YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Providing help for disabled travelers

March 07, 2004

Regarding "Disabled Passengers Are Finding Flying an Improved Experience," Jan. 18: I am the executive director of Open Doors Organization, a social action, research nonprofit in Chicago. We are working with nearly every major airline to educate them on travelers with disabilities. We strive to make travel a good, smooth experience for everyone.

The 2002 Open Doors Organization Market Study on Travelers With Disabilities showed that travelers with disabilities spend $13.6 billion a year on travel. About 30% of adults with disabilities have traveled by air in the past two years (or 9.4 million air travelers total). They said they would take two or more flights a year if airlines were to accommodate their needs as a person with a disability. This translates into 18.8 million more flights -- and means that air spending by the disabled community could double if airlines made the necessary accommodations.

The top features or services that airlines need to offer: more accommodating staff; guaranteed preferred seating; and a designated employee at check-in and arrival.

We don't travel alone. We travel with at least one companion, so you could double the above numbers.

Eric Lipp

Executive Director

Open Doors Organization


Send letters to Travel, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, 90012; fax (213) 237-7355, e-mail travel@latimes .com. Include your name, address and phone number.

Los Angeles Times Articles