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An analyse on airlines accessibilities policies

An analyse on airlines accessibilities policies
Author: Jade Walsh
1 Commentries
Abstract: This paper analyses airlines accessibility policies, how they can improve, including recommendations and which areas the policies are strong within. The paper will look at EasyJet and British Airways. This will enable the paper to evaluate if low-cost airlines have the same standard policy as a higher-class airline.

Key words: Accessibility, disability, in-equality, British Airways, EasyJet, airport and airlines.

Discussion: There are many different barriers when travelling with a disability or impairment such as hearing and sight, these can be proven quite worrying and challenging to many people which can result in them not travelling or postponing their trip. After, looking at people’s personal attitudes towards disability it was clear most people had a positive mind on disabilities. However, there were sources that there were also negative opinions towards disability as they perceive people with disabilities as ‘abnormal’ and ‘non-human’. There was a clear indication there is very little training and education relating to provision and service so this may mean the service and customer service skills towards the individual being limited. (Daruwalla, 2014). Although, this research was not relating to the accessibility policies by airlines, it gives a clear idea of people’s perceptions and views on disabilities and shows the tourism industry lacks training on how to deal with customers that have disabilities.

EasyJet’s policy is quite basic, they do not go into that much detail on many aspects. They do state EasyJet accommodates for nearly 450,000 passengers a year who require special assistance, which is growing each year. This is a good indication that EasyJet provide a high level of service, meet and exceed the passengers needs who require special assistance. ESAAG (EasyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group) which was formed in 2012 by EasyJet themselves, and is made up of experts in disability issues and accessible travel. They provide guidance and offer advice on the services they offer to the passengers that require special assistance.

Overall, EasyJet’s policy is a good policy and looks at ways to improve such as introducing the new aircraft with the improved toilet facilities and introducing the on-board wheelchairs to all aircraft on the new aircraft A320, with their main aim making EasyJet accessible to all. EasyJet could improve their policy by stating how they deal with certain disabilities and they could provide a link to a new page to explain in more detail what special assistance will be on offer for the type of disability.

After, looking into British Airways policy it was clear that there is a lot more detail than EasyJet. There policy explains what they can arrange for you depending on your needs and circumstances, there policy also explains how they will look after including things such as personal care during the flight, within the washroom, unfasten your seat beat or even retrieve and fit a life jacket in the case of an emergency. After British Airways have explained how they will help you, the go on to explain how to request the assistance, with further contact details on in case people need any more information, or they might just require to speak to someone to put their mind at rest before flying if they are nervous and stressed about what experience they might in counter.

The main positive thing about British Airways policy was they have section on all the most frequent disabilities such as wheelchair users, visual impairments, hearing impairments, hidden disability, people who require assistance dogs and seat support systems. For example, if a person required assistance with a hidden disability it will give them advice on how to deal with the airports, what to expect while in the airport such as quiet routes, and quiet spaces especially for those travelling with Autism. It also explains that they will provide a sunflower lanyard which is a UK airport authority designed idea, as a way of indicating if someone has a hidden disability so the airport staff will understand that they might need assistance.

However, a recommendation for British Airways policy could improve on is having images or videos of how they offer special assistance. This will give people a real insight into how they will provide extra assistance if needed. British Airways could also have options for users of the policy to change the font, colour of the pages or an option for the page to be read out loud through the devices speakers.

Concluding, both EasyJet and British Airways are noticing more and more passengers are wanting to travel even if they have a disability so their main aim is to make their airline accessible to all. It is said people with disabilities main issues when travelling is issues with access, transport difficulties such as limited room/space or issues with staff’s attitudes towards disabilities. British Airways and EasyJet are noticing this and providing staff training, improving with the aircraft and facilities. (Yates, 2017).

Airways, B., 2019. What assistance is available?. [Online]
Available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/disability-assistance/assistance-available
[Accessed 3rd May 2019].
Daruwalla, P., 2014. Annals of Tourism Research. Personal and Societal Attitudes to Disability, 1(1), pp. 1-39.
Yates, K., 2017. Understanding the experiences of mobility-disabled tourists. Understanding the experiences of mobility-disabled tourists, 1(2), pp. 2-39.

Commentary to the Analysis on Airline Accessibility Policies.
Author: Kaleigh Earth
The reason why this article was chosen for commentary was that it is in line with my own paper but also because the paper offered an insight into the awareness in the airline industry. The information in the discussion outlines the airline accessibility policies and what improvements could be made. The discussion paper primarily focuses on 2 airlines, these being EasyJet and British Airways. This was based on strand 1, which is improving well-being through social and accessible tourism.
This paper is well indicated in that different airlines have different approaches to disability needs and the factors that can be faced when travelling. From the comparison of the two airlines EasyJet, a low-cost airline, and British Airways, a national and high-class airline. The comparison makes it clear to see that disability standardisation is not at the same level throughout the industry. Arising from this, the low-cost airlines are seen to need improvement, the author of this paper could have stated that the recommendations for the low-cost airlines and how they believe these are needed to make travel easier for disabled passengers. British Airways have a good display of specialist equipment and other aid for disabled passengers, and it shows good strengths with the recommendation that has been written about British Airways. Especially with the idea of having a quieter space or different routes that are supplied for disabled users to make their travel easier (Yates, 2017).
During the paper, the author mentions the barriers and some of these barriers that people face could have been discussed in more detail. This would allow the reader to have more of an understanding of the different and difficult issues that come with having physical and psychological disabilities when travelling. Throughout the discussion paper, the author has good recommendations and good evaluations on the 2 airlines. Especially in the British Airways recommendations paragraph, where the author states that British Airways could have images and videos available for passengers to view before boarding the aircraft. By doing this, the airline allows passengers to view what extra assistance is available for passengers to use if it is required (Darcy and Buhalis, 2011). The outline that British Airways and EasyJet are recognising that all aircraft need to be accessible for all passengers has developed in recent years. British Airways and EasyJet are finding ways to improve the aircraft and facilities to make travel easier, also, with the new staff training that is provided to members with the appropriate knowledge of disabled passengers needs and expectations.
Overall, this paper is a good example to the awareness that is needed to be raised within the airline industry to allow disabled passengers the ease of travelling by air.

Darcy, S., Buhalis, D., 2011, Accessible Tourism: Concepts and Issues
Yates, K., 2017, Understanding the Experiences of Mobility Disabled Tourist, pp 2-39.