What’s the difference between Airlines and Airports

A smooth transition

In 2017, it was estimated that commercial airlines carried nearly four billion passengers, that’s nearly double the number compared to 12-years ago and equivalent to half of the world’s population.

As the number of people choosing to travel by aircraft increases, there is mounting pressure for airlines and airports to deliver a positive passenger experience for all customers and provide a service that is quick, simple and above all safe.

Recently, however, there have been numerous news stories revealing negative passenger experiences on and off the plane, particularly for those with reduced mobility (PRMs).

When it comes to assisting PRMs and ensuring positive passenger experience is achieved, airlines and airports have separate responsibilities. The airport is responsible for the comfortable and safe transfer of the passenger through the airport terminal to the aircraft and then the airline is responsible for the comfortable and safe transfer of the passenger to their seat.

At the airport

For PRMs using a personal wheelchair, it must be checked in with the rest of their luggage to be stored in the hold of the aircraft. From check in they will be transported around the airport and to the plane’s door in a wheelchair or passenger cart that is operated by the airport.

After being transported to the aircraft, PRMs will be transferred onto an on-board transit chair such as the Airchair. Transit chairs are narrower than conventional wheelchairs so that they can move along the aisles of an aircraft and be easily manoeuvred in tight spaces.

On the plane

When comfortably seated on the Airchair, the passenger will be taken to his or her aisle seat. The Airchair is fitted with swivel castors that enable the chair to be moved up and down the aisle smoothly, ensuring optimum comfort during the transit. A retractable backrest enables the passenger to be easily transferred by simply sliding from his or her airline seat to the Airchair and then to facilities such as the toilet. This results in a much more dignified and comfortable journey.

The retractable backrest also allows carers and members of the cabin crew to move closer to the individual without stretching, reducing the risk of injuring themselves or the passenger.

The Airchair has received many positive comments from airlines currently using the transit chair and continues to help PRMs have a comfortable, safe and dignified journey.

Where are we heading?

With an increasing volume of people with disabilities choosing to travel by aircraft, it is particularly important airlines provide innovative and safe solutions for PRMs, ensuring the passenger experience is comfortable and consistent from the moment they reach the plane’s doors to the moment they leave.  If you are travelling and have restricted movement, check that your airline has a transit chair on board – it will make your journey much better.

1 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/how-many-planes-are-there-in-the-world/