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Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
Air Travel by  People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy
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Air Travel by People with Disabilities by Simon Darcy

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  • 1. Disability, access and air travel: i i ht !an ongoing nightmare! B dBased on Darcy, S. (2012). (dis)embodied air travel experiences: Disability, discrimination and the affect of a discontinuous air travel chain. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 19(e8 August), 1-11. Presentation to UNSW School of Aviation Seminar Series 16 April 2014 Professor Simon Darcy UTS Business School University of Technology, SydneyUniversity of Technology, Sydney
  • 2. Abstract Home • This article presents an investigation of the embodied air travel experiences Previous • This article presents an investigation of the embodied air travel experiences of people with disability. The study was informed by human rights frameworks, social approaches to disability and critical tourism. The research design included a review of newspaper articles, human rights complaint cases open ended responses to a survey on the tourismNext Help complaint cases, open-ended responses to a survey on the tourism experiences of people with disabilities and semistructured in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that the air travel practices routinely contravened disability discrimination legislation and identified a series of i ll t t d t i t th i t l h i f thsocially constructed constraints across the air travel chain from the preplanning of trips through to disembarking after a flight. What emerged from these experiences was that the embodied individuals became (dis)embodied at each stage of the air travel chain. The inequitable, i ibl di ifi d d d d i l d i h i h dinaccessible, undignified and dependent practices resulted in heightened anxiety, increased helplessness and, in some cases, humiliation to which they were not subjected in their everyday lives.
  • 3. This week! Home Previous Next Help
  • 4. And if you think I am kidding… Home • http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/sarahs- choice-presents-or-her-wheelchair/story-e6frfq80- Previous p / y q 1226607933747 • http://www news com au/travel/travel-updates/jetstar-Next Help • http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/jetstar- refuses-flight-to-disabled-woman-saying-she-couldnt- understand-instructions/story-e6frfq80-1226655448751 • http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political- opinion/passengers-with-disability-still-missing-the-plane- 20100716-10dx0 html20100716-10dx0.html • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-16552904
  • 5. Australian Team leaves Mascot for the International Paraplegic Games 1968 to be held in Tel Aviv Frame order no. : Australian Photographic Agency – 30000 State Library of NSW Home Previous Next Help
  • 6. The Hanibal Lecter Experience Home • To my amazement, two men in overalls wheeled towards me a sinister contraption resembling Previous sinister contraption resembling the ominous chair into which Hannibal Lecter was strapped in Silence of the Lambs. Four belts were fastened tightly around me, connecting me to slide rails byNext Help connecting me to slide rails, by which means I was to be conveyed upwards. Halfway up, the bottom man dropped me, letting go of the rope. The top man screamed. F l h h d p p Fortunately, they caught me mid air. I was unhurt but terrified. They kept screaming at each other, their ears covered with soundproof muffs immune tosoundproof muffs, immune to abuse or entreaty. I knew it would seem funny later • (Goossens 2001).
  • 7. Definitions Home • Disability – socially constructed outcome of the environmental barriers and social attitudes that people with Previous p p impairments are subject (Swain et at., 1990) • Discrimination – not being treated equally before the law (Disability Discrimination Acts 1992) Next Help ( y ) • ‘embodiment’ is used to describe the way in which the ‘bodily bases of individuals’ actions and interactions are socially structured; that is, embodiment is a social as well as natural; , process’ (Osborne 2000, p. 51). • ‘travel chain’ ‘refers to all elements that make up a journey, from starting point to destination — including the pedestriang p g p access, the vehicles, and the transfer points. If any link is inaccessible, the entire trip becomes difficult’ (World Health Organization & World Bank, 2011, p. 179)
  • 8. Overview of the Air Travel Chain Home • Travel planning, travel agents and surfing the t l tPrevious travel net • Booking in & Customer Service Next Help • Boarding and disembarking • Seat allocation• Seat allocation • Personal care issues and onboard toilets E i t h dli /d• Equipment handling/damage • Customer Service • Institutional constraints • Conclusion• Conclusion
  • 9. Home Previous Next Help
  • 10. Home Previous Next Help
  • 11. Home Previous Next Help http://www.liftaloft.com/airlineground.asp
  • 12. Boarding and Disembarking Home • You get stuck in those bloody, shitty airport h l h i d ’t h It i htPrevious wheelchairs and you can’t go anywhere. It might be for half-an-hour, and if you’re stuck without access to your own chair in one of those aisleNext Help access to your own chair, in one of those aisle chairs that you can’t actually push around and go to the bathroom or get yourself a feed…it’s a lossg y of independence…I’m self-catheterised, so if you don’t get to the bathroom, you piss your pants; It’s t th b t t b (J ti P 357 361)not the best way to be (Justin Pg 357-361).
