Barriers to Airline Access in Steep Decline

The Open Doors Organization (ODO) is happy to report that as more American adults with disabilities than ever take to the skies, far fewer encounter major obstacles at airports and with airlines. Their current spending on air travel alone is nearly $9 billion annually. These findings are from ODO's 2015 nationwide survey, conducted by Mandala Research, LLC as a follow-up to ODO's groundbreaking studies of 2002 and 2005 on the spending trends and market scope of U.S. adult travelers with disabilities.

"The aviation industry's investments not just in accessible facilities but also customer service and disability awareness training are clearly paying off," commented ODO Director Eric Lipp. "It's true that a majority of passengers with disabilities still encounter obstacles, but we're moving in the right direction." From 2005 to 2015, reports of major obstacles at airports dropped 21% (from 82% to 65%), while reports of obstacles with airlines dropped 14% (from 84% to 72%).

"Our research also revealed how important the Internet and mobile devices are to these travelers. We encourage airlines and airports to make both their websites and mobile apps accessible," said Mr. Lipp. "The more detailed the access information you can give us to plan our trips, the better." The percentage of travelers booking trips online has now jumped to 62%, up from 51% in 2005, while 57% use mobile devices to support their needs.

The Open Doors Organization is a non-profit organization founded for the purpose of teaching businesses how to succeed in the disability market and make their goods and services accessible to people with disabilities. To learn more visit the ODO website.