Airport Backstage Tour


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From the curb to the aircraft, this is a tour to enable you to manage your own travel experience and navigate the barriers to air travel

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  • Hi Everyone,My name is David Martin and I’ll be your backstage tour guide as we discover what it takes for a person with a disability to travel by air. At Delta we believe that travel should be accessible to the widest range of our customers and make a concerted effort to be inclusive of our passengers with disabilities.As part of my job responsibilities, I help to keep Delta compliant with disability regulations around the world – “the stuff we have to do” but I also conduct outreach programs with spinal cord hospitals and schools for individuals who have low vision or blindness. Though I’d love the opportunity for everyone to “smell the jet fuel”, this webinar will share with you some of the tools you’ll need to negotiate a travel experience that maintains your need for independence and let’s us level the field so you can get the same travel experience as other passengers. I also work with an Advisory Board on Disability made up of individuals with disabilities who tell us what works and what doesn’t work. I also am the President of Delta’s ABLE Network, an employee network of employees with disabilities who work for the airline. Coming from all these different directions, we want to ensure that we represent the best interest of the customer and the airline.The forward door is now closed, your seat belts should be buckled as we spend this next hour getting a backstage view of what happens when a passenger with a disability travels by air.Advance to the next slide
  • Can you imagine traveling down this street? What do you pay attention to? How do you avoid the landmines? Whatever you do, don’t hit the moose!!! Travel for people with disabilities has definitely become more complex and a knowledgeable person with a disability will be far more prepared to manage their travel experience with some of the information we’ll share with you today. Though some of the things we will share may seem to be common sense, these preparations may help you in navigating the stressful environment of an airport, especially during irregular operations (when things don’t go as planned) or during the challenging times when weather impacts the airports and airlines. As Mark Twain once said, “Common Sense is not so common these days”. A well prepared traveler is ready to adjust to the frenetic environment of the airport.I believe that traveling by air is not only the right thing to do, it is a obligation we have to create an inclusive world.Advance to the Next Slide
  • Think of the information we’ll share today like a checklist. The checklist is all the items you’ll need to know to cover as many bases as possible in the window of time you have. The airport environment is chaotic, fast paced, changing on the fly and accommodating last minute requests is part of the landscape of the airline industry.The first thing you need to know and remind others is that air travel is a partnership between the airline and the passenger with a disability. As such, we want to make sure that you understand that in most cases we should be following your lead so any information you provide us will be used to ensure that you get the best service possible, not only in the city you are traveling from, but throughout the travel ribbon.Today we’ll look at what you need to know and what you should share – information is power but we don’t want you to share information that is none of our business…for example, do I need to know how you obtained your disability? Absolutely not! Is there some information that will ensure a better travel experience? Absolutely yes. CHECKWe’ll discuss the person in every airport who can resolve issues for you if you experience a barrier while traveling. CHECKWe’ll talk about some of the things to do so you arrive at the most opportune place and how to get assistance once you arrive at the airport. CHECKWe’ll talk about the options you have for check in - CHECKAbout going through security – CHECKServices you can get at the gate – CHECKTransfer Assistance on and off the aircraft – CHECKFinally, we’ll talk about the accessibility features on Delta aircraft - CHECKSo let’s kick the tires and light the fires – its time to fly!
  • How many people with disabilities travel by air? This is kind of a tricky question to answer because not all people who travel with a disability self-report and we are prohibited from requiring passengers to self disclose a disability. A research study done by the Open Doors Organization in Chicago estimated in 2005 that 13.1 million people with disabilities traveled by air. Another study done in 2009 suggests that about 14.9 million people with disabilities travel by air.
  • So the correct answer is somewhere around 15 million travelers.On Delta, we took a look at the special service requests (SSRs) that people with disabilities made when they booked their flights and concluded that between 2 and 3 Million people with disabilities travel on us each year.