  • 13. Home Previous Next Help
  • 14. Boarding and Disembarking Home • You get the odd one who is quite rough, Previous and they pick you up like a sack of potatoes. They do not really have any idea Next Help of safe lifting and positioning, they just dump you and walk off. I have had that happen before, that was terrible…As soon as you get out of your motorised chair, you often feel very vulnerable. You can’t move anywhere (Jenny and John Pg 553-559).
  • 15. Eagle Lifter 2 Home • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTPItEf Previous xSeE Next Help
  • 16. Home Previous Next Help Association for the Blind of WA/Guide Dogs WA 2007.
  • 17. Home Previous Next Help
  • 18. Seat allocation Home • They sometimes allocate you to the most appropriate seat not too far down the aisle and Previous appropriate seat…not too far down the aisle and one with an armrest that lifts up. But not all the planes have got armrests that lift up. My very first Next Help flight they put me right down the very back. I had to squeeze all the way down the aisle to the back seat Because I can’t transfer myself I have to beseat. Because I can t transfer myself, I have to be lifted over the armrest by the carer and the porters at the airport …one gets on the legs, and the other th b k d t f (Ti P 662on the back and transfers me across (Tim Pg 662- 686).
  • 19. Home Previous Next Help http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_mobility/documents/page/dft_mobility_507855.pdf
  • 20. Economy v Premium Economy Home Previous Next Help
  • 21. A hoax? Home Previous Next Help http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/04/25/business/0425-biz-webSEATch.jpg
  • 22. Personal care issues and onboard toilets Home • …when I am taken on board, I am placed in the • I don’t think that I could get into a toilet in a Previous board, I am placed in the middle aisle again... with no leg row…with a leg that couldn’t bend, I had get into a toilet in a plane…I have got a normal bladder function but I tend to hold on for a very longNext Help , nowhere to put my leg. I said to the steward, I cannot sit here for twelve y g time. Which is very useful, but I guess for a lot of people it’s very difficult to hours…so my legs were out in the aisle, with a twisted back. I couldn’t even put a p p y fly. If it’s an overnight flight, I do not know that I am able to get through seat belt on (Annabel Pg 87). (Jenny and John Pg 637).
  • 23. Home Previous Next Help
  • 24. Equipment handling/damage Home • It is one o’clock in the morning when we landed in Hawaii and the Porter is extremely happy when he Previous Hawaii and the Porter is extremely happy when he brings out my wheelchair, except it’s not my wheelchair… I feel sick to the stomach and he goes Next Help off again and brings out another wheelchair and again it’s not my wheelchair! What am I going to do? Wheelchairs are like shoes you just can’t putdo? Wheelchairs are like shoes, you just can t put any pair on. Then he brings out another wheelchair and it is my wheelchair and I feel like a won the l tt ! (J P 32)lotto! (James Pg 32).
  • 25. Home Previous MyNext Help My Relief!
