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United Airlines Makes it Easier to Book Flights That Can Accommodate Wheelchairs

United Airlines has rolled out new digital sizing tools to help customers who use wheelchairs to book flights that can accommodate their personal mobility device.  Additionally, the carrier will refund the fare difference if the customer has to pay more for the right flight.

United Introduces New Digital Tools to Help Customers Who Use Wheelchairs to Book the Right Flight to Accommodate Their Personal Mobility Device - Courtesy United Airlines/PRNewswire

On Thursday (March 28, 2024), United Airlines announced the introduction of new digital sizing tools to help customers who use wheelchairs determine the right aircraft for their personal mobility device.  Additionally, the carrier will refund the fare difference if a customer has to pay more for an alternative flight with a larger cargo door.  During 2023, United and United Express transported over 200,000 checked wheelchairs.  The new industry-first initiatives announced today are the result of a collaboration between United’s Accessible Travel Advisory Board, the United Spinal Association and Numotion.  The wheelchair sizing tool launched earlier this month as a beta test.

In Thursday’s announcement, United Airlines’ EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Linda Jojo, said,

“The more we know about a customer's device, the more likely their experience will be a good one – from booking and check-in to the flight itself.  These new tools and policies also set our employees up for success, especially those working on the ramp or at the gate.”

Also commenting on the launch of these industry-first customer service tools, United Spinal Association’s President and CEO, Vincenzo Piscopo, said,

“United Spinal Association appreciates this strong first step toward improving the air travel experience for wheelchair users.  We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United Airlines to ensure that all wheelchair users can book a flight to their next adventure, business meeting, or visit with family or friends on the flight they choose, trusting they will arrive safely with their equipment intact.”

Numotion’s CEO, Mike Swinford, added,

“Numotion is dedicated to supporting the independence of our customers.  United's new tool is a fantastic development for wheelchair users.  By streamlining the flight selection process and ensuring compatibility with specific mobility devices, travelers can focus on enjoying their journeys. We're proud to partner with United to make air travel more accessible and stress-free.”

Customers wishing to take advantage of the new service can do so on the airline’s app or website by using filters on the flight search results page before selecting their flight.  Once they have clicked on the wheelchair filter tab, customers can then enter the specific dimensions of their mobility device.  The search results will then identify which flight options can accommodate the customer’s personal mobility device.  Since the size of cargo doors vary on different aircraft, some airplanes are better equipped to handle larger motorized wheelchairs. 

As previously mentioned, if a customer is unable to take their preferred flight because their wheelchair won’t fit, and therefore takes an alternative flight with a higher fare on the same day with the same itinerary, they can then request a refund for the fare difference.

At United Airlines, ‘Good Leads the Way.’  The airline operates the most comprehensive network among North American carriers with U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.    United and United Express operate over 4,000 flights per day to more than 350 airports across six continents.  In 2023, United carried more than 150 million customers, becoming the world’s largest airline as measured by available seat miles (ASMs).  Shares in the company’s parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., are publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol ‘UAL.’


Source: United Airlines/PRNewswire


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