Holiday travel is stressful enough without the added challenge of wheelchair access. ADA access at the airport is an important topic as we enter the chaotic holiday travel season. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind when traveling:
Accessibility to the Airport
No matter how you get to the airport, getting in the facility is imperative. Accessible parking near the terminal and signage directing the accessible path to the terminal are the first and most primary items of order. Once inside, take a break before navigating the crowds by following directional signage to restrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants, and other rest areas.
Navigating through the Airport
Now that you are inside the terminal, accessibility and navigation through the crowd become the true challenge. Holiday travel means people, people…people everywhere! Flight information systems, ticket counters, and baggage check-in must meet certain requirements for ADA compliance. Lighting, color coding, amplified or text telephones, and counter height are just a few of the most basic ADA requirements.
Boarding the Plane
It is important to note that airlines must ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same timely access to information, such as gate and departure time changes, as all other passengers. ADA compliance requires lifts or level entry boarding ramps for passenger access to the airplane. Under no circumstance may airline carriers require individuals with disabilities to remain in a holding area while awaiting travel or other assistance.
Avoid a Holiday Headache
Whether you are a first-time flyer or a seasoned frequent flyer, holiday travel can give you a holiday headache. Avoid the extra stress by planning ahead and, if you suspect that you have encountered access issues at the airport, contact us. We want everyone to arrive at their destination with as few headaches and delays as possible this holiday season and always.