Travelling with someone with a disability on a plane needs preparation especially with the accessibility when it comes to airports. Travelling on UK’s major airports with someone on a wheelchair can be daunting since current aviation regulations prohibit wheelchairs from any area beyond the plane’s door, hence this rule sparked a lot of debate. Flying Disabled, suggests that the government must act to implement legislation, to rethink policies on travelling with a disability. We all know that Airports are often hectic, with busy environments that is why prior knowledge can be useful to navigate accessible facilities such as the restrooms.
Wheelchairs are not currently allowed on board planes, unless they are stored in the hold section. That is why it is important to contact your airline as soon as possible when you will be travelling with a wheelchair or with someone with a disability but still the impact of being without mobility assistance are often difficult to resolve. Airlines should have policies that include help for the boarding process, to ensure that the traveler feels safe specially those with special needs. Travel is a very wealthy industry, research from ABTA have found out that currently there are more than 11 million people in the UK who are disabled , so the need for inclusivity in this area of travelling must increase.
Weight restrictions, health and safety are said to be the reasons behind wheelchairs being stored in the hold, but still dealing with this decision is not always present. The most common problem by travellers with wheelchairs is that their mobility aid may not fold up, meaning it cannot be stored, and that leaves the customer helpless. Numerous reports of wheelchairs becoming damaged while in motion are now known so that leaves the question of how the airlines really treat accessible travel for everyone.
People who are in this campaign are putting more pressure for airlines to invest in accessible travel innovations, like a designated wheelchair areas onboard for planes. We know that wheelchairs can be used safely to navigate the airport terminal itself, but the main issue here is when the traveller is on board. But this problem can be avoided with enough planning ahead of your travel date like requesting an aisle seat, it is helpful for getting to and from the toilet facilities, allowing for mobility while flying.
Even with few solutions to this problems, multiple organisations are still working to amplify this problem as wheelchairs are essentially the key to independence for those affected by disability, and if some airline policies of the travel industry could change a few of their rules.