Y ou will find many amazing ideas,
innovations and projects within this
issue that can make the passenger
experience a little better – or even a lot better.
We have looked at everything from a panoramic
window in the cargo hold (p20), to a twinfuselage
aircraft (p62), to a new business class
layout (p80), to an idea to make inflight dining
a lot more environmentally sustainable (p22).
There are so many great ideas for a fantastic
passenger experience, some flying, some waiting
for a bold customer willing to be first with
something new, but with every design or
initiative there is a crucial point to consider:
every passenger should have an experience equal
in quality to everyone else in their travel class.
Sadly this is not always the case for passengers
with reduced mobility (PRMs) or other physical
ailments. In too many cases this section of
travellers – a financially valuable sector let’s
not forget, especially since many travel with a
companion – are still not having the experience
to which they are entitled. From undignified
boarding processes, to even less civilised lavatory
procedures on board, there are still a lot of areas
needing attention across the travel experience. In
some cases hardware issues could be blamed, but
when customers are left at gates or even
abandoned on board after deplaning, there is
little defence. Even worse, unacceptable numbers
of wheelchairs are being damaged in transit.
These chairs are the most important pieces of
cargo on board and more care needs to be taken.
On p24 John Walton takes a look at the
inflight experience for PRMs, including views
from experts with personal experience. There
is much work to be done, but it is of course
achievable. The level of innovation and
imagination in the aircraft interiors sector is
astonishing, and if teams across aviation can
work together more closely, a solution is
inevitable. And indeed a solution is necessary:
if big steps are not taken soon to improve travel
for PRMs, it is only a matter of time before
legislators step in.
We at Aircraft Interiors International are big
supporters of accessibility in aviation and really
want to see this group of passengers given the
autonomy, dignity and enjoyable experience
they deserve – and have paid for. If you have
any ideas or views for improving accessible travel,
please get in touch and perhaps we can help
make things happen.
As Christopher Reeve, a rather well-known
PRM said, “So many of our dreams at first seem
impossible, then they seem improbable, and then,
when we summon the will, they soon become
Adam Gavine, editor