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48 Helping the Passenger A P P E N D I X A Chapter 1 of this guide described six best practices: Connect with Airport Strategy or Technology Direction, Understand the Importance of Strong Leadership, Collaborate with Your Stakeholders, Focus on Helping the Passenger, Communicate with the Passenger, Leverage Additional Resources in the Community and Beyond, and Understand the Importance of Data. The following section provides additional detail on âFocus on Helping the Passenger.â This information is not necessarily specific to touchless solutions; however, these considerations are highly relevant as you consider the implementation of touchless solutions This section identifies the typical barriers a passenger with disabilities or an older adult may experience throughout their passenger airport journey. This section details the accessibility issue followed by recommendations for mitigation. The information below is provided to enhance the touchless environment effort, which can be useful for all passengers traveling through the airport. For additional information on The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) visit www.ada.gov. Pre-Arrival Considerations Passengers with disabilities often face challenges while preparing to arrive at the airport, including: â¢ Passengers may not know about assistance programs available at the airport. â¢ Contact information may not be available or easy to find on the airport website and/or mobile app. â¢ Passengers provide airlines with information about their need for assistance during their booking process; however, the information provided to the airport operator is limited. â¢ Airport maps often do not include the roadway, entryway to parking, curbside drop-off, or TNC drop-off points. Mitigation Measures â¢ Provide education to the public that an assistance program, such as an identification program, is available. â¢ Include contact information on the website and mobile app in an accessible manner for all forms of disabilities. For example, consider requirements for those who are blind or have low vision.
Helping the Passenger 49Â Â â¢ Establish clear procedures for airlines to notify airport operators that they have a passenger who needs assistance. Coordinate with the traveler on expected arrival and/or offer a phone number that the passenger can call when they arrive. â¢ Ensure that airport maps are provided on the website and mobile app that include roadways, trains, shuttles (such as hotel and rental cars), TNC drop-off points, train station drop-off, or bus drop-off areas. The airport map should include a clear pathway to the terminal entryway, including specially marked curbside entryways for passengers needing assistance. Arrival at the Airport Considerations Passengers with disabilities often face challenges while arriving at the airport, including: â¢ Lack of a designated entryway with a method for the passenger to communicate with guest services. o Issues arise because of a lack of awareness by the provider. An example is a person who is blind or has low vision and needs assistance from the door of the airport. Often there is no one there to greet them and help them get to the check-in counter or kiosk. o Some airports have courtesy assistance telephones or buttons that advise the passenger is there and needs assistance. â¢ Lack of clear wayfinding signage for those needing assistance. Passengers who arrive at the terminal must be assured of clear wayfinding signage when arriving at the entry point of the terminal. â¢ Passengers should be educated via the airport website or mobile app so they know where to go for services such as automated wheelchairs or identification lanyards. o If automated wheelchairs are available, that information needs to be posted on the website, along with a contact number to help the passenger identify where to park and get help if needed. o Passengers with cognitive disabilities may inform the airport customer experience of their disabilities so that they may be identified upon arrival and assisted if needed. Mitigation Measures â¢ Ensure that airport staff, airlines, volunteers, third-party providers, and business partners are aware of designated entry points. o Establish procedures to ensure communication devices are in good working condition. o If communication devices are available, appropriate signage and/or auditory signal must be clearly identified. â¢ Work with an ADA coordinator and a community/airport committee to ensure that signage is clear for all types of disabilities and on all points of access. If you do not have an ADA coordinator, you can locate one in your region (https://adata.org/find-your-region). Standards for accessible design can be found at www.access-board.gov. â¢ Provide education to the public that services such as automated wheelchairs or identification lanyards are available. o Designate a specific point of entry for the individual traveling who has cognitive disabilities to obtain a lanyard. o Review the for automated wheelchairs.best location for posting signage
50 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey o Airport operators should coordinate with airlines, volunteers, airport staff, and third-party providers to ensure that they know where automated wheelchairs are located, charged, and returned. Landside Considerations Passengers may face challenges in the landside area including: â¢ Needing assistance getting to the check-in area. o If the passenger needs assistance to get to the check-in hall, the person assisting should meet the passenger at the designated entryway door of the terminal. o The kiosk(s) should be ADA accessible at a minimum, with auditory capability for the passenger who is blind or has low vision. o Gate information should be provided both in writing and verbally, so the passenger knows where to go. o Frequently, the wheelchair provider insists that the person sits in the wheelchair although the person with vision impairment is mobile, or they will not convey them to the gate. â¢ Needing assistance locating the following facilities or amenities: o Escalator and elevator access. o Restroom facilities, especially those providing a family room and/or changing area. o Service animal relief area. o Visual paging displays. Mitigation Measures â¢ Provide training for all those interacting with the passenger with disabilities so they understand o How to best meet the needs of the passenger (e.g., wheelchair versus allowing the passenger to walk on their own with directions) and o The location of all vertical transitions, service animal relief areas, and accessible restroom facilities. â¢ Ensure that wayfinding information is clearly identified within the terminal, on the airport website, and in the airport app. Points of interest should include, at a minimum o Escalator and elevator access; o Restroom facilities, especially those providing a family room and/or changing area; o Service animal relief area; and o Visual paging displays.