  • 26. Equipment Dilemmas Home • Travelling with a portable ventilator creates a great deal of uncertainty and risk in regards to airline luggage handling Previous y g gg g g procedures. My specialists have specifically advised me not to allow my ventilator to go through cargo because of the risk of it getting lost or damaged.Airlines however have refused to allow me to bring it on board as cabin luggage due to itsNext Help allow me to bring it on board as cabin luggage due to its dimensions exceeding their policy. I therefore have had to take the risk of sending it through cargo but I fear that one day I will arrive at my destination and my ventilator will not.y y y Without it I would require hospitalisation until it is replaced or recovered. Furthermore, airlines disclaim liability for the cost of replacing a lost item as expensive as a $20,000 portable ventilator and given my medical condition I am unable toventilator, and given my medical condition, I am unable to obtain travel insurance to cover it either. So whenever I fly, I'm taking an enormous risk with my equipment. I think I would fly more often if I did not have concern. My ventilator h h / l h ll 'must stay within my sight/control whenever travelling. It's too important to risk. Would you entrust one of your lungs to airport logistsics? Billy
  • 27. Home Previous Next Help
  • 28. Home Previous Next Help
  • 29. Customer Service Home • I found the airline was really quite rude, in that June and I t t t th l d • I have to say that I could find no fault at all with the t t t d th f iliti Previous went to get on the plane and he yelled down the corridor, ‘I’ve got a couple of carry ons here’…That whole bad attitude t th t ’ i ht t treatment and the facilities provided by Qantas from the moment I checked in at the airport in Sydney. In the past, I h d b d lNext Help to the customers’ rights……not realising that people with disabilities know what they’re talking about and deserve I had gone on board planes where my brother had actually had to lift me on board international flights becauseg respect (Don Pg 308). g the crew wouldn’t do it. So, it was such an amazement to me that seven years later the crew couldn’t do enough for youg y and provided me with anything that I needed (Annabel Paragraphs 45-51).
  • 30. Attendants, carers or helpers Home Previous Next Help
  • 31. Airline to wheelchair users: pay a carer Home Previous Next Help www.smh.com.au/.../2006/05/29/1148754939583.html
  • 32. Home Stages Quotes A P t l l i 1 'It' f f ti th t t ll t f bl h ' t i b k ith f i d k Previous A. Pre-travel planning 1. 'It's a form of segregation that creates all sorts of problems when you're trying book with your friends or work colleagues. You secure the fares but then they (the airlines) can bump you for any number of reasons' (Interviewee) A. Boarding and disembarking 1. You get stuck in those bloody, shitty airport wheelchairs and you can’t go anywhere. It might be there for half-an- hour, and if you’re stuck without access to your own chair, in one of those aisle chairs that you can’t actually push around and go to the bathroom or get yourself a feed…it’s a loss of independence…I’m self-catheterised, so if you don’t get to the bathroom you piss your pants It’s not the best way to be (Interviewee) Next Help don t get to the bathroom, you piss your pants. It s not the best way to be (Interviewee). 2. ‘As he said to me, he is just one of the baggage staff that they asked to help out because they were short of staff. It showed, as I thought he was going to throw me into the other seat. He was strong but it’s not about strength, it’s about technique’ (Interviewee). A. Seat allocation 1. ‘My very first flight they put me right down the very back. I had to squeeze all the way down the aisle to the back seat. Because I can’t transfer myself, I have to be lifted over the armrest by the carer and the porters at the airporty , y p p …one gets on the legs, and the other on the back and transfers me across’ (Interviewee). A. Onboard personal care issues 1. ‘On previous overseas trips I have found getting to the toilet extremely difficult because of the tiny size of plane toilets. It’s put me right off travelling by plane’ (Interviewee). 2. ‘I don’t think that I could get into a toilet in a plane…I have got a normal bladder function but I tend to hold on for a very long time’ A. Equipment handling 1. Then, once you’re off, you get taken down to the baggage area in the case of somebody with a power chair and wait for your chair to come out. You get back in the chair and hope everything is working and if it is not working, then you’ve got to make an insurance claim and you work out how you can get about for the next few days. It is quite a traumatic experience for many people’ (Interviewee). A. Customer service 1. ‘I found the airline was really quite rude, in that (wife's name withheld) and I went to get on the plane and he yelled down the corridor, ‘I’ve got a couple of carry-ons here’…That whole bad attitude to the customers’ rights’ (I t i )(Interviewee)
