Thursday 27th April 2023 - HEATHROW Express has partnered with one of the country’s leading wheelchair basketball teams, London Titans, and launched a new ‘Heathrow Express charter’ to highlight the accessibility of its service.
The charter was created by Heathrow Express to support the team’s travel to this year’s EuroCup tournament, with the Titans travelling to the Finals in Turkey this week, and ensure a suitable experience on its trains for everyone by making accessibility for all a priority.
The charter’s goals are to continuously improve the quality of its accessible travel offering, deliver the commitments within its Accessible Travel Policy, and to cater for its passengers’ wide ranging needs so that everyone can use the service confidently.
As the only rail airport transfer service with completely step-free access, it includes maintaining this so that passengers with wheelchairs and mobility aids can travel from train to plane and back again with ease.
Heathrow Express has also partnered with mobility charities and organisations to understand the needs of every passenger and to ensure its staff receive regular training that enables them to deliver a service that is accessible to all.
London Titans’ coach Matt Sealy has praised the difference Heathrow Express’s support has made to himself and his players, which include Paralympic icon and BBC personality Ade Adepitan.
Speaking from the Eurocup tournament in Bosnia last month, he said: “Heathrow and Heathrow Express have helped our club enormously. I wouldn’t be sitting here in Bosnia without both of those companies' support. EuroCup is very important for some of these players in being seen, especially young players, who are aspiring to be future GB players. They play at this level, and they get seen by international coaches. It makes a big difference to their careers.
“I have been travelling internationally as a wheelchair user since the age of 3. I am now approaching 41, and to say accessibility in the travel industry has improved during this time is a huge understatement! I've noticed so many changes in this time with a huge focus on attention to individual needs, for not just wheelchair users but vast other disabilities.
“The most important need for myself has been the understanding of organisations, such as Heathrow Airport and Heathrow Express, to see my wheelchair as a part of me, and not a piece of luggage. It is the only time my wheelchair leaves my body so I have to have complete confidence that it is being handled and looked after with utmost care and attention.
“Thankfully I get this reassurance from the moment of booking my travel, through to greeting staff at airport check in desks or train terminal platforms. When these staff talk to me with confident action plans of every process through the airport of where my chair goes once I board a plane and where it will be going and waiting for me at my destination, this vastly improves my confidence to travel independently.
Daniel Edwards, Business Lead, at Heathrow Express added: “We are delighted to be partnering with The London Titans in our 25th anniversary year and launching our new Heathrow Express charter. We already carry around 25,000 travellers a day between Paddington Station and Heathrow Airport and want to set and maintain new standards to encourage more travellers to this service.
“This means making sure everyone can look forward to a great experience, with peace of mind knowing that the facilities are globally recognised as compliant for all and that they will receive a warm human welcome at every stage.
There are highly trained colleagues onboard up and down the route to be on hand for any requests and we also pride ourselves in offering customers the spaces and features they need, like lots of luggage space, dedicated wheelchair areas, accessible toilets, and passenger information onboard.”
The Heathrow Express charter: top five goals for 2023:
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About Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express, celebrating 25 years old this year, is a premium non-stop train service between London Paddington to Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 with an extra six minutes to Terminal 5 and a free transfer available to Terminal 4. With its electric trains taking 15 minutes, it provides the fastest, most reliable and sustainable way to travel to and from Britain’s hub airport. As a dedicated airport service, it also offers passengers a calm and comfortable way to travel with its spacious cabins designed to provide extra capacity for Luggage.
About London Titans
London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club has been running for over thirty years, during this period the club has grown to be one of the largest in the UK with over 70 members across 8 teams. Across 3 London venues, in the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Ealing and Harrow. Our Premier team are the current National League Champion 2021/22 and have finished at the top of the league table again this season ready to defend the title. Whilst our under 18 junior team have recently came third and our Women’s League Division 1 team topped the table.
