Disabled Travelers

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Lodging Companies for Disabled Travelers

After reviewing credible sources, we have discovered four different case studies of companies that provide excellent accommodation for disabled travelers. They include 1) United Airlines 2) Delta Air Lines 3) Gran Torre Catalunya Hotel Barcelona, 4) Wheelchair Friendly Hotel In Germany.

UNITED

United Airlines is committed to assisting clients with disability impairments. The disabled client needs to contact the United Accessibility Desk for carriage of person and mobility equipment, the logistics of which may vary by aircraft or route, also, 48 hours advance notice is required if the client will be using any of these facilities:
1. Onboard medical oxygen in flight.
2. Will use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, ventilator, FAA-approved respirator, or personal oxygen concentrator (POC).
3. Require packaging or disassembly of a wheelchair battery.
4. Plans to transport an electric wheelchair on an aircraft with less than 60 seats.
5. Plans to travel with 10 or more disabled people.
6. Will need the emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the cabin.
7. Clients requiring special meals will need to give United a minimum of 24 hours notice.

Flight Information Display Systems:
Display systems that provide flight information are available in most airports, and Gate agents are available to supplement this with verbal flight information. United requests that its clients with a sensory disability inform any of its numerous airport employees for assistance.

Telecommunication Device For The Deaf (TDD):
Domestic airports in the United States have at least one e TDD. The impaired client can book his reservation using a TDD.

Airport Kiosks:
The impaired client can access the kiosk by plugging his headphones into the headphone jack, then; the audio instructions will begin to play.

Customer Wheelchair Equipment:
United will allow the client wheelchair and other assistive devices without additional costs.

Manual Wheelchairs:
All United's aircraft have enough space to accommodate a minimum of one adult-sized wheelchair, clients who identify themselves at preboarding have a preference in having their collapsible wheelchair stowed. Clients manual wheelchairs are checked in for stowage either the ticket counter or gate.

Powered Equipment, Carts, and Wheelchairs:
United will not disassemble any powered equipment, and the batteries will be left attached, provided it can fit into the aircraft upright, and there is sufficient space to store it, if not, airport personnel may ask the client for instruction to disassemble it.

En Route Assistance:
Semi-ambulatory clients will receive assistance from flight attendants in getting to or from the seat during flight.

DELTA

Delta Air Lines is committed to providing its disabled clients the best service. Delta's employees are always available to help all disabled passengers who need it.

Seating Accommodation For Individuals With Disabilities:
Delta provides its disabled clients an applicable seating assignment depending on request in advance. An additional seat adjustment is made for:
1. Passengers who entered the aircraft with an aisle chair, and can't move over a fixed aisle armrest, can be fitted with seats with movable aisle armrest on a plane so equipped.
2. Passengers who need the assistance of an attendant he is travelling with can be provided with side-by-side seating.
3. Passengers who need the assistance of a service animal he is moving with; will be presented with any available seat but will be provided a bulkhead seat if requested.
4. A Passenger with an immobilized leg will get any place he qualifies for on the side of the aircraft that aptly suits their disability and if demanded, a bulkhead seat.

Service Animals:
Delta accommodates service animals trained to assist passengers with hearing, visual, and mobility disabilities. These service animal must be on the floor space where the passenger is seated.

On-Board Medical Oxygen:
Delta permits its clients to utilize approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) with advance notification.

Assistive Devices:
Delta will transport any manually, or battery operated mobility or assistive device without any additional charge.

Gran Torre Catalunya Hotel Barcelona

Gran Torre Catalunya Hotel Barcelona beside Barcelona Sants Station. It is a skyscraper building regularly used for conferences.

Accessibility To The Hotel For The Wheelchair Traveller:
There are eight stairs and a ramp fitted with handrails leading to the entrance leading to the doors. There are two sets of revolving and manual double doors.

Facilities For People With Disabilities:
1. The hotel has four lifts that do have the verbal announcement for stops.
2. The bar and dining areas are accessible by elevator.
3. There are 8 adapted guestrooms with furniture that can be modified for people with disabilities.
4. The bathroom comprises of a level access shower, a telephone, with a handrail beside the toilet.

WHEELCHAIR FRIENDLY HOTEL IN GERMANY

Wheelchair Friendly Hotel In Germany located in a region of numerous lakes regularly used for recreation.

Facilities For Disabled:
All the rooms have handrails, automatic doors, accessible balconies that overlooks a lake. The client can choose either a room with accessible shower or one with bathtub and shower. The hotel provides a Shower stool, special shower wheelchair, and detachable seats. Each wash basin is fitted with a shower extension, and some are height-adjustable. Rooms are spacious with twin beds, one being electric in most places. The rooms also contain a television, a telephone, a mini-bar, and an internet connection. Alarm clocks are fitted on both sides of the bed and in the bathroom that is linked to the reception. Other facilities include:
1. Height adjustable electric beds.
2. Portable hoists.
3. Swimming pool with a hoist.
4. Dogs are accommodated at an additional charge
5. Hoists are accessible at an additional charge

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Disabled Travelers

Detailed research reveals that different resources have been leveraged by disabled travelers to plan their trips such as online reviews, Trip Advisor community forums, online guides, and trip planning apps. However, some disabled persons believe that the only way they can be confident that a facility will meet their accommodation needs involves requesting for pictorial proof of accessibility during the trip planning stage. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining pictorial proofs of accessibility from facility management by disabled persons can be a "giant pain."

