A new report has revealed that improved collaboration between airlines, airports and service providers is required to provide improved quality of assistance to persons with reduced mobility (PRM) at UK airports.
The report was commissioned during the fact-finding phase of a long-term improvement programme led by international total facilities management (TFM) provider Outsourced Client Solutions (OCS) Group.
Named as ‘Challenging for Change: Airport Experiences: How disabled people feel about the service they receive’, the report is based on customer narratives and responses collected from 534 disabled passengers.
The OCS Group aims to understand the needs of the disabled passengers, and provide an improved level of service in a bid to address their requirements.
The group has also organised workshops at UK airports involving customer groups with different disabilities as well as all service providers that include airlines, airport, PRM providers and baggage handling.
OCS Group Customer Services director Steven Wheeler said: “We commissioned this report to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of disabled travellers and the specific challenges they face at airports.
“As a result of the findings, we are committed to taking a lead in coordinating dispersed services and working with airlines, airports, baggage handlers and other service providers in order to bring the different parties together to provide a seamless and first class service.”
In June, the first of the OCS workshops was held at Glasgow Airport in Scotland.
The report reveals that it is the lack of knowledge among disabled passengers about the advance booking process that leads to uncertainty and lack of confidence in service provision, and thereby results in customer dissatisfaction.
The major passenger uncertainty revolves around the roles and responsibilities of the airline, airport, baggage handler and PRM service providers.
However, the Passenger Assistance Service at UK airports provided higher level of satisfaction to frequent travellers who knew how to book and specify the assistance they required.
The report introduces 16 recommendations for industry consideration that include improved use of technology for service co-ordination as well as record the nature of individual disabilities in a bid to help deliver the support required.
OCS Group provides assistance in the UK and Ireland, supporting more than one million passengers at nine airports each year.
Image: OCS Group provides assistance to passengers with reduced mobility at UK airports. Photo: courtesy of OCS Group.