The number of requests for assistance for airline passengers with intellectual disabilities have almost doubled following the launch in March of Travelport’s global Travel Unified campaign, the company said on occasion of World Tourism Day.
The Travelport campaign is designed to raise awareness of a Special Service Request (SSR) booking code which is used to communicate traveler preferences or needs to airlines.
More specifically, since the launch of Travel Unified, use of the DPNA SSR code – defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – on flights booked through Travelport have increased globally by 89 percent year-on-year. At a regional level, use of the code on flights is now up 273 percent in Asia, 259 percent in Africa, 94 percent in Europe and 22 percent in Oceania. North and South America are still slow in use.
“Air travel is an integral means of transport in today’s world and all those with disabilities – visible or not – should have access to safe, reliable and dignified travel,” said Linda Ristagno, IATA external affairs manager.
Travel agents and operators can now use the DPNA SSR code to inform airlines when a passenger has intellectual or developmental disability and needs assistance.
In this direction and through its solutions, Travelport has shared educational ‘sign-on alerts’ and graphical ‘prompts’ with hundreds of thousands of travel agents across the world.
“We’re encouraged by the results we’ve seen so far and our decision to extend Travel Unified until at least the end of 2019 should enable us to reach even more travelers and travel agents,” said Fiona Shanley, chief customer and marketing officer at Travelport.
“We’d like to call on all airlines, airports, hotels and other members of the travel family to do more to ensure everyone has the travel experience they deserve, including the 200 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.”