01 May

ABTA reminds companies of legal requirements as well as best practice

ABTA is reminding all Members to ensure that their websites have the facility to allow passengers with accessibility needs to easily request assistance for their journey, when making a flight booking.  As well as being a legal requirement (under EU Regulation 1107), developing a website that is easy to use, with the right information for anyone who is disabled or with reduced mobility, makes good business sense, with statistics showing that around 20% of people in the UK have some form of disability.

ABTA has comprehensively updated its website guidance on accessible travel in the Member zone of www.abta.com, and as part of this guidance ABTA is calling on its Members to ensure that consumers can see how they go about notifying the company of their assistance needs, within one click from the homepage. Notification can be by various means, such as an online form or a phone number, but it must be easy for consumers to see what they need to do.

Information for consumers with reduced mobility is also very important. Feedback from consumers shows that a major cause of frustration is not being able to find the relevant information to help make the right choices in booking their travel arrangements. Travel businesses that sell or market flights or flight-based packages online must display on their websites the safety rules that the airlines apply to the carriage of disabled people, and any restrictions on the carriage of disabled people or mobility equipment due to the size of aircraft. One way to pass on this information is to provide hyperlinks to the relevant page on airlines’ websites.

Nikki White ABTA Head of Destinations and Sustainability said:  “Websites are a vital channel to customers - with an ageing population who are also increasingly tech savvy, and significant numbers of consumers travelling with a range of accessibility needs, building clear, up to date and user friendly websites is in everyone’s interest.  It is also important for travel businesses to understand that getting this right is a legal requirement and failure to comply with Regulation 1107 is an offence.  We know that our Members have already done a great deal of work to ensure that their websites are  accessible to consumers with a disability, and provide them with the right information but we want all of our Members to be aware of the risks of not getting this right.  That is why we have put together comprehensive guidance for our Members on www.abta.com”

ABTA has produced full and comprehensive guidance on all aspects of accessibility. ABTA’s guidance on website accessibility and more broadly on ensuring excellent customer service to clients with disabilities is aimed at ensuring its Members and the wider industry is meeting its legal obligations, but also managing what is an important part of the market for its Members.