Lockdowns Teach Us Accessible Air Travel is Essential
- Written by Roberto Castiglioni
The Covid-19 crisis saw three-quarters of the world population put into lockdown. For most, the key takeaway from the current state of affairs is the newly found awareness of what disability entails and why accessibility is an essential commodity.
Nobody likes to be told what to do or where they can’t go. But for some of us, such restrictions are not a choice or a temporary measure, rather the way life is.
For most, restrictions and bans will be slowly lifted. But for some things won’t change. Being unable to leave one’s home is a temporary frustrating by-product of our times, but for some is just another day when the lift is broken and the wheelchair user living on the second floor is left with no other option than having to rely on human kindness to outsource running errands.
Restrictions, bans, and ensuing frustrations are a revelation for those who always regarded investing in accessibility as a frivolous secondary goal; They now realize accessibility matters.
Sooner than later airlines will start flying again. It is all but certain flying in Coronavirus times will be somewhat different than before. But people will travel again, provided they can find reasonable confidence in the measures airports and airlines will take to keep them safe.
Now more than ever, technology will play a key part in helping us stay safe. There will be an incredible drive towards the deployment of contactless technology such as biometric recognition at critical touchpoints and new scanners at security checkpoints. Now more than ever, it is essential these technological solutions are accessible. Because if they are not, some of us will quite simply be left behind.
At the same time, air carriers must find the right balance between innovation and accessibility. Significantly reducing if not eliminating human interaction while boarding or deplaning the aircraft will be of the essence to keep everyone safe.
This is why now it’s the time to reshape air travel for generations to come, making it accessible for everyone. Today’s investments will inevitably translate into faster recovery and a better way to travel for everyone.
Let’s not waste this opportunity; let’s not forget what we have learned the hard way. Now we all know accessibility matters, let’s make it happen.