Summary of Recommendations for the industry to consider
Raise awareness of the Passenger Assistance Service with the general public and disabled people.
Ask for more standardised access features and reasonable adjustments to be provided at airports.
Communicate clearly with passengers about which company is providing the Passenger Assistance Service at each airport.
Improve the Passenger Assistance waiting areas.
Review and improve airport processes for handling Electric Mobility Aids.
Improve detailed disability awareness training of a much wider range of impairments with specific attention paid to managing assistance dogs.
Provide a retail and refreshment service in the passenger waiting areas. This could be a combination of ordering from the waiting area using technology or offering an assistance service. Disabled passengers could be given a much more enjoyable customer experience through the provision of a lounge-style service.
Improve staff awareness on assistance dogs and improve information provision in the airports about how assistance dogs are supported whilst at the airport.
Airport security staff should receive more disability awareness training. Disabled passengers should be encouraged to use the specialised security track where one is available, and be given advance information to help with this process.
Ensure that the Passenger Assistance Service process is consistent and reliable across all airports. Use technology (such as SMS messaging) to keep in touch with passengers, giving reassurance throughout their journey.
Make it more obvious at the point of booking a flight for passengers to indicate if they need to pre-book Passenger Assistance.
The industry should discuss introducing a differentiated service for pre- booked and non-pre-booked passenger assistance. The pre-booking system should enable more impairment-related information to be shared to ‘tailor’ a service to meet specific impairment needs.
Develop a global membership programme for disabled passengers that gives priority booking.
The process of booking passenger assistance needs to be made consistent across airlines, with more opportunity to add specific information on access needs.
Passengers should be kept more informed of procedures at arrivals, especially on tracking specialised equipment.
Hold an industry-wide conference to explore these ideas and challenge the industry to collaborate more and bring about real change.