The government are looking into measures to improve air travel for disabled passengers after problems at Heathrow airport were highlighted recently by BBC journalist Frank Gardener, when he was left sat on a plan for an hour and a half after it had landed.
These new measures could include limits on the time passengers waiting for assistance when boarding, and disembarking, and faster times for passengers to be reunited with their wheelchair post flight. These come as the government said it would like to provide passengers with a “positive” experience when flying. Further ideas being taken into consideration include, removing seats to allow wheelchairs to be taken on the planes, which would include creating space for a disabled toilet, this would allow those who require specialist seating to travel hassle free. The alternative would be to provide priority storage for wheelchairs.
Mr Gardener has described these plans as a “welcome step” however there is “still a long road to travel” before it is fully inclusive. Although the storage and safety of a user’s chair is of top priority, it is not the only thing holding disabled travellers back from seeing the world. By taking a wheelchair, or powerchair away from a passenger it can often mean they are unable to move around the plane at all without assistance, and this makes using the tiny cubicle toilets also a huge problem, leaving many disabled members of the public unable to take long haul flights.
The government are set to unveil its aviation strategy in early 2019.
How do you think the government can improve air travel for disabled passengers?
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