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Accessible Accommodation’s campaign urges airlines to allow wheelchairs on planes

Until air travel to Australia is made easier for inbound tourists, accommodation & tourism operators are missing out on Billions of dollars in this booming travel sector

Accessible Accommodation, a leading advocate for accessibility and inclusion, has seen renewed momentum for their campaign to call upon airlines in Australia to allow wheelchair users to bring their mobility devices on board flights.

The campaign, supported by a change petition with over 31,000 signatures, aims to address the challenges faced by individuals with mobility challenges and physical disabilities when traveling by air.

Anne-Marie Lee signed who the campaign said: ”If we can fly men and women to the moon, surely accommodating a wheelchair on a plane is not an impossible dream.” 

The renewed momentum follows a working prototype of the design, demonstrated by Delta Flight Products (DFP) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany, a symposium spotlighting airplane cabin innovations.

The petition highlights the fact that people with mobility challenges and physical disabilities possess a deep passion for travel, just like any other individual. Airline travel is an integral part of their overall travel experience, and they aspire to use their electric or manual wheelchairs throughout their journey.

Allowing passengers to bring their wheelchairs into the cabin not only reduces the risk of damage to their expensive equipment but also alleviates the stress and discomfort associated with transferring to their seats.

Despite acknowledging that there are alternative approaches to address this issue, little has been done to implement a practical solution in Australia. However, this innovative prototype has been picked up internationally by CNN, AXIOS, CBS NEWS, SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.

This campaign serves as a call to action for airlines based in Australia to proactively address the needs of wheelchair users and eliminate the existing barriers.

Anna-Maria Covich signed the campaign saying: “For disabled people, our mobility equipment is an extension of our bodies. Removing it removes our autonomy.

“Being able to toilet in flight without having to call the cabin crew leaves us some autonomy and dignity. Knowing that our essential mobility equipment is not being destroyed in the baggage compartment also provides peace of mind when traveling.”

Our latest AccomNews print issue is available now. Read it HERE

Kerry Williams, Founder of two accessible travel websites, Accessible Accommodation, and Accessible Experiences said: “We understand the frustration and upset experienced by individuals with disabilities, their caregivers, and their families when facing these restrictions during air travel.

“Our aim is to work collaboratively with airlines to raise awareness of the importance of allowing wheelchairs on planes and to encourage the implementation of accessible solutions that will enhance the travel experience for everyone.”

Ms Williams highlighted that “until air travel to Australia is made easier for inbound tourists, Australian tourism operators are missing out on Billions of dollars in this booming travel sector, and Austrade recognise this”.

The campaign emphasizes that there are already designs available that allow wheelchair users to wheel directly onto their flights, demonstrating the feasibility of such accommodations. By adopting these inclusive measures, airlines can significantly enhance the overall travel experience for individuals with disabilities, fostering an environment of accessibility and equality within the aviation industry.

Image Supplied by Accessible Accommodation

Ms Williams is convinced that “any executive within the airline industry who took a moment to read the heartfelt reasons people have signed the petition would be deeply moved, emotionally affected, and inspired to take immediate action”.

Grace-Naomi Enriquez signed the campaigned and said: “My experience was demeaning and uncomfortable and it does not have to be that way at all.” 

Accessible Accommodation calls upon all concerned individuals to join the campaign and make their voices heard. By signing the change petition, travellers, disability advocates, and supporters can play an active role in pushing for positive change in airline policies.

More information about the campaign and sign the petition HERE

For more information about NoVacancy and Pre-book your tickets HERE

Claim your FREE Ticket To NoVacancy using code ACCOMNEWS

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