  • The travel experience is like a ribbon. It flows from one point to another and bends depending on the situation and the variables that impact it. The travel ribbon is important to you because this is where you can identify what might be places where you experience barriers but even more important, if you do encounter issues, who can give you assistance.It could be at the entrance of the airport or at the ticket counter, assistance through security or transferring on the airplane. You have the control over your travel experience if you understand yourself and your needs for assistance. Remember, I said that your disability is not like any other and the airport personnel may or may not understand or appreciate what it takes for a person with a disability to travel. It is your responsibility to communicate your needs to the carrier and let us know what works for you. For example, you may have injuries to the top part of your torso making a two man transfer not only difficult, its also painful. Letting the transfer agents know this may change the way they approach you and perform the transfer.We don’t want you to be anxious about what you don’t know so its always appropriate to ask questions and to expect a reasonable answer. However, we have to remember that the old clock is ticking and a plane doesn’t wait for stragglers!
  • You are never required to divulge any information about yourself, especially your disability. Frankly, it is none of our business to ask you about how you became a person with a disability or the extent of your disability. What is our business is the blending of your need with the services we provide. Some people only need wheelchair assistance for distance (from the entrance of the airport to the aircraft door) some folks can’t negotiate steps, others need to be assisted on and off the aircraft. Any information you provide to an airline should be about the service we provide. When agents document information you provide it is to ensure that the services you request are made available, not just at the city/station you are departing from but also at the connection and destination. There is a continuum of service you will need and we are obligated to provide. Fact of the matter is we can’t read your mind and we really don’t understand your disability. But that is OK – you are the expert on the disability and what we really need to do is listen to what your are saying and act of the service it requires.There are also some services that we provide to passengers with disabilities that are not available to the general public. Seating accommodation is one of the services that are available when you book your ticket. Don’t ever hang up with a reservationist without getting a seat assignment. If someone tells you to “just go to the gate and they’ll assign your seat then,” ask to be transferred to the CRO Desk. It is our responsibility to assign you any available seat that helps you manage your disability. Please understand that you are entitled to any seat, in the class of service you purchased the ticket before you get off the call with Delta. Not everyone has access to all available seats but as a passenger with a disability, we want you to have access to seats as close to the front of the aircraft as possible, seats next to lavatories, seat in the bulkhead – any seats that help you manage your disability. A person’s disability plays out differently with each person. We don’t want to assume anything about what you need but we may ask questions that clarify what need and how we provide it. For example, you may call in and indicate that you need wheelchair assistance from the airport entrance to the aircraft door. Our agents may ask, “Ms. Jones, can you walk short distances?” or “Can you negotiate steps?” or will you need assistance from your personal wheelchair to the aircraft seat?” All these questions are designed to communicate to everyone who comes in contact with you that we are partnering with you to ensure that the information you provide will be used to minimize the inconvenience and frustration associated with air travel to greatest extent practicable.Some information is needed in order for us to be prepare for your arrival. We are allowed to require advance notice requirements in order to accommodate:1. (b) You may require a passenger with a disability to provide up to 72 hours advance notice and check in 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public to receive carriers supplied in-flight medical oxygen on international flights, 48 hours advance notice and check-in one hour before the check-in time for the check-in time for the general public to receive carrier-supplied in-flight medical oxygen on domestic flights and 48 hours advance notice and check-in one hour before the check-in time for the General public to use his/her ventilator/respirator, CPAP or POC.(c) You may also require a passenger with a disability to provide up to 48 hours advance notice and check-in one hour before the check-in time for the general public to receive the following services and accommodations. The services listed in paragraph (c) 1 through (c)3 of this section are optional; you are not required to provide them but you may choose to do so.(1) Carriage of an incubator(2) Hook up for a respirator, CPAP machine or POC to the aircraft electrical power supply;(3) Accommodation for a passenger who must travel in a stretcher;(4)Transportation for an electric wheelchairs on an aircraft with fewer than 60 seats;(5) Provision of hazardous materials packaging for batteries or other assistive devices that are required to have such packaging;(6) Accommodation for a group of 10 or more qualified individuals with a disability, who make reservations and travel as a group;and(7) Provision of an onboard wheelchair on an aircraft with more than 60 seats that does not have an accessible lavatory.(8)Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the cabin;(9)Transportation of a service animal on a flight segment scheduled to take 8 hours or more;(10) Accommodation of a passenger who has both severe vision and hearing impairments (see 382.39(b)(4).As mentioned before, some information about your assistive devices would greatly benefit us in planning for your arrival such as the dimensions of your wheelchair (HXLXW), the weight (rough is fine) the power source (battery: wet cell, gel cell, lithium ion) and appropriate instructions to manage your chair when you are not in it (getting back and forth from the aircraft)Advance to Next Slide
  • If you don’t remember anything else from this webinar, the one thing I do want you to remember is who you can depend on if you experience problems when you travel. They represent what I call, “the three most important letters in the airport alphabet – C-R-O. CRO stands for Complaint Resolution Official. It is critical that you understand your rights as you travel by air. In the United States, the Air Carrier Access Act is the regulation that protects passengers with disabilities from discrimination in air travel. It clearly outlines the rules we are expected to follow but it also helps carriers understand what it takes to level the field for a passenger with a disability when they travel by air. In the event there are problems, the CRO is there to resolve the issues in real time, minimizing the inconvenience and frustration as much as possible.