  • 33. Institutional Constraints Home • Booking procedures • Independent travel criteria Previous p • Emergency evacuation • Occupational health and safetyNext Help p y • Restrictions of assistance for people with disabilities • Restrictions on number of people with disabilities on aRestrictions on number of people with disabilities on a single flight • Restriction on the number of power wheelchairs that b t d th b di d j tcan be stowed on the narrow bodied jets • Other equipment issues – oxygen & assistance animals C t lib li d i di id li i f• Costs – liberalism and individualising of user pays
  • 34. Home Phase of the Travel Chain Practice Essence of Experience From Embodiment to (DIS)embodiment A Pre Travel 1 Segregated booking procedure 1 Inequity; Previous A. Pre Travel Planning 1. Segregated booking procedure 2. Inaccessible information formats 3. Independent travel criteria enforced in ad hoc fashion 4. Restriction of equipment/assistance animals per aircraft 1. Inequity; 2. Dependency 3. Loss of independence; extra cost 4. Separation from support; extra cost; extra time A. Boarding and disembarking 1. Separated from equipment 2. Lack of privacy 1. Loss of dignity 2. Loss of dignity and confidence Next Help 3. Process of transfer 4. Service attitude 5. First on – last off: Length of process 3. Loss of dignity 4. Dehumanising; devalued 5. Inequity; Fatigue A. Seat allocation 1. Position of seats 2. Seats with arms that do not raise 3 Safety procedures 1. Loss of dignity 2. Worry due to possible injury 3 Raised anxiety3. Safety procedures 3. Raised anxiety A. Personal care issues 1. No or restricted access to onboard toilets 2. No onboard chair 1. Health implications; dignity; 2. dependence A. Equipment handling 1. Inconsistent approaches to equipment procedures 2. Damage 3. Loss of equipment 1. Trepidation with expectation 2. Helplessness 3. Devastation A. Customer service 1. Inappropriate language 2. Poorly trained 3. Lack of staff rostered on 4. Reduced level of service 1. Devalued 2. Fear; injury 3. Anxiety; health implications 4. Anxiety; health implications
  • 35. Phenomenological outcome Home • Independence to dependence Previous • Dignity to indignity E it t ti ( th id)Next Help • Equity to segregation (apartheid) • An experience that disempowers the individual through creating conditions forindividual through creating conditions for (dis)embodiment
  • 36. Embodiment: the constituent parts Home Impairment/Body •Dimension of disability di ll bl ( ill ) Enabling Environment •Continuous pathway (ramps, lifts, gradients) i Previous •Medically stable (not ill!) •Comfortable in their own skin •Movement •Senses •Temperature control •Support needs •Signage •Unisex access toilets •Communication technology •Universal design Next Help •Support needs Embodied Individual Service Attitude Assistive Aids & Technology •Well-trained staff •Appropriate language •Empathy of circumstance •Procedures and practices •Wheelchair •Hoist •Computer •Personal Digital Assistants •Automation technology
  • 37. Darcy trip - the “travel chain” and the Home “experience” wanted Travel chain The experience Previous Travel chain • Terrey Hills, Sydney • Wheelchair Accessible Taxis • Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney The experience Next Help • Physical transfer from power wheelchair to aisle chair to aircraft seat • Virgin Australia • Physical transfer from aircraft seat to aisle chair to power wheelchair • Townsville wheelchair accessible taxio s e ee c a access b e ta • Grand Hotel • Use power wheelchair to enjoy accessible streetscape • Grand Hotel - Townsville wheelchair accessible taxi - Sealink Ferry Terminal • Sealink catamaran to Magnetic Island ferry• Sealink catamaran to Magnetic Island ferry • Accessible wharf and ramp system • Floating pontoon at Peppers resort • Cliff ‘s Fishing Tours using a wheelchair accessible roll on fishing boat • The Experience fishing, circumnavigation of Magnetic island and local history/tour knowledge • Floating pontoon at Peppers resort • Accessible wharf and ramp system • Sealink catamaran to Magnetic Island Ferry • Accessible wharf and ramp systemAccessible wharf and ramp system • Use power wheelchair to enjoy accessible streetscape back to the Grand Hotel
  • 38. The European solution: airport pit crews Home • EU REGULATION (EC) No 1107/2006 2007 Previous • All airports with over 100,000 pasengers per year. • As Ivor Ambrose ENAT states “G d ll th i l t tiNext Help “Gradually the implementation of this Regulation is working and improving... although the way it is carried out variesy from country to country, as you might expect, according to training practices etc. But the good thing is that all airlinesg g are covered by it - for all incoming and outgoing flights in the European Union”.
  • 39. Conclusion - A disembodied experience Home • Socially constructed constraints Previous • Impact of low-cost airlines on cost structure and staffing Next Help • Bureaucratisation of disability assistance • Political correctness occupational health• Political correctness, occupational health and safety, and other discourses L k f i i f h i d• Lack of recognition of the associated costs of travelling with an attendant

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