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ARE THE DISABLED BEING TREATED EQUAL WHEN IT COMES TO AIRLINE TRAVEL?

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ARE THE DISABLED BEING TREATED EQUAL WHEN IT COMES TO AIRLINE TRAVEL? 

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When traveling with an airline people with a disability often experience problems and usually these problems are not even directly related to their disability but rather discrimination. For example denied boarding, degrading treatment or poor assistance.  Another example is that some airlines make them pay additional charges to receive assistance and not even think about the loss or damage to mobility equipment and assistive devices.Luckily there are now laws put into force in order to prevent the above forms of discrimination.  So what does this mean now for the disabled passenger?

Check-In:

With mobile and web check-in the airlines are seeing a significant cost reduction because fewer travelers require help from a gate agent.  In 2008, an airline trade publication estimated that kiosk check-ins save airlines an average of $3.70 per traveler.   Using the estimated number of travelers with disabilities who could and would use kiosks, the total cost savings to airlines can amount to an estimate of $45.9 million over 10 years.

This will mean airlines would also have to upgrade airport kiosks that print boarding passes or baggage tags accessible with Braille, audio messages and screens visible 40 inches off the floor. Airlines and airports are upgrading their kiosks but the implementations are going to take years.

TravJouS Check-in Companion Apps however can already TODAY help the disabled by having the Check-in Kiosk in the palm of their hand.  Not only airline check-in is possible with the App but it is your FRIEND (companion) helping you from the beginning of your journey to the end, including special travel information for the disabled.  See more hereunder.

Wheelchair users:  In the past some airlines charged wheelchair users to take their wheelchair from check-in to the aircraft. Other refused some wheelchair users to fly as they claimed there were too many disabled travelers on the flight.  However with the new laws airlines can no longer make these excuses. Most airlines now offer very good services for disabled travelers and they are aware that wheelchair users need more space and an aisle seat aboard the aircraft, as well as ground and onboard assistance etc..

Blind travelers:  In the past if you are blind you were unable to fly accompanied by your guide dog and were not entitled to any form of aid to get from check-in to the aircraft. But now this is no longer the case today.

Other disabilities: There are many types of disabilities and that means each person's needs are a little different to the other.  However there many websites and resources available that will help disabled travelers and their companions through their journey.  Here is a list of some helpful sites:   Accessible Journeys, Barrier-Free Travel, CruiseCritic.com, DisabledTravelers.com: Disabled Traveler's Guide to the World,  Emerging Horizons,  Gimp on the Go, Global Access News,  Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, TravelGuides.org, Travel on the Level and World on Wheelz.

As already mentioned above TravJouS Check-in Companion Apps include special Travel information for the disabled.  This NEW ADDITION to the APP’s can be found under the Travel Support Button.  Here you can find: Disabled Traveler - Airline Travel Information and Mobility Air Transport.

TravJouS Forum:  Many travelers share their experiences online.  As of this week TravJouS has added a new Discussion Item to their Website Forum:  Traveling Experience Disabled Passengers.  In this forum you can discuss for example: What do you think of airline services and airport facilities for disabled travelers? What problems or positive experience you face being a disabled travelers.  Are you being treated equal? So have you experienced traveling with a disability? Join the TravJouS community and share that experience with others today.  With this feedback all World Travelers can benefit from this.

With all this information,  it is an excellent way of helping you for example decide which airline to choose and may also give you more information about the help available for passengers with reduced mobility, a visual impairment or some other form of disability.

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