  • OK, now for a quick test: Who is the person you would ask to speak to if you had a disability and experienced a problem while you were traveling through the airport, onboard the aircraft or during any phase of your travel experience?Advance to Next Slide
  • That’s right, a CRO – Complaint Resolution OfficialAdvance to Next Slide
  • Its important to know what the landscape is so you can anticipate issues and avoid problems.Before you arrive, its always wise to go to the Airport’s Website. Each website has a map that can give you an idea of the lay of the land. Where to arrive, location of parking lots, where specific airlines are located and where the elevators are in the airport.Arriving is important and where you arrive is a matter of personal choice. The top level of most airports is usually identified as Arrivals, lower levels may be identified for departures and in many airports, the lower levels are where baggage claim is. The lower level of the airport many times offers you less congestion and an opportunity to get out of your van/car/bus without rushing. In some airports, there is also lower level baggage check-in. Its really up to you. When you do arrive, its important to identify if the airport has SkyCap service where you can be assisted from the curb, otherwise, it will be your responsibility to get to the entrance of the airport in order to notify the carrier of your arrival. If you need wheelchair assistance or any other assistance that is offered by the airline for passengers with disabilities, you can notify the SkyCap and one will be brought to you. We don’t recommend that you check in your personal wheelchair until you arrive at the door of the aircraft – you need that chair as long as possible while making your way from the entrance of the airport to the aircraft.The airport environment is dynamic and at some times chaotic as we have to accommodate the changes of weather around the country and issues that occur related to equipment. Check the status of your flight often as you are moving through the airport. Gate changes occur regularly so its important to give your self as much time as possible while you are making your way to the gate. Though you are allowed the same opportunities as any other passenger, it is wise to recognize your own abilities and adjust your schedule to ensure you are at the gate without rushing so a change gate is nothing more than a minor adjustment. Gates do change so we recommend that you give yourself from an hour to an 1 ½ hours in smaller airports and as much as 2 hours in larger airports with heavier traffic. For international flights, 2-3 hours will give you plenty of time to check-in, get through security, use the facilities in the terminals and position yourself at the gate with time to breathe.Advance to next slide
  • For most US based airlines, there are 4 primary ways to check in. The first method is what I call checking in, in your jammies. You’re at home, you have your first cup of coffee you login to and check-in online. Also know as remote checkin, this can be done 24 hours in advance of your flight. The second method is utilizing the SkyCaps at the entrances of specific airports. Its important to remember that not all carriers utilize SkyCaps and not all airports have them either. In select cities where this service is available, you can drop off your bags, obtain a boarding pass and you’re on your way to security. If you need assistance with wheelchairs or checking in items that are considered “assistive devices” , carrier personnel can be contacted to meet you and assist you into the airport. In airports that do not use SkyCaps, it is the customers responsibility to get to the entrance of the airport to announce their arrival and need for assistance. At any point in the process, if you make your need known to any airport or carrier personnel, they would be happy to assist you. The third and most popular method of check-in is the kiosk. Kiosks were game changers in the last decade practically eliminating lines in front of airport ticket counters. Kiosks still remain an issue for many individuals with disabilities but upcoming legistlation from the DOT is working on resolutions to incorporate “accessible Kiosks”. On Delta kiosks, you can swipe any bar coded documents you have to make any changes to an already built reservation. You can view most seat configurations of aircraft being used on your flight and select specific services like assistance for a wheelchair in connecting cities or at your destination. The checkin time for a kiosk is about 90 seconds which means you check-in, receive your boarding pass, pay for checked bags and then drop them off at Delta Bag Drops Counters.In the event that the previous check-in methods don’t work for you, there is always the 4th option to talk with any uniformed Delta agent for assistance.Advance to Next Slide
