Business travel & disability: some new solutions

While there’s still a great deal of progress to be made, certain services are gradually enabling disabled people to travel in greater comfort…

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For employees with reduced mobility, business travel can be a real challenge… So it’s no surprise that disabled people are keen to explore new solutions that make business trips easier for them. Here we focus on some innovative services.

Free assistance at airports

European regulation no. 1107/2006 stipulates that all European airports and airlines are required to offer you assistance – free of charge! – if you have a disability or reduced mobility (PMR). To take advantage of this service, inform the airline or travel agency at least 48 hours before your departure. N.B.: this type of assistance is also available at railway stations.

Collaborative networks for the disabled

As in many other fields, online information-sharing makes life easier for PRM. Thanks to its community of users, Jaccede helps you find establishments (restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, etc.) that meet your requirements in terms of accessibility. Does the entry door open manually or automatically? What width is the opening? Are the corridors wide enough? N.B.: last June, Accor teamed up with Jaccede to launch a challenge for Parisians: to provide accessibility details for all of the city’s establishments! Or there’s Streetco, an inclusive & collaborative GPS application designed to help pedestrians find the most accessible way of getting into town, etc., complete with real-time consideration of obstacles (steps, slopes, impractical pavements, etc.) and nearby points of interest (accessible toilets, bus stops, etc.). 

Door-to-door baggage delivery

No one likes lugging a bulky suitcase around! Even less so if you’re on crutches or in a wheelchair… So what’s the solution? Specialist companies like Luggage Free or Eelway offer a delivery service that dispatches your bags to your destination ahead of you. You no longer have to pull or carry them, check them in or wait to pick them up off the plane: it’s super-handy! 

Adapted hire cars

Once you’ve reached your destination, things can sometimes get complicated. Fortunately though, various companies – Handynamic, certain branches of Europcar or Hertz… – offer hire vehicles which have been specially converted for wheelchair users. Another option, Wheeliz, is the leading online network for peer-to-peer hiring of adapted vehicles.

Adapted hotel rooms

Good news! Hotels are also innovating when it comes to enhancing the comfort of reduced mobility travellers… Accor, for its part, recently unveiled its Smart Room, a new hotel room concept that allies accessibility with well-being. From height-adjustable shower heads, basins and beds to furniture with curved edges and wheeled bedside tables… the Smart Room’s packed with technical solutions and technological innovations. What’s more, it goes far beyond the functional in terms of design, so you can say goodbye to old-style stigmatising and drab PMR rooms!
Published by Gary on 03/04/2019 Photo credit: © iStock

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