Thursday 6 December 2012

The Question of Access on Domestic Airlines in India

In my experiences airports are one of the best places for a person with disability and who needs wheelchair access or other assistance. I also admit access to me is what I can see, people in wheel chairs, people needing assistance etc. But I have not really given a thought what happens if a person is blind? Is there enough assistance for them on the airports? I also do not check my flight status these days I have become completely reliant on the airline SMS about delays. But I guess flight status would become very important for people who need assistance to get out of the airport safely.

Ramp is a necessity for persons with disabilities

The full fare airlines that fly from T3 in New Delhi have air bridges to the aircraft so wheel chair access is there. But at the domestic terminal 1D many planes have stairs for boarding and I wonder how do people on wheelchair manage?

In that sense I am a big fan of Indigo (I wonder why their website is called Goindigo though, causes some confusion for the first time user) as they use ramps for boarding on all their aircrafts. I know people who need wheelchair assistance and of course they choose to fly with Indigo. I wonder if other airlines like Goair, Spicejet etc would also follow with ramps?

In fact the question of access in general is such a low priority in India that it took a Stephen Hawking to get a ramp even at the Taj Mahal. When I compare this to my visits abroad I see so many people moving around in wheel chairs independently but then given the scope of issues we face as a nation, it is difficult to see things changing in a short while. And as I said before I admire Indigo therefore that they brought about ramps for all their planes.

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