  • Based on research studies, going through the security checkpoint is considered the second most frustrating experience passengers with disabilities experience as they travel. Right upfront, I want you to know, I’m not an expert on security but it is important that you become as familiar with the security process as possible. First, you need to understand that the TSA , not the airlines or the airport controls the security checkpoints. The goal of TSA is to secure and protect the airport they are serving. For that reason they do not discriminate one customer over another, which means that as a person with a disability, you will go through the same security screenings as any other passenger. Please note that the procedures in one city may be more stringent than in another and it is all based on the security level and the needs of that airport. Security Process – each airport may have a specific method of providing a screening for passengers with disabilities. They may also have a separate line designated for individuals with disabilities or at least for wheelchair users. If you cannot get out of your chair, they will conduct alternative methods to get the same results as you going through the magnatrometer. This includes hand wanding, or using chemical swabs of your chair to determine if it has been anywhere that would cause a problem (if you’ve been on a farm in exposure to chemicals, it may trigger additional screening procedures.TSA agent have been well trained as it relates to passengers with disabilities. They can understand differences that exist between groups and the need for certain items for a passenger to manage their disability. The liquid and gel ban still is in effect, however, it is important that you understand that if you need larger amounts of an item that is usually limited to 3 ounces, you need to declare the item to a TSA agent and explain your need for it. They may engage a supervisor but in most cases will allow you to keep a larger amount for medicinal purpose.If you have additional questions related to security, you can go to TSA’s website and many questions are answered on their site: Always remember that if you have any issue, Delta CROs can also act on your behalf to explain any issues related to reasonable accommodation.Advance to Next Slide
  • You really need to pay attention to the travel documents you are carrying. Your name must match your ticket exactly or you will be directed back to your airline to get the ticket verified. Avoid using nick names or abbreviations (ie. If your passport says David, your ticket can show Dave.Ask where the checkpoint is and where passengers with disabilities are screened. You may also request a private screening if you are uncomfortable being screening in public. TSA agents are good at telling you what they are getting ready to do so you can direct the screening at your pace understanding what is coming next.The one thing that 9/11 taught us was that security comes at a cost and that terrorists will use whatever means they have to undue the security process. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you must be thoroughly screened to be allowed in the sterile environment of the airport gate areas.ADVANCE to Next SLIDE
  • The larger the airport, the more distance there is to travel. That means that you may be not only traveling on an airplane, but maybe on electric carts, trains or other ground transportation vehicles. Like all other equipment, it can break down so give yourself enough time to make alternative plans if necessary.Getting on to ground transportation intended for the general public can pose it’s own challenges. When you enter the ground transportation areas or what is in many areas called the “Transportation Mall” be ready to get on a train with little instruction. Move your chair up to the door of the train, and when the doors open be focused on getting your chair in the train and then turn it around so you are facing the direction you will be exiting (this does assume that you will be exiting the same way you entered). Don’t be overly concerned about the other passengers… you have to maneover a 350 pound machine through the airport… they should be accommodating you.But this does raise an interesting issue. People in the airport are like horses lining up at a horse race – focused on getting through to the finish line - which is in this case, the gates. When people are focused they only see what is above their nose. That means even the biggest wheelchair may be out of their visual range when they are preoccupied and not paying close attention. It is critical that as a person with a disability, you exercise assertiveness by being deliberate and making people aware of your presence – I’m not espousing that you wave a flag or draw undue attention to yourself but just be prepared – I’ve seen relatively polite people jump in front of wheelchairs and even hit them, unintentionally because they are absorbed in their own agenda. It’s a lot like driving. When I was 16 my father told me that it wasn’t that he didn’t trust my driving – it was the other guy he was worried about.
