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New report recommends more collaboration to improve quality

01 November 2016

A new report, based on the experiences of over 500 passengers, has recommended more collaboration between airlines, airports and service providers in order to improve the quality of assistance to persons with reduced mobility (PRM) at UK airports.

The report was commissioned to support the fact-finding phase of a long term improvement programme led by OCS Group to gain a fuller understanding of the disabled passenger needs and address them with an improved level of service provision.

“Airlines, airports, baggage handlers and PRM service providers are all committed to excellent customer service but it is clear that we need to collaborate more effectively,” commented Steven Wheeler, customer services director for OCS Group.

In the next phase of consultation, OCS has organised workshops at airports involving customer groups focused on different disabilities along with all service providers – airlines, airport, PRM providers and baggage handling.

The first of the workshops was held at Glasgow Airport in June 2016 and is being followed up with working groups to specify and implement the service improvements.

Lord Blunkett, chair of the easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group (ESAAG), contributed to the report.

In his submission, he acknowledged that air travel is complex but called for a travel experience for disabled people that is efficient, seamless and respectful:

“Confusion about individual-specific travel needs can become misinterpreted. I have, for example, as a blind person, experienced being offered a wheelchair at the airport. Dignity and access that many simply take for granted can be denied to disabled people.”

The report puts forward 16 recommendations for industry consideration, including improved use of technology for service co-ordination and to record the nature of individual disabilities to help deliver the support required.

The initial report is available for download from: http://www.ocs.co.uk/challenging-for-change-report

OCS Group, the largest provider of assistance to persons with reduced mobility (PRM) in the UK and Ireland, is leading an industry-wide effort to confirm the priority service improvements that need to be made across the sector in response to the findings and how to deliver quality improvements based on the recommendations in the report.


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