An estimated 67,000 of easyJet’s 11.5 million passengers this summer will require some form of assistance during their travels.
The budget airline carries almost 500,000 people a year who need some form of assistance.
But many of those requiring special assistance are still deterred from flying through concerns around how well they will be looked after.
The airline recently improved its Help pages for customers with a disability but acknowledges that there is more to do, particularly for people with less visibly obvious disabilities.
“We’ve started to talk to leading charities which represent people with a range of such disabilities and will be working with them over the coming months to see how we can make travel with us easier,” a spokesman said.
“It’s important for any customer requiring special assistance to let us know at least 48 hours before they fly so we can make the necessary arrangements.”
This comes against a backdrop of a 10% rise in the number of passengers requiring some form of assistance last year over 2015 and a doubling from 232,703 in 2010.
A committee of European experts – the easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group – was established five years ago to provide guidance and advice on the services it provides to passengers who require special assistance.
The group is chaired by Lord David Blunkett, who said: “Passengers who need some extra help should feel confident to travel, as there is a range of assistance available.
“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. ”
Civil Aviation Authority consumer enforcement manager James Fremantle added: “The legal rights of air passengers with a disability or reduced mobility mean they are entitled to free assistance when passing through an airport and on board an aircraft.
“These rights have helped ensure thousands more people now have the confidence to fly, in the knowledge they will be supported and can enjoy positive new travel experiences as a result.
“This year we expect more than 2.5 million passengers with a disability or reduced mobility will take flights in and out of the UK. We will continue to work with airports and airlines to ensure that assistance is of a high quality and trips are completed as smoothly as possible.”
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