The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), a UK-based association for the travel agency industry, has launched new guidelines to improve travel for people with reduced mobility.
The guidelines, prepared in collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, will aim to provide an improved air travel experience for people with reduced mobility, and will offer information and advice to travel agents regarding how to make travelling a more comfortable experience for these people.
European law (Regulation 1107/2006) allows all passengers, with reduced mobility to access travel assistance, free of charge, when they fly. Disabled travellers now have to advise airports in advance of their need to access travel assistance, in order that the authorities can organise resources to ensure that the passengers have a stress-free journey.
Nikki White, the head of destinations and sustainability, at ABTA, said, ‘Delivering a good travel experience to all customers is a key priority for our Members. It can be deeply distressing for passengers to arrive at the airport and not have access to the assistance they require.
By working together we have been able to develop practical guidelines that will help ensure a smooth and seamless experience for passengers with reduced mobility, from collecting the right information at booking to ensuring the resources are in place when they arrive at the airport.’
The new guidelines include the booking process for accessing travel assistance, and procedures after the booking is made and at the airport.
Sandra Webber, CAA director of consumer support, said, ‘Travelling, if you have restricted mobility, can be especially challenging and stressful without good planning and effective processes from airlines and agents. The CAA believes that pre-notification is the key to airports and airlines providing PRMs with the assistance that best suits their needs.’