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Departures lounge at London Southend Airport

At the airport & security

Frequently asked questions

From the facilities available at London Southend Airport to how security works, we answer your questions here.

Special assistance

I have special needs. What facilities are available at the airport?

Please see our special assistance page that features a comprehensive breakdown of all the facilities available at London Southend Airport.

How do I request special assistance at the airport?

You must contact your airline or travel operator at least 48 hours before you fly to book assistance at the airport, as arriving at the airport without pre-booking may cause delay to the assistance that can be provided. However, if you arrive at the airport without booking special assistance, please use the intercom located at any of the pay machines in the airport car parks, or make your way to the ticket desk and use the intercom located there to contact the team.

If you need help getting from the car park, press the assistance button on the entrance barrier.

Please note that priority is given to passengers who have booked in advance.

Find out more about booking special assistance on our website.

How do I know if I will need assistance?

If you have a condition or disability and you feel that assistance would make your journey easier, then you should book assistance with your airline. Whether you have difficulties with mobility or a hidden disability including impaired sight, lack of hearing, autism or dementia, our staff will then be on hand to help.

If I have organised special assistance will I be able to stay with my family or group through security?

If you have booked special assistance and are unable to travel through the airport without a carer or companion, we will ensure that they can accompany you throughout the entire journey. If you are travelling in a larger group then it would be best to nominate one person to stay with you.

Will I continue to get assistance on my flight?

Yes, any assistance booked will continue as you booked direct with the airline.

To get assistance on the aircraft you need to book through your airline, so they will be aware of your needs. Your assistance will continue for as long as you need it on your journey.

Is there any help I can get when I travel to the airport?

Most public transport operators have arrangements for passengers with special needs. If you need special assistance at Southend Airport railway station please contact the station team.

There are conveniently located disabled bays in our Short stay and Long stay car parks. If you need help getting to or from your car, please contact us before you travel or use the intercom located at any of the pay machines in the airport car parks.

Short stay and our Premium car park are closest to the terminal, with the shortest distance to the check-in.

I have a condition/disability but I don’t want special assistance, is that OK?

There is no requirement to inform us, it is entirely your choice. However, our teams are trained to recognise the Sunflower Scheme. Wearing the Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around the wearer including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time.

We do offer discreet wristbands as a subtle sign to our staff that additional support may be required.

I have a hidden disability, how can I make my fellow passengers/airport staff aware of this?

Our teams are trained to recognise the Sunflower Scheme. Wearing the Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around the wearer including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time.

If you have a hidden disability (or are travelling with someone who has), such as autism, dementia, anxiety or if you are sight or hearing-impaired, then we can also provide you with a discreet blue wristband. This acts as a subtle nod to our staff that additional support might be required.

Wristbands are free of charge and available from the ticket desk in the entrance terminal.

Do you consult with disability organisations?

London Southend Airport regularly meets and consults with disability organisations. We also engage with organisations working with hidden disabilities such as the Action on Hearing loss, Dementia Action Alliance and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Do you report on your performance standards in this area?

We constantly monitor our quality standards to ensure we are meeting our targets and commitments to passengers with reduced mobility and other needs. You can download our reporting data and other related leaflets and documents on the special assistance page of our website.

What accessible toilet facilities are available at the airport?

Accessible toilets are available before and after security and in baggage arrivals – so when you leave the plane, head through Passport Control first and they’ll be there on your way out.

What do I do if I need special assistance through security?

Please make sure you have pre-booked any form of special assistance through your airline before travelling through London Southend Airport. If you travel without pre-booked special assistance, there may be some delay to the support we can provide.

Are hearing loops available at London Southend Airport?

Absolutely. Hearing loops are situated at the ticket desk, check-in desks and boarding gates and all customer service touchpoints throughout the terminal. Visual information is provided throughout the terminal via Flight Information Display Screens.

Will I be able to use a wheelchair when travelling?

Yes, there are ample wheelchairs available for use at London Southend Airport. For assisted wheelchair use please ensure that you book this in advance with your airline. Unassisted wheelchair use can be provided via the intercom located at the Ticket Desk in the terminal near check-in or upon request to your airline or handling staff when your flight arrives.

