and also passengers cannot be asked to fill in the form until the airport journey has ended. JF talks about consultation with disability groups, including that it must be pan-disability and local. JF reiterates the importance of the HAAG in the CAA assessment and the CAA commitment to consult with all relevant stakeholders, the HAAG is welcomed to be part of this. Finally, there is a review of the 2016/2017 airport accessibility report and the scoring benchmarks.
It is mentioned the work that Heathrow has done installing the iBeacons, CAA commends this and will push other airports to follow next year.
CLO asks if there are any comparisons with airports around the world. JF mentions that he believes the UK might be the only country in the world who has this strict and in-depth special assistance framework.
13.35 – 13.40 HAAG recommendation on wheelchair repatriation (Chair)
HAAG group votes on the proposed recommendation. The recommendation is unanimously voted and RC recommends HAL to action it by June 2018.
13.40 – 14.10 Review of ECAC data and survey responses (HAL)
Joe covers ECAC results for departing and arriving passengers. All results exceed targets. RC underlines that even if result exceeds targets, he believes that 2 to 3% of passengers that do not receive services (1.2k passengers a year). SF mentions that the data is still not totally accurate as often the agents do not precisely record the service period (doesn’t close the job). Also, he mentioned that the old system was very manual based while now HAL is moving into a more automated system by the end of April, will provide a more accurate vision. RC thinks that Heathrow needs to consider making these results less ambitious and more accurate. RC reads a complaint he received from a passenger letter on Heathrow’s services. CL feels that the results are not a real representation of reality. TF introduces the role of the Care Passenger Experience Managers (PEMs) as part of the new initiatives to monitor service and Omniserv operations. GL shares her appreciation to the new Care PEMs.
SF shares passenger’s satisfaction’s survey results. Current target 3.50, this will increase to 4.00 from January 2019. SF mentions that Terminal 4’s arrival journey had a decline in score due to unauthorised holdings and waiting’s which are not part of the contract agreements with Omniserv. There is also an increase in Border Force queuing time in Terminal 4 which have been part of the poorer performance.
RC advises that it might be useful if the data (ECAC) is distributed to the HAAG members on a monthly basis for reviewing.Heathrow’s ambition is to make ECAC score more ambitious and there is room for improvement – the new Inform system should bring this and then go from there.
CL asks if there any other reasons for the scores. NM mentions building geography (especially T4 and T3) and the different modes of transport used inside the terminals (buggies, iCaddies).
14.10 – 14.15 Distances information on HAL’s maps – action update (Nicole Miersch – HAL)[FOR HAAG TO REVIEW]
14.15 – 14.35 HAAG discussion on dedicated security lanes (Sara Marchant – LGW)
Sara introduces Gatwick’s special assistance operations, background and describes the assistance and family lanes (background, reasons, manpower, costs). Also, she explains more generally the security functions at Gatwick, including remote screening.
CL share that she wouldn’t recommend the implementation of a family and assistance lane combined as these passengers have different needs. TF asks if QSM is captured at the family/assistance lane and Sara advised that this lane is exempt as this is considered as a “slow” lane and therefore QSM would defeat the point. RC asked JF if Heathrow could also be exempted if it adopted this service. JF says that this will need to be reviewed. Sara stresses the importance on staff behaviour, including patients and offer a stigma free service.
14.35 – 15.00 “High Care Service Differentiation in Security” programme (Scott Fuller – HAL)
Scott introduces his role and also runs through a presentation talking about the work currently in progress at security (what’s done and what is going to be looked at). This includes research and engagement, awareness and knowledge, training and development, customers enablers and differentiated services. Also, Scott covers what’s coming up including working groups, sunflower lanyard refresher campaign and plan publication. PV mentions that mental health should be considered and be part of the staff training. CL feels that the current Omniserv training lacks a strong service message for colleagues driven by Heathrow and also lack of interaction with disable people prior to start the role. TF mentions the work done with passenger insights that have led to the 12 service truths of the Heathrow passenger experience.
RC/CL asks the possibility for HAL’s CEO or COO to be present at the HAAG at least once a year. TF agrees. SFU runs through the potential options for security service development (segregates/dedicated service or inclusive/non-dedicated option)
Jeff Halliwell from CCB joined HAAG meeting – introduced by RC at 15:45
Jeff presents Heathrow’s background, including ownership, charges and consumer input on expansion and regulations. Mentions role of the CAA as the regulator. CCB role is to oversee the consumer engagement which HAL makes but not to action what consumers wants – CCB function has a consultation body. Jeff is pleased with the increasing consumer driven changes that is happening at Heathrow, including the work that the HAAG is doing. CLO asks if CCB and HAAG can actively collaborate going forward to feed information and oversee the work that the HAAG is doing.
15.10 – 15.35 HAL Immigration Assistance Project (HAL)
15.35 – 16.00 IWD WHILL trials – HAAG discussion (Clive Locke)
Clive summarise the findings from the WHILL chair trial (function, how it works, survey results). Over 80% of trial respondents have rated their experience as excellent. He feels that the chair can play a positive role to improve the service experiences and wished for Heathrow to be the leader on this new proposition. CL also presents LinkRay technology, including benefits and advantages.
16.00 – 16.20 ATF update (Graham Race – HAAG)[NOT DISCUSSED]
16.20 – 16.25 HAAG position on collaborative approach with other airports (All)[NOT DISCUSSED]
16.25 – 16.30 AOB
Meeting session ends at 16:30