Disability Awareness Training for the Travel and Hospitality Industries
People with disabilities live, work, travel, and participate in all aspects of society—but not without challenges. A frequent barrier to access and inclusion is transportation, particularly long-distance travel. In fact, of the more than 26 million adults with disabilities who took more than 73 million trips for business and/or pleasure, 72% said they encountered major obstacles with airlines and 65% experienced problems at airports (Open Doors, 2015).
AIR has created online training for travel and hospitality industries to improve your understanding of travelers with disabilities, improve services for customers with disabilities, reduce complaints, and build brand loyalty.
Customer Service Matters for Travelers with Disabilities
Adults with disabilities spend more than $17 billion on travel annually (Open Doors). These individuals typically travel with one or more other adults, meaning that the economic impact is likely double that figure.
By improving your customer service for people with disabilities, you can:
- Gain a competitive edge. You already know that a happy traveler is a happy customer—one who is more likely to use your services time and time again. Increase loyalty and market share by understanding the needs of travelers with disabilities.
- Reduce risk. Negative experiences can cause travelers to choose another airport, airline, hotel chain, or car service. In some scenarios, these experiences can lead to legal action when customers believe their rights have been violated. It’s also increasingly common for consumers to make their complaints public and widespread through social media. Take the time to learn how better to serve customers with disabilities and lower the risk to your reputation.
How We Are Helping Train the Airport Workforce
AIR can help your organization enhance customer service and gain a richer understanding of the needs of all travelers, particularly those with disabilities.
Our online, self-paced learning modules help your staff understand:
- What is a disability?
- What services do travelers with disabilities prefer?
- How can we respectfully engage with travelers with disabilities?
Our training includes deep learning activities, interactive scenarios with immediate feedback, job aids that can be downloaded for later reference, clear and simple information on the legal rights of travelers with disabilities, and user tracking mechanisms for administrative purposes. Online training is available in multiple languages and uses mobile technology for easy access and completion.
Want more? Our in-person training can build confidence in your staff in how best to serve people with disabilities with respect and compassion. Our training can help airport, airline, and other travel industry staff provide the best customer service experience for travelers with disabilities.
We also offer blended learning options, customized to meet your needs.
To learn more about how we can help you enhance your customer service to travelers with disabilities, and to view sample online training, contact us at DisabilityRehabAIR@air.org.
About AIR's Work with People with Disabilities
AIR has a long history of working across sectors to improve opportunities for all people, particularly those with disabilities. Our experts, and our broad network of consultants with disabilities, inform our training and evaluation projects to ensure that our work reflects the real-world needs of this population.
Examples of our work:
- Our professional developers empower people with hearing loss to become community trainers and advocates for improved hearing assistive technology, and train people with spinal cord injury on safe wheelchair transfer techniques.
- Our researchers evaluate state programs to determine how effective they can be in offering career options to youth with disabilities, and we support researchers to engage people with disabilities in defining the questions that they want answered.
- Our knowledge translation experts ensure that people with disabilities have a voice in policy discussions that affect their lives.
- Our human factors engineering staff have studied human factors for the Federal Aviation Administration, identified risk-based approaches to address mental fatigue among Transportation Security Administration staff, and surveyed pilots nationally for their perceptions of training.