Airlines Pledge To Better Serve Travelers With Disabilities
In a joint statement, American, Delta, United and other major air carriers are committing to a series of new steps to improve travel for people with “mobility, cognitive and social disabilities.”
Seven of the nation’s passenger airlines are part of a new pledge organized through the industry trade group Airlines for America to increase accessibility in plane travel.
Specifically, the airlines say they will each create a passenger accessibility advisory group to work with the disability community to improve policies and operations. They will also work to improve passenger transfers and their handling of wheelchairs and other mobility aids, enhance disability training for employees and back further study and development of accessibility features.
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“Passengers with disabilities represent one of the fastest growing traveler segments, and we recognize the importance of facilitating a safe, seamless journey for them,” reads the statement. “We recognize the need for a specific commitment to remove barriers to safe, accessible air travel.”
The pledge is signed by the CEOs of Alaska Air Group, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines Holdings as well as the executive chairman of Southwest Airlines.
The effort comes amid increasing pressure on the airline industry to improve the travel experience for those with disabilities.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a rule requiring accessible lavatories on many more planes and the agency issued its first-ever “bill of rights” for air travelers with disabilities in July.
In addition, the Transportation Department recently signaled that it is planning to require airlines to accommodate people in their personal wheelchairs on planes in the coming years.
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