Flight Cancellations / Delays? Impact on travelers with disabilities.

The airline industry has been evolving and adapting to various conjuncture and market demands. Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest majority. One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Where services from the airline industry have been improving to meet the needs and demands of travelers, there exists an untapped segment.

Varying reasons contribute to either flight delays or cancellations. There is always a cost associated with multiple business operations. Travelers with disabilities are entitled to equity and fairness, special traveling needs should not be the marginalizing or excluding factor.

From physical to sensorial impairments, each disability varies and each person living with a disability gets accustomed to their routine differently. Each traveler responds differently, the environment is different, and the stress due to unforeseen circumstances remains a nonnegligible factor.

Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines have been improving their service offering toward travelers with disabilities, with distinctive guidelines available on their websites defining and easing travel for these travelers with special needs.

When flights get delayed or postponed, apprehension and rescheduling are always an enigma. Travelers with special needs and varying disabilities face additional hindrances to link with their respective airlines and ensure their travel needs are met. In the case of solo travelers, the independence is compromised, and there remains the urgent need to find an accessible service counter or a representative who is proactive to ensure that the passsenge3r is adequately equipped or comfortable in regards to either rescheduling or lapse the flight delay.

Disability is not a fatality or an additional cost, there may be the need for additional effort. We vouch for equity, fairness, and improving the lives of persons with disabilities.

Author Soovan Sharma DOOKHOO

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