The ‘D’ List takes a regular look at new things in a disabled world and as the holidays season approaches we thought we’d digress into useful sources of disability travel information. These are not exhaustive and disabled travel is never that simple but we hope these may lessen the anxiety of going somewhere new.
1ST. In the wake of flight horror stories for disabled people,
like that of Sophie Morgan (ignored on a transatlantic flight) and Frank Gardner the BBC security correspondent, left on a plane twice for 30 minutes waiting for staff to bring his wheelchair, we thought it would be useful to find out about how airlines and airports handle people with disabilities.
If travelling to the USA this summer you may want to look at the Transport Security Administration website where there’s useful information on security procedures and special facilities for disabled people. There’s also another site that tells you all about disabled travel at the major airports in the USA from Miami to chicago!
If you’re going to Europe there doesn’t seem to be a central place to find information however the Civil Aviation Authority does provide information on disabled travel both at all Uk airports and for all airlines that use those airports you can see all the information here and very useful it is! It seems that if you fly to Europe your airline is responsible for booking assistance but to know what an airport is like in advance e.g. where the disabled toilets are located and how far you may have to walk, you need to look at each airports website and find their access information.
2ND, BBS also produced the Air Travel Guide,
back in 2013 detailing the requirements and services of a number of airlines including BA, Emirates, Virgin, American Airlines to name a few. We also have a Disability Phrase Book for things you may need in other languages (such as an accessible toilet, grab rail or steps), as well as a disability Travel Tips Article detailing tips like take enough medication on the plane in case of delays!
3RD if you want someone else to take the strain of organising an accessible holiday,
you may want to look at this resource, Responsible Travel. I met them at an ABTA event discussing how tour operators can include the needs of disabled people & the less mobile aging population.
They have a number of exciting holidays that are accessible from a Golden Triangle Tour of India to a Wheelchair Tour of Japan. They also have their own Accessible Holiday Guide that gives you an idea of where’s good and where’s not from a global travel point of view. As they say ‘an accessible holiday is still a holiday. It just has special trimmings…….’
Until next time keep cool and keep stylish!