More than 16m passengers travelled with easyJet between 26 June and 5 September with 98,500 requiring some form of assistance, according to data from the low-cost airline.
easyJet carries more than 400,000 passengers who need special assistance every year which is a growing number however many passengers requiring special assistance are still deterred from flying through a concern of how well they will be looked after.
easyJet has a range of measures for passengers who require special assistance including a customer contact centre team who are fully-trained in special assistance issues as well as on-board wheelchairs on all aircraft. Additionally, easyJet crew and its ground agents are trained on special assistance, including how to identify and support passengers with ‘hidden disabilities’.
The customer satisfaction amongst easyJet passengers with reduced mobility was 87.4% in the 2015 financial year, which was higher than for customers in general.
As societies across Europe age it is very likely that more people will need some form of assistance when travelling in the future and easyJet has a range of assistance options available to support passengers with disabilities and those facing challenges which means that they require additional support.
In 2012, easyJet established a committee of European experts (ESAAG – the easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group) to provide guidance and advice to the airline on the services it provides to passengers who require special assistance. The group is chaired by Lord David Blunkett and is made up of experts in disability issues and accessible travel. It meets regularly with easyJet managers to discuss the company’s proposals, best practice and emerging issues.
Speaking about the summer travel period Lord Blunkett commented; “This summer a record number of passengers travelled with easyJet to a range of destinations across Europe including passengers who required some form of assistance and this number continues to grow.
“The services offered by airlines and airports for travellers requiring special assistance have greatly improved. ESAAG has been able to provide feedback and guidance to easyJet on the services it provides to passengers who require special assistance. Through this we have delivered real improvements for passengers which is borne out by customer research which shows satisfaction to those provided with special assistance is very high.
“Passengers who need some extra help should feel confident to travel, as there is a range of assistance available. It is important to remember to contact the airline on-line or by phone the airline prior to departure so they can be fully prepared for your arrival and provide the best support possible to ensure your holiday or business trip gets off to a flying start.
“However, there are still major challenges, not least the interface between the airline and airports here and on the European continent, including the responsibility of airports to provide assistance before boarding the flight and baggage handling have often critical equipment. We are still working on this.”