Sport or at least access to sport is something most of us take for granted, for disabled people it is not nearly so accessible, but at London Titans, we believe in the power of sport and its ability to transform lives, we call this #TitanPride. Encouraging people to become more consistently active, we have and can continue to help them establish a stronger personal connection to sport and physical activity. Providing an environment where people socialise, gain confidence and all the health benefits you would expect from this fast-paced and physically demanding sport. Our pride impacts every aspect of our team’s lives, their family and friends. If you are interested in volunteering your time, trying a new sport and get involved, get in touch.
Want to know how to travel like a world class explorer? Then read our guide on where to find real adventure this winter. The celebrated video of Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE in which he announces he’s leaving the UK this year to head off in ‘search of the spirit of Christmas’ has been an industry acclaimed winner in the Christmas ad stakes. In response to massive demand, we’re sharing insights into how the film was made – and how you can also follow in his footsteps to northern Norway – to hop on board the Arctic Train from Narvik, as seen in the video.
Heathrow Express’ PR team collaborated with London’s talented production company, Yada-Yada to pull together the concept with Sir Ranulph and his team of advisors. The most vivid memory which Sir Ranulph (or ‘Ran’ as he prefers to be called) speaks of being alone in the world’s most remote places, in extreme circumstances at Christmas time. Many of us can empathise, if away for work and apart from our loved ones. We often forget that our bravest of explorers are no different.
The main element of the storytelling was the letter which Sir Ranulph had to write to his family. He wrote a letter to them on beautiful headed notepaper, saying that he was sorry he’d not be joining them for turkey and trimmings as he was off to the North Pole. The most heart-warming message is that wherever we find ourselves, we are most comforted by being surrounded by love and goodwill.
The video featured the famous ‘Arctic Train’ which weaves its way through a stunning snowy Nordic landscape as it leaves the city of Narvik and the stunning St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. And Paddington Station, of course, platforms 6 and 7. Our home.
Travelling to Norway could not be easier; hop on board the Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow airport. Book any of six daily flights to Narvik Evenes (EVE) airport via Oslo (OSL). Express buses to Narvik correspond to most of the flight arrivals from Oslo. Norway was recently voted ‘the safest country in the world to visit’. It’s also the best place to see the northern lights, now the UK’s number one bucket list activity. The Arctic Train is an unforgettable, 43 kilometre journey through a dramatic landscape which has significant historical links to the UK and World War II. To book, Visit Narvik | Winter
The shoot was held at the stunning iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, located 10 minutes away on public transport. It was specially chosen for its railway heritage and remarkable architecture - and because the hotel allowed our crew
to film in the magnificent Chambers Club. The hospitality we encountered was second to none.
Sir Ranulph joined us for a pre-shot breakfast in the elegant Booking Office 1869 restaurant before holding us all spellbound with his astonishing tales of polar adventures, not to mention some really exciting travel documentaries and book releases. How does he fit it all in?
We filmed Sir Ranulph as he spoke about his upcoming adventures, not only travelling on our Festive Express, but also his future trips to far flung destinations beyond the Arctic Circle – a world which he’s very used to conquering. For example, we talked about the Arctic Train in Norway; a country which hold huge memories as many a fellow adventurer calls home.
The Hotel said: ''We are proud to partner with Heathrow, and specifically the Heathrow Express. The film stars Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 'the world's living greatest explorer', which aligns fully to the Renaissance values of exploration and discovery. We believe every trip is an opportunity to discover something wonderfully new, and the Heathrow Festive Express is just that!'' To book your event or stay, visit stpancraslondon.com
Heathrow Express are proud to partner with one of the world’s most sought-after British luggage brands, Globetrotter. Like Heathrow Express they are celebrating a big anniversary; us our 25th next year, and they their 125th.
We featured one of their Original Collection in the shoot, in a rich tobacco brown colour, very fitting for any budding adventurer to set off with, and like Ranulph, add to a collection of modern heirlooms. Even more interesting is that this suitcase was among the first to reach the South Pole and the top of Mount Everest.
If you’re a young ‘flashpacker’ and travel light, there’s also a range of more affordable carry ons and covetable accessories, for more information, visit Original Luggage & Suitcase Collection | Globe-Trotter
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