The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has launched a consultation into plans to improve the experience of flying for disabled and less mobile passengers.
The regulator is planning to rank the performance of airlines based on the service they offer to disabled passengers – from initially booking tickets to offering airport assistance and the onboard aircraft experience, as well as how they handle complaints.
Ratings will also cover how airlines enable less mobile passengers to request assistance, as well as onboard facilities, such as seating and toilets, plus boarding and disembarking processes.
Standards will be created for bringing assistance dogs on to flights and how airlines handle mobility equipment, including compensation if it is lost or damaged.
Anna Bowles, head of consumer at the CAA, said: “Our proposals to introduce this new framework are about holding airlines to account in meeting their obligations to disabled and less mobile passengers across all aspects of their journey.
“Assessing airlines against a standardised framework will ensure that disabled and less mobile passengers will be better informed when they choose which airline to fly with and will highlight areas where airlines need to do better.”
The CAA is asking for feedback from disability rights groups and the aviation industry, as well as individual travellers, to help “shape” plans to make flights more accessible.
Once created, the framework will only act as guidance for airlines, but Josh Wintersgill, founder of accessibility specialist Able Move, hopes it will allow the CAA to “better monitor airline performance and hold airlines to greater public accountability”.
Source : BTN Europe