  • Airport Elevators for the most part have been replaced by the general population for escalators and moving sidewalks. But for wheelchair users, the elevators in airports are some of the most important equipment they use to get from one part of the airport to the other. Depending on the age of the airport, the elevator may be small or large, accessible of restrictive. I many cases, the elevators tend to be in the opposite direction of the escalators and the general flow of the airport crowd. Advance to next slide
  • Reservationist/Travel Agent – Depending on how you book your reservations, at the first point of contact, agents are documenting any information that is pertinent to ensure that you receive services that transparent and appear effortless. If you are unsure why an agent is asking a question, please feel free to ask for further clarification – we want you to have an extraordinary experience when you fly with us.Representatives working the Que– If you make requests online, though it looks like the computer is making all the changes, there is information that may be reviewed that requires a person to make determinations based on what has been requested and how it needs to be communicated. SkyCap at Arrival – at an arrival airport, the first person you may see is the SkyCap at the curb – he or she may check you bags and/or get assistance from inside the airport to assist you through the travel experience.Delta Airport Wheelchair Pusher – if you need assistance checking assistive devices or need assistance from the curb, our airport vendors provide this service. Delta is responsible for the activity of the vendor but our partnership with these groups ensures that you get service specifically focused on your needs.Delta Ticket Counter Agent – In some cases, you may be asked to speak to a Delta agent at the ticket counter. You may be dropping off a bag or you may need additional assistance if you are traveling with an emotional support animal, or maybe your flight was delayed and we need to speak with you about reaccommodating you to your destination.Baggage Handlers – If you’re checking bags, please remember to always take medications out of your checked bag and put them in your carry on bag. If you have a lot of meds, you can carry an additional, small bag for them that will not be counted toward baggage limitations. We also recommend that you not check items like CPAP machines or other assistive devices as they are fragile equipment and there is a chance they could be damaged.TSA Agent (Security) – You will likely come in contact with a TSA agent who will assist you through the magnatromiter (Xray machine) or in the event that you are unable to get out of your personal wheelchair, assistance with a screening.Delta Gate Agent – Now you’re at the gate. If you would like to preboard the aircraft – speak directly to the gate agentRamp Agent- all rigid frame wheelchairs are checked at the aircraft door – make sure that we have tagged your wheelchair with a florescent pink tag (Delta specific) so that your chair is returned to you in the jetway. If you have specific instructions about your wheelchair, you can provide them for the ramp personnel to follow.Flight Attendants – onboard, the flight attendant can assist with carry on items and assistive devices. If you need anything, just ask. We’ll do what we can to accommodate reasonable requests for assistance. Your reservation is documented with specific codes that appear on the manifests that are provided to the flight attendant. Since safety is our primary responsibility to you, these reports identify the type of assistance you will be provided throughout the flight and in the case of emergency, flight attendants are assigned to you based on where you are seated.Pilot – though you may never see the pilot, he is fully aware of any passengers with disabilities on a flight. Flight crews communicate about any passengers that have wheelchairs or other assistive devices and where they are located on the ship.Complaint Resolution Official-CRO- this is also a person we hope you’ll never need but if you have a problem, the CRO is trained to provide assistance in real time in protecting your rights under the Air Carrier Access Act and applying our policies related to passengers with disabilities.Personnel in a Connecting City – just like in the station you just traveled from, the information in your reservation was transferred to airport personnel and wheelchair attendants in the connecting city so that you are meet upon arrival and taken to your connection as quickly as possible.Personnel in the Destination city – arriving in the destination, the ramp, the gate and wheelchair personnel get you in your personal wheelchair as quickly as possible so you can enjoy your time in the city you just arrived in. Your chair is returned to you at the gate and then you’re off to baggage claim and ground transportation.Lead CRO – If you had a negative experience, we want to hear about it as soon as possible. We have a lead CRO that responds in writing to any experiences you had and may contact you by phone if needed.Advance to next slide