Do you still have a fear of flying course?

We no longer offer this service, but you book Fear of Flying courses at London Stansted Airport.

Security screening

What rules should I expect to follow when passing through security?

Aviation security regulations in the UK can be found on the CAA website. Refer to advice for UK passengers.

What is a liquid?

All gels, creams, pastes, sprays and aerosols are liquids and count as restricted items. This includes drinks, water, toiletries, perfumes, cosmetics and food items that contain high volumes of liquid, such as soups, yoghurts, spreads and preserves.

How many liquids 100ml or under can I carry?

You can carry up to 1 litre of liquids in one 20cmx20cm clear plastic bag. Containers must not exceed 100ml. There’s one bag allowed per person and it must be sealed. The bags are available free of charge in our security areas.

Last time I flew from London Southend Airport, I didn’t have to take liquids out of my bag. Is this true for every time I travel?

To prevent unnecessary contact during bag checks, we have invested in next generation technology which means that liquids under 100ml and laptops or tablets may be able to remain in your bags when you pass through security. The equipment is currently being trialled and is not always in use, so we ask passengers to ensure liquids are placed within a clear bag and laptops are ready to be removed if required.

What are the rules if I’m travelling with children?

If you’re travelling with children you can carry milk powder, ready to drink cartons of formula, self-prepared milk, sterilised water and baby food in your hand baggage in the quantities you need for the duration of your journey.

You can also take additional hand luggage (even when travelling with a child who has no seat assigned to them), take buggies to the gate and take baby car seats through security for use on the plane.

Check baggage restrictions with your airline or read more about luggage.

What are the rules if I’m travelling with medicines and medical equipment?

You can carry essential medicines with you. There is no limit on the amount, but you will be asked to provide proof such as a doctor’s letter or prescription. All medicines will be subject to additional security screening.

What are the rules if I’m travelling with Duty Free alcohol or perfumes?

Once in departures, liquids purchased in our retail stores can be taken onboard with you. All airlines permit one airport shopping bag. Please note that some airline rules include all Duty Free alcohol purchases are placed in the hold. This will be arranged for you at the departure gate by your chosen airline, so you can shop with confidence.

Can I take my knitting needles or crochet hooks through security?

Yes, you can take knitting needles or crochet hooks with you both in your hand baggage and hold luggage.

I have a pace maker, what do I need to do?

If you have a pace maker or any other medical device that may be affected by walking through an archway metal detector, please advise our security officers prior to going through security. Make sure you have your medical card to state that you are wearing a sensitive medical device. The alternative will be a full body search, which can be conducted privately if required.

I have a hip/joint replacement, what do I need to do?

If you have a hip/joint replacement or any metal implants in your body, they are likely to set off the metal detector. If this happens, you will need to be searched by one of our security officers. There is no need to bring any proof of metal implants with you but letting our security officers know may be helpful.

Do I have to remove shoes and jewellery before going through security?

Boots or heels should be removed ahead of screening at security; a security officer might otherwise request that you remove shoes at random. Remove all metallic jewellery, belts, coats and any other removable items from your pockets before walking through metal detectors. We advise that any high value items you remove are placed into your hand baggage to keep them safe and secure.

I have a physical/medical condition, is it safe for me to go through the body scanner?

The body scanner system uses harmless millimetre-wave technology with frequencies which are significantly lower than those of a mobile phone, so there’s no health risk, even if you have a physical or medical condition.

Can I request to be searched privately?

Anyone can request a private search for either themselves or for their hand baggage if you have a valid reason, such as a condition that you may wish to be dealt with privately or if you’re carrying items that you do not wish to be searched in a public area. Ask a member of staff and we will arrange this for you. Any searches carried out in private will be witnessed by an additional security officer and you are welcome to have a travelling companion be there with you, too.

Can I refuse to go through the security scanner?

You have the right to refuse to go through our security scanners, but please prepare for questions by a member of staff for security reasons. The alternative can be an enhanced body search carried out in a private search area.

