Certain airline companies have been in the news lately for being less than optimally accommodating toward customers with disabilities, but it can be more productive and encouraging to focus on companies that are addressing accessibility in an outstanding way. Travel writer Julia Buckley, writing for the Independent, a British online newspaper, drew attention to several companies that provide excellent services to travellers with mobility challenges.
Virgin Atlantic has a dedicated “special assistance” team, whose members discuss travelers’ accessibility needs with them before booking. If you happen to be leaving from London, UK, you can tour training cabins at Gatwick airport, and even try out different seats and practice how best to get to the bathroom. The views of travellers with disabilities are incorporated to staff training videos, so Virgin employees tend to be particularly helpful in relation to concerns about accessibility.
Accomable is a resource somewhere between a hotel booking website and Airbnb, designed to cater to the needs of travelers who may need accessible accommodations. It lists over 700 hotels and other types of accommodations in 62 countries, and its reach continues to grow (accomable.com). Aviramps produces ramps with gentle slopes that allow people to board and disembark from planes with ease and dignity at the same time as other passengers. These devices are generally considered to be preferable to the commonly used Ambulift used in many airports. Limitless Travel is a concierge service that designs holidays for travellers with disabilities. The company’s site includes reviews of hotels and attractions in the UK with a focus on accessibility (limitlesstravel.org).
To read more about these and other companies dedicated to accessible travel, read Buckley’s full article here.