  • Arriving at the gate brings with it, a relief and some other items on our checklist:Throughout most of Delta’s hubs, there are large screen monitors called GIDS screens (Gate Information Display Systems). These gates give you everything from the actual time, the destination information, weather, and any information that is happening in that gate. You can see at a moment’s notice what is happening with that gate and its aircraft. It displays avaialility of seats, possibilities for upgrade so in many instances, you may never need to communicate with a gate agent. However, I want to make you aware of a service you may want to take advantage of while you are traveling. Preboarding is a process where you can get on the aircraft in advance of the general boarding process. Delta boards by zones. Before any of the usual groups (we allow passengers needing additional assistance to get on before everyone else. This would allow you to get down to the aircraft, transferred into the aircraft and get settled before anyone gets onboard. We don’t want to assume that everyone want to preboard because frankly, we’ve been told by wheelchair users that this is an option they want, not a requirement. Some folks want to be boarded last so they can use the airport bathroom one more time before their trip. And so we give you the option. If you’d like to preboard, make sure that you arrive about 45 minutes before departure and notify the gate agent of your intention to preboard. About 5-10 minutes before the general boarding process begins, you will be taken down the jetway and assisted on to the aircraft.We don’t want this process to rush you. You are the person we are focused on – we have to do this right.Advance to Next Slide
  • The GIDS screens are innovative in that they let any person at a glance see what is happening at a particular gate. Some information is also transmitted via audio benefiting passengers who have low vision or blindness. Delta won an award in 2002 from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community for the development of these monitors.Advance to Next Screen
  • There are many Transfer Chairs or Aisle Chairs in the market so I will address the ones that are most common to most carriers but also take a few moments to share the specific chairs Delta uses.Most carriers use a uniform aisle chair that is about 15-16 inches wide, that straps the customer into the seat, tilts back on two wheels and then is moved backward onto the aircraft to the seat. These chairs look have an L shape and have been used for decades. They are safe but there are complaints about how they take away the dignity and the independence of the passenger. The pose some issues for the transfer agents as well. With the long back they have challenges getting in front of the chair to assist the customer. They have to focus on both transferring the customer and managing the chair.A second chair that is now more commonly in use is the 4 wheeled chair which provides for more stability without having to tilt the passenger backwards. This chair is very effective on aircraft with moveable aisle armrests.The third chair is called the “Delta Air Chair” because it was intitially designed by a Continuous Improvement Team in Orlando. The Delta Air Chair is also on 4 wheels with a breaking system that will only allow the chair to move when the break is depressed. One of the benefits of this chair is that it has a hydralic pump that raises the chair level with armrests on aircraft that do not have moveable aisle armrests. Our next generation of aisle chair will incorporate other safety features using an electronic actuator instead of a hydralic pump. The intention of all these chairs is to only transfer you into them for a few minutes while we transition the gap between the entrance of the aircraft and the seat you will be sitting in for the duration of the flight. Here are a couple of important things to remember:Remove all moveable parts from your chair – bring a small duffle bag to put these parts in it so they don’t get separated from your chair during transport in the cargo compartment. We won’t charge for this extra bag.Reduce your chair to its smallest size and protect parts that could be easily damaged such as joysticks.Make sure that your chair is tagged to come back to the gate – on Delta it’s the pink tag- all others go to baggage claimRemember your seat cushion. People with spinal cord injuries should always be using their seat cushion even for short flights. Whatever you do, don’t leave your cushion in the wheelchair – its your responsibility.Advance to next screen
  • Jetways as you can see in this photo can be very steep in their approach to an aircraftNext Slide
  • Transfers are always conducted in the Jetway next to the entry of the aircraft. When moving down the jetway it is important to know what size aircraft you are traveling on. The smaller the aircraft, the steeper the pitch on the jetway. In most cases, we will assist a passenger in a wheelchair down the jetway backwards to prevent them from falling out of the chair.Safety is always the first job and responsibility of every Delta employeeNext Slide
  • There is no cookie cutter way to transfer a person with a spinal cord injury and we like it that way! We know that you’re disability is as unique as your DNA and the most stressful part of travel for a person in a wheelchair is the transfer. In the training of airport personnel, we stress how important it is to approach a passenger in a wheelchair asking, “What is the best way for me to assist you?” Did you hear that question? It is very deliberate. No matter how many times we transfer a passenger, we need to approach the customer as if this is the first time.As a passenger that may need the assistance of a transfer team, we want you to know that you are directing the transfer so tell us what works for you and what we need to do to ensure that you are safe and secure during the process. If you feel like we’re rushing, tell us to slow down. If you don’t like the way a transfer is developing, just say From the second picture you can see how we transfer the passenger down the jetway when it is a steep incline. It’s a partnership – not something we do to you but a process we begin and end together. Next Slide