Can I exit the airport after going through security?

Once through security, there is no way to exit the airport before getting on your flight, except in the case of significant flight delay, where airport staff will be on hand to support you.

Can I take tools through security?

No, tools can only be transported in hold luggage. It’s also always worth checking with your airline first.

Can I purchase Fast Track Security for someone else?

Yes, simply book using the dedicated page on our website and make sure the person you are purchasing for has a copy of the booking along with their boarding pass.

Can I show my Fast Track ticket digitally or do I need a paper copy?

You can present a digital OR paper copy of your Fast Track ticket; although, as a sustainable airport we would encourage the paperless option. It’s always worth taking a screenshot of your ticket for quick, easy access.

My Fast Track ticket only has my name and not all of those using it?

Fast Track entry is based only on the validity of the pass and the quantity of the pass/es on the date of requested use, not on the name of the Fast Track purchaser. Hence Fast Track can be bought on behalf of a Fast Track user.

My flight has been changed to an earlier later time, do I need to amend my Fast Track booking?

No. Fast Track is redeemed as a single use on a single date, meaning it is valid and completely flexible for the entire day of your booking.


What bars and restaurants are available?

We have a number of food and drink facilities at the airport, including The Pilot Café and SKYCAFÉ. These all serve a range of food and drink options, but please visit their specific pages for more detail.

Do you have cash machines at the airport?

From spring 2023, five ATMs will be located throughout the terminal near the check-in desks, the Departures lounge and in Arrivals. We’ll have more information on this soon.

Are there water fountains after security?

Absolutely. You’ll find a Water Cooler at the top of the escalator, directly after security. Drinking water is also readily available in our food and beverage outlets.

Do you have a chapel or prayer room?

Yes, this room is landside, adjacent to the ticket desk. Please speak to a member of staff if you need further guidance.

Do you have post boxes at the airport?

Yes, there’s a postbox next to the desks at Check-In – please note that this is only accessible when the terminal is open.

Do you have shower facilities at the airport?

Yes – shower facilities are located landside (meaning, before you move through security) near the check-in desks. Please speak to a member of airport staff for further guidance.

Do you provide trolleys at the airport?

Yes, trolleys are located in baggage arrivals and all car parks.

Are there lifts and/or escalators to help me get around?

Yes, there is a lift located immediately to the right of the check-in desks (as you look at them), and escalators clearly visible upon entrance to the terminal building. Similarly, once you have moved through security, there is a lift to take you down into the Departures lounge.

Is there a hotel at the airport?

Yes, our dedicated airport hotel, the Holiday Inn, is walking distance from the main terminal.

Where can I smoke at the airport?

There is a dedicated area outside the front of the main terminal building before check-in. Please note that there are no smoking facilities located in departures.

I’ve lost something at the airport, how do I get it back?

Please complete our Lost Property Form and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible. For items lost on an aircraft, please contact your airline.

Can I bring my pet into the terminal?

No. Only guide or assistance dogs are permitted.

Does the airport offer free WiFi?

Yes. To access, open Settings on your phone and select Wi-Fi > ‘London Southend Airport’ should automatically appear. Select this option and follow the instructions on-screen. Visit our WiFi page to learn more.

Are shops and restaurants open?

Yes, shops and restaurants will be open from two hours before your scheduled flight departure time.

Can I get a COVID-19 test at the airport?

COVID-19 tests are not available to purchase at the airport.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the lifting of all government restrictions, London Southend Airport has kept some general measures in place to keep our airport clean, and our staff and passengers safe.

Where can I find hand sanitiser?

Hand sanitiser stations are located every 20 paces around the terminal. Hand washing facilities are also available in all toilets.

Are there pushchairs available?

No, we do not provide pushchairs for passengers. Travellers are welcome to bring their own, and these can be taken through security following a thorough check, but they must then be placed in the hold of the aircraft upon boarding. Details on how your chosen airline looks after all styles of pushchair can often be found on their website.

How do I give you feedback on my experience?