METHODOLOGY

Our research team scoured through research journals, surveys, news articles and credible blogs for precompiled information on the resources disabled people use to plan their trips and make sure they will get the required type of accommodation. We also researched for precompiled information on the resources the disabled use to look up activities that will provide them with the accessibility they need. Unfortunately, there was no precompiled information listing all the resources used to plan their trips and make sure they are accommodated. We only obtained insights through Accessible Go on some useful trips planning tips for the disabled for 30 most visited cities across the United States along with a resource directory, and a review of some locations.

We decided to switch strategies and look for the requested information on a more granular scale. We decided to look at each resource utilized by disabled people for trip planning individually. This strategy revealed a significant number of resources such as websites, apps, and web forums used to plan trips and ensure the disabled will be accommodated somewhere. Unfortunately, according to Wheelchair Travel, the only way to guarantee accommodation for the disabled is through pictures as the word "accessible" often signifies different things to different people.

We then switched to a third methodology and researched through credible databases such as Booking.com, which has trip planning information for about 1,813,341 accessible hotels, and the Disability Resource website, among other databases to unearth a collection of resources that the disabled utilize to make sure they will be accommodated somewhere and get accessibility services. We have reported our findings as follows.

1. ONLINE FORUMS: TRIP ADVISOR (COMMUNITY FORUM FOR THE DISABLED)

Detailed research reveals that some disabled people visit Trip Advisor while planning their travel trips. The disabilities forum for travelers has about 1,416 topics as of March 2019, ranging from accessibility checklists to other items such as expected support for wheelchair users can be obtained to assist the trip planning activity from Trip Advisor.

Another forum resourceful to disabled persons during trip planning is the Accessible Go forum. The forum provides some inspiration, information on hotel accessibility, resource directory, and accessibility reviews. The community forum helps people with disabilities to plan their trips using accessible travel information & resources culled from the 30 most visited cities across the United States. The web forum also helps the disabled to reserve hotel accommodation, plan for flights and car rentals. The web forum assists disabled people to save between 10 to 60% on global hotel accommodation through club GO.

2. PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS REQUESTING FOR PICTURES

Amin Lakhani claims to have muscular dystrophy and moves in a power wheelchair. Based on his experience, the only way to ensure (make sure) a room will fit the needs of a disabled traveler during trip planning is by requesting for a significant number of room pictures as well as bathroom pictures. The room and bathroom pictures should be photographed from several angles of the room. From experience, Lakhani believes "accessible" means different things to various hotels. Only pictures are 100% reliable. Lakhani reveals that for a facility to be wheelchair accessible, the following items have to be in place.

3. ONLINE GUIDES FOR THE DISABLED

Some online guides that have been beneficial to the disabled during trip planning include Euan's Guide. The guide contains thousands of reviews by disabled people. Peope can share reviews based on the experience of disabled people help during trip planning to reveal accessible places to visit. A typical review/report on Euan's Guide contains pictures, information on parking room space, rooms as well as dining room amp access through wheelchair from the parking lot. Wheelchair access to toilets, as well as available support staff, constitutes some trip planning pieces of information made available by Euan's Guide.

4. DISABLED PERSONS TRIP PLANNING APPS

According to a recent Motability web publication, when issues like flagging places of interest specific to people with disabilities pop up, Trip Advisor loses out. Fortunately, several emerging apps now make the world more accessible to persons with limited mobility. Android-based apps such as WheelMap, TripTripHurray, and Access Earth have functioned as "TripAdvisor for people with disabilities." The fuelService iOS/Android application helps disabled people locate accessible petrol stations during trip planning. The Flush Toilet and WheelMate apps also help disabled people to locate accessible toilets during the actual trip or from the trip planning phase.

5. PICTURES SHARED BY PEERS

Due to the problematic nature of verifying accessible facilities prior to embarking on a trip for the disabled, some disabled people try to help their peers by sharing images they pressed hard to receive during a previous trip on Yelp and Google. Such shared pictures are often relied upon by fellow disabled peers to plan their trips instead of requesting for fresh pictures from the same facility they intend to visit thereby saving time. Some shared images of an accessible facility by a disabled person are available via this link.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "I have muscular dystrophy and use a power wheelchair, so I’m always very nervous about how I’m going to use the bathroom and take a shower when I travel. I used to be able to make any “accessible” room work, but my condition is progressive and I have way less function than I used to, so I don’t have the luxury of just winging it anymore."
  • "When I travel somewhere new, I always call the hotel and ask for multiple pictures of the bathroom and room, from several angles, because places will often say they are "wheelchair accessible" but not provide any of these essential pieces of accessibility. From my experience, “accessible” can mean vastly different things to different hotels, so my goal is to get 100% confirmation — and the only way to do that is with pictures of the actual room."
Quotes
  • "Plan Accessible travel info & resources for the 30 most visited U.S. cities."
  • "Reviews Write accessibility reviews for hotels, attractions and businesses."
  • "Reserve Reserve hotels, flights and cars. Save 10-60% on hotels worldwide through clubGO."