  • You are welcome to bring your transfer board with you for any flight. If you can use it, we will spot you for safety. Delta doesn’t have these at every station, though we did try to put them in every station. They are light and easy to use but they are easily lift and disappear. Let us know if you want to use on either for the transfer to from your wheelchair to the transfer chair or from the transfer chair to the aircraft seat.Next Slide
  • All transfers are specific to the person being transferred and their preference. You may want your caregiver to perform the transfer, which is perfectly OK but we will always be in place to spot you and ensure a safe transfer. The transfer most frequently used is the 2 man transfer. We will rarely do a transfer with less than two people just because of the safety issues. With a two man transfer, the agents should first ask what is the best way to transfer you and then let you know each step of what they intend to do next. Agents are taught to use ergonomic principles and lift the customer in a fluid motion.With the two man transfer, you are also part of the transfer. When the passenger’s arms are crossed, the agent grasps the wrist and if the passenger has any upper body strength, pushed down and they pull up. The person on the front holds the knees together and lifts under their legs up and over the wheels of the chair. Many passengers use a gel type drape commonly known as “chicken fat” to protect the customer from accidentally being scraped as they are being transferred over wheels or fixed aircraft seats.
  • Our transfer agents can assist in the transfer using a hoyer net if you bring one. In most cases the use of this equipment is a result of injuries to the upper body but again, in the process of asking, “what is the best way to assist you?” this would be your opportunity to say that you want to be transferred using your hoyer net. Remember that you are in control of the transfer so don’t allow the transfer unless the right number of people are deployed to perform the transfer using a hoyer net. Delta doesn’t have this equipment, so it will be the customer’s responsibility to bring what they need or anticipate using.Next Slide
  • On aircraft in service before 1992, you will not find moveable aisle armrests. Since that time, almost every aircraft has at least 50% of the aisle armrests as moveable. This accessibility feature allows individuals with upper body strength to transfer directly into a seat without being lifted over the armrest.Customers can request aircraft with moveable aisle armrests but since aircraft can be repositioned without notice, an aircraft may end up at a gate where a passenger has been told that the scheduled aircraft had moveable Aisle armrests. If you call Delta reservations, they can identify aircraft types and the location of moveable aisle armrests on these ships.Next Slide
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  • Moveable Aisle Armrests – 50% of aisle armrests on aircraft delivered after 1992 are equipment with moveable aisle armrestsBulkhead seats – Bulkhead seats have about 5 additional inches which allows passengers with spinal cord injuries to do forward weight shifts while in their seats. They are usally the first row in coach class. There is a limitation to them. They do not have moveable aisle or interior armrests. If you sit in these seats you have to stow your bags above your head in the overhead compartment.Onboard Stowage location – on every aircraft with 100 seats or more, there is a stowage location onboard for the first collapsible wheelchair. Its available on a first come, first serve basis and you must preboard the aircraft to get access to it. Wheelchairs are priority over all other bags.Accessible Lav(only on dual aisle aircraft) – Lavatories are some of the smallest places on earth, even if you don’t have a disability. However on dual aisle aircraft (767, 777 and A330) lavatories can be closed in by exterior doors to allow a person with a disability additional space to use the lavatory. If you are traveling by yourself, you must be able to access the lavatory using the onboard wheelchair and transfer yourself into the bathroom. Flight Attendants are not required to assist with elimination functions.Onboard Wheelchair – Every aircraft with 60 seats or more must have an onboard wheelchair. This allows a passenger access to the lavatory but as mentioned before, you must be able to transfer yourself into the lav.Defibrilators – every aircraft is equipped with defibrilatorsReasonable Accommodation* it is Delta’s responsibility to accommodate any reasonable request from a passenger with a disability. Next Slide
  • Well, that’s our tour and that’s what you can expect when you fly on Delta. I hope you learned something that makes you excited about taking trip by air. We’d love to have you on a future Delta flight.Questions?