We encourage passengers to ‘share your feedback’ on the Contact Us page, or by completing an experience survey on our WiFi home page.

Can I book a lounge?

Whilst the SKYLIFE Lounge itself remains closed, we are delighted to offer a limited availability lounge facility within The Pilot Café.

Do I need a face covering to travel through the airport?

Whilst it is not mandatory to wear a face covering in and around the airport, we of course recommend the practise if it is what makes you feel most comfortable as a passenger.

Do I need a negative COVID-19 test to enter the terminal?


Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the lifting of all government restrictions, London Southend Airport has kept some general measures in place to keep our airport clean, and our staff and passengers safe.

Can I use Euros in the shops at the airport?

Yes, but you can only spend Euros in World Duty Free and WHSmith at present.

What are my customs allowances?

It’s always best to refer to the latest Government advice on this topic, as it can change! Familiarise yourself with the most up-to-date guidance before you travel.

What shops are at the airport?

Shops at London Southend Airport include WHSmith and World Duty Free. Find out more about shopping at London Southend Airport.

What time does the airport open?

The airport opens three hours prior to departure time, and remains open until one hour after the time of arrival, allowing for any delays.

Can I buy before I fly and collect on my return to the UK?

At the moment, you can only reserve and collect in-store before your flight. There is currently no option to collect on your return to the UK, given changes post-Brexit.

Can I wait in the airport overnight?

No, the terminal closes approximately one hour after the final flight has departed. Please do not attempt to wait/sleep overnight at the airport.

If I can’t wait at the airport how do I get to/from the airport for an early/late flight?

We have many transport options connecting to London Southend Airport for those early/late flights. To find out more visit our advice on getting to and from the airport.

I’m interested in filming at the airport. How do I arrange this?

London Southend Airport is a popular filming location (just ask James Bond!). Either fill out an enquiries form or contact us directly at [email protected] providing information about the production, duration of filming, crew size and contact details and we will get straight back to you.

Can I bring my school class or Scout group to visit the airport?

We are currently focusing all our resources on attracting new airlines and increasing passenger numbers so we’re not able to fulfil as many school/club visits and careers events as we were pre-pandemic.

We are now starting to benefit from good signs of recovery with more routes coming on board, but we still have a little way to go. Once we are a bit more back on our feet, we will hopefully resume school/club visits and community events again.


Where’s the best place to park if I’m travelling with young children?

All of our car parks are a short walk to the terminal and easy for families travelling with young children to use. Learn more about our parking options.

Are there any baby changing facilities?

Baby changing facilities are located before and after security and in baggage arrivals.

Can I take baby milk, powder or baby food through security?

Powdered baby food is permitted in hand baggage, and is not included in the restrictions on liquids. This may be tested by security officers at screening.

Your hand luggage can contain:

  • Breast milk up to 2 litres; however, this is not inclusive of frozen milk
  • Sterilised water (must be in a suitable baby drinking vessel)
  • Baby food
  • Specialised baby milk formulas

Is there a child friendly way through security?

Families with young children (five and under) can use the Fast Track lane when presenting boarding passes; however, you will then join the normal security queue after this.

Do you have breast feeding facilities at the airport?

We don’t have a dedicated area; however, please speak to a member of our SKYLIFE Lounge or airport team who should be able to facilitate a private space for you.

Can I buy baby milk and food at the airport?

Yes. Baby milk and food can be purchased at WHSmith, provided that stocks are available.


I’m interested in working at London Southend Airport, what do I do?

We would love to hear from you! For information about the vacancies we are currently advertising, please see our careers page.

My son/daughter is interested in aviation and would like to do their work experience at London Southend Airport. Is this available?

Whilst we are a key supporter and partner of local education programmes, educational institutions, employment initiatives and projects designed to develop skills within the community, we are unable to offer work experience placements at this time. As we grow, we hope to be able to offer work experience opportunities.  Check back later in the year to see if anything has changed!

General Aviation

How can I pay for my GA landing fees?

Please click to make GA Payments for EGMC.

More frequently asked questions