Helping the Passenger 51Â Â Security Considerations â¢ Older adults and infrequent travelers may need assistance understanding what they must do to comply with security requirements. â¢ Upon check-in with the airline, passengers may be escorted through security to the airside by a third-party provider, airport staff member, or volunteer. Mitigation Measures â¢ Provide clear directions to lanes for entry for the different needs of the passengers. â¢ Collaborate with the TSA to ensure that their staff members have been trained and aware of travelers with disabilitiesâ different needs and capabilities. â¢ Work with the ADA coordinator to test the signage and directions with a passenger who is willing to test the system as a passenger when traveling through the airport. â¢ Offer an opportunity for the TSA staff to be trained along with the airport staff and business partners on providing services for travelers with disabilities and older adults. â¢ Provide volunteers or staff to assist travelers who may need extra help getting through security. Airside Considerations â¢ Once travelers are through security and in the airside area, wayfinding and directories are required to indicate the location of gates, food and beverage options, and retail locations. The information should meet ADA requirements for the person with vision impairment, hearing loss, and mobility issues. Standards for accessible design can be found at www.access-board.gov. â¢ Some passengers with disabilities may need assistance getting food before boarding their flight, finding an adult changing room, or locating a service animal relief area. â¢ Passengers with mobility issues may need assistance being wheeled or escorted from the gate area onto the plane. â¢ Passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing cannot hear announcements; therefore, the passenger may identify themselves so that the airline attendant can advise them of gate changes or delays either through mobile transmission or in person. â¢ Passengers who are blind or have low vision may need to identify themselves to the gate attendant so they can go to the passenger or call them to the podium to advise of any gate changes or delays.
52 Toward a Touchless Airport Journey Mitigation Measures â¢ Wayfinding, directories, and flight information display systems need to be created with persons with disabilities in mind to ensure that the information is readable for all passengers. Flight Information Display systems must be at the appropriate angle with a large enough font so that passengers in wheelchairs can read the screens. â¢ Airport staff or third-party providers should not leave the passenger in a wheelchair with no contact information. They must advise the airlineâs gate attendant of the passengerâs disabilities so they can assist the passenger as needed. Airport staff or third-party providers have a duty to assist the passenger with food and beverage needs, retail access, and restroom access. â¢ Wayfinding information is clearly identified within the terminal, on the airport website, and in the airport app. Points of interest should include, at a minimum o Escalator and elevator access, o Restroom facilities, especially those providing a family room and/or changing area, o Service animal relief area, and o Visual paging displays. Return to Airport via Aircraft or Through Airside Considerations â¢ Some displays indicating the connecting gate have a small font or change too fast for either older adults or passengers with cognitive disabilities to read. â¢ Often passengers requiring wheelchair assistance are left on the plane waiting for someone to assist. That may result in a long delay, which can be very stressful if the passenger has a close connection or needs to use the restroom. â¢ Signage in the immediate gate area should indicate the location of baggage claim and should be appropriate for those with a vision impairment. The airport map on the website or airport app should include this information as well. â¢ Passengers with vision impairment may not be able to recognize their baggage. In addition, they may need help lifting their bag off the baggage conveyor.
Helping the Passenger 53Â Â Mitigation Measures â¢ Assign staff or volunteers to gate areas for arriving flights to assist passengers in identifying connecting gates or give directions to baggage claim. â¢ Airports should collaborate further with the airline and third-party providers to ensure passengers who need wheelchairs are provided with them as soon as they arrive at the terminal. Airport staff and volunteers may be able to assist with wheelchairs (depending upon the arrangement with the airport, airline, and third-party providers) or guide passengers to the baggage claim. â¢ Ensure that wayfinding information is clearly identified within the terminal, on the airport website, and in the airport app, showing the following: o Escalator and elevator access. o Restroom facilities, especially those providing a family room and/or changing area. o Service animal relief area. o Visual paging displays. o Baggage claim. â¢ Assign staff or volunteers to the baggage claim area who can assist passengers to identify or lift bags off the baggage carousel. Departure from Airport Considerations â¢ Signage for all forms of ground transportation must be clear for passengers who are being picked up. Points of interest should include the location of car rentals, bus stops, train location, shuttle locations, and TNC pickup points. â¢ Third-party wheelchair providers must coordinate with the person being served to understand how they are leaving the airport. Mitigation Measures â¢ Signage should be provided throughout the passengerâs journey immediately after exiting baggage claim and at various points throughout the journey. Review the signage with the ADA coordinator and/or a representative of the community of people with disabilities to ensure that the wayfinding meets the travelerâs needs. â¢ Points of interest should be clearly identified through the airport website and mobile app. â¢ All staff, volunteers, and third-party providers receive training to understand how best to serve the passenger and their needs as they depart the airport.