Cape Town - September is Tourism Month and The Department of Tourism is celebrating this year’s annual event which is devoted to the theme Tourism for All in support of the globally celebrated ‘Universal Accessibility’ theme for World Tourism Day on 27 September.
Cathay Pacific says it is actively supporting and highlighting the idea that everybody deserves ease of travel, regardless of their special requirements - through the airlines services and facilities.
The airline says universal access is the design of products, environments, and services in such a way that they can be used by all people.
"It includes the removal of cultural, social and other barriers that prevent people with disabilities from benefiting from tourism facilities. Cathay Pacific is dedicated to making it possible for