In recent months there has been an increased pressure for businesses around the world, not just in aviation, to evaluate their processes to ensure they are suitably accommodating PRMs. This has been further demonstrated by the launch this year of Purple Tuesday, which urged high street retailers across the UK to do more to help disabled shoppers.

Last year alone saw 5.2 million people go abroad in the week before Christmas, [1] putting further pressure to improve airport processes and have extra procedures in place for persons of reduced mobility (PRMs).

The aviation industry has also been under fire from Justin Levene, a paraplegic man, who had threatened to sue Luton Airport after being forced to drag himself along the floor after his self-propelling wheelchair was left behind on a flight.

The negative publicity has prompted the airport to acquire 10 self-propelling wheelchairs to offer PRMs the ability to travel through the airport independently. What’s more, Luton Airport has arranged to source specific items from a local disability resource centre.

Improvements like this need to continue to take place in aviation, as airlines and airports have long been a source of concern for PRMs. This is why the Airchair aims to take an important step in the improvement of passenger experience by providing comfortable and dignified passage, on board an aircraft, for those who need it.

In a bill first presented earlier this year to parliament and to be re-heard in March 2019 addressing ‘Civil Aviation (Accessibility)’, calls were made to make a list of improvements to the experience of passengers at airports and on airplanes including: ‘To require a named person to be responsible for air passengers with disabilities; to make provision about the design and adaptation of aircraft to meet the needs of passengers with disabilities, to require airports and airlines to report steps taken to improve accessibility.’[2] These are important steps in ensuring all passengers experience a dignified and comfortable journey.

Airchair on aeroplane aisle, onboard wheelchair

The use of an on board wheelchair, such as Airchair, enables passengers to be transferred to their seat easily and with dignity. What’s more, with fully rotating wheels, the Airchair is easy to manoeuvre, enabling passengers to be moved around the aircraft, including the toilets, during the flight without causing discomfort or embarrassment, vastly improving the passenger experience, particularly on long haul flights.

Reform in the airline industry is beginning to gain traction and airlines using an on board wheelchair, such as Airchair, are ensuring air travel is a pleasurable experience for everyone.



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