Press Release 14 January 2019 - Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People

Charity makes unique film available to help disabled air travellers

UK charity Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) is addressing issues faced by wheelchair users when travelling by air, through the launch of a unique film ‘Your Guide to Flying with a Disability’.

Now people thinking about flying with their powered wheelchair can see exactly what’s involved when taking a flight as the film shows every stage of the journey, from the preparation required, through check-in, security, boarding, in-flight and landing, as well as the assistance available.

QEF developed ‘Your Guide to Flying with a Disability’ with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the airline and airport industry, with the aim of providing disabled people with the information they are missing, so they can make informed decisions and feel confident about taking a flight.

This film has been created in response to a growing need, highlighted by the numerous high-profile media stories throughout 2018 and reports that show that in 2017 there were three million requests made for assistance at UK airports. These requests are increasing at almost double the rate of general passenger growth.

QEF’s Accessible Aviation expert, Graham Race, says: “Our QEF Tryb4uFly service has already proven invaluable to many disabled people that have been anxious about taking a flight, but there has been a significant increase in demand for information. British Airways have already confirmed that they will make the film available to all customers who book wheelchair assistance.

“The film shows a complete journey by air and offers advice at each stage. It provides much needed information and assurance to the thousands of disabled people and their families who currently feel that air travel is not an option for them.”

Paul Smith, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority added: ‘It is a priority for the UK Civil Aviation Authority to continue to improve the accessibility of air travel. We have worked closely with UK disability charity Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) who have expertise in this area, to develop an insightful and informative film. As it shows every stage of a journey by air for a powered wheelchair user, we hope the film will answer many of the questions people currently have about flying as a wheelchair passenger, and increase the confidence to fly.’ 

‘Your Guide to Flying with a Disability’ is available to view via QEF’s website:  www.qef.org.uk/accessibleaviation

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

QEF’s ‘Your Guide to Flying with a Disability’ has been developed in partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, with additional funding from the Expat Foundation. There has also been extensive support from the airport and aviation industry.

Based in Surrey, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) is a national charity working with over 5,000 disabled children and adults every year with physical or learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries. QEF has a long history of providing expert care and practical support to enable disabled people of all ages to increase their independence and live the life they choose.

Through its Mobility Services, QEF has been offering a Tryb4uFly assessment service to disabled air travellers for several years and even has a section of an airline cabin at its mobility centre in Carshalton, Surrey. This is supported by airline seating at additional centres in Birmingham and Leeds, providing a unique service that allows wheelchair users or families with disabled children to try out options for aisle transfer and seating equipment before committing to flying.

For more information on Your Guide to Flying with a Disability and details of available case studies please contact QEF’s press officer on 01372 841239 or email PR@qef.org.uk  

QEF’s Accessible Aviation expert Graham Race is available for interview on how QEF are working with the aviation sector and the impact this is having for disabled people, or to provide comment on related areas at any time.