  • Airport Backstage Tour

    1. 1. A Webinar aboutPlanning, Negotiating and ManagingAir Travel for People with DisabilitiesBy Delta and United Spinal Association
    2. 2. What we need to know and what you should shareThe Person who is you Should know in Every AirportArriving at the AirportMethods of Checking In for Your FlightGoing Through SecurityOn to the GateTransfers on and off an AircraftAccessibility Features on Aircraft
    3. 3. How Many People withDisabilities travel by Air?A.1 MillionB.5 millionC.15 MillionD.54 Million
    4. 4. How Many People withDisabilities travel by Air?A.1 MillionB.5 millionC.15 MillionD.54 Million
    5. 5. What we need to know,What you should share. • Whatever you feel comfortable sharing service needed to provide accommodation • Information that gives us advance notification • Carriage of Assistive Devices
    6. 6. The Person who you Should know in Every Airport Complaint • A requirement of the Air Carrier Access Act, all carriers must provide a CRO to a passenger if there is a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act or if requested by a person with or acting on behalf of a person with a disability Resolution • Airlines all want to resolve the issues of any passenger as quickly as possible • CROs are in place to ensure compliance to the Air Carrier Access Act and to provide customer service that gives you the best chance at the same experience any other passenger receives. Official • This person is considered an expert on Disability regulations and company policy related to assistance for passengers with disabilities • One must be on duty during all operating hours of the airport
    7. 7. Who is the one person youshould ask to speak to if youencounter a problem whiletraveling by air?1.A Crimson RedCoat Officer2.A Common Reluctance Orderly3.A Corporate Resistance Officer4.A Complaint Resolution Official
    8. 8. Who is the one person youshould ask to speak to if youencounter a problem whiletraveling by air?1.A Crimson RedCoat Officer2.A Common Reluctance Orderly3.A Corporate Resistance Officer4.A Complaint Resolution Official
    9. 9. Arriving at the Airport Get a lay of the Land Arrivals Entrance of the Airport Check Flight Status Frequently of Contact
    10. 10. Methods of Checking In for Your Flight Any Online SkyCaps Kiosk Uniformed Agent
    11. 11. Going Through Security• Same security • Liquids and Gels process ban• When in • Need Assistance? doubt, declare it • to an agent • Ask for an Airline CRO
    12. 12. Security• Agent talking with wheelchair users
    13. 13. Transportation Through the Airport
    14. 14. Airport Elevators
    15. 15. How Many AirlinePersonnel come incontact with anIndividual with adisability in the TravelRibbon?1. 52. 103. 154. 23
    16. 16. Answer: C – 151. Reservationist/Travel Agent2. Representatives working the Que3. SkyCap at Arrival4. Delta Airport Wheelchair Pusher5. Delta Ticket Counter Agent6. Baggage Handlers7. TSA Agent (Security)8. Delta Gate Agent9. Ramp Agent10.Flight Attendants11.Pilot12.Complaint Resolution Official-CRO13.Personnel in a Connecting City14.Personnel in the Destination city15.Lead CRO
    17. 17. On to the Gate On to the Gates: Preboarding• Preboarding• Not all transfer chairs are created equal
    18. 18. GIDS – Gate Information Display
    19. 19. Transfer or Aisle Chairs Transfer chairs 1 31 2
    20. 20. Assistance Down a Jetway
    21. 21. Inside the Jetway
    22. 22. Transfers on and off an Aircraft• “what is the best way for me to assist you?”• Transfers at the Door of the Aircraft• You control the transfer – you direct the traffic
    23. 23. Transfer using a Transfer Board
    24. 24. Two Man Transfer
    25. 25. Transfer with a Hoyer Net
    26. 26. Moveable aisle armrestMoveable Aisle Armrests
    27. 27. Last QuestionTrue or False“The customer with a disability is theexpert on their disability. It is theairline’s responsibility to figure out how tomatch their services to the needs of thecustomer. Airlines that want to benefitfrom assisting passengers with disabilitiesmust listen to and follow the direction of aperson with a disability.”
    28. 28. TRUE
    29. 29. Accessibility Features on Aircraft• Moveable Aisle Armrests• Bulkhead seats• Onboard Stowage location• Accessible Lav (only on dual aisle aircraft)• Onboard Wheelchair• Defibrilators• Reasonable Accommodation*
    30. 30. Thanks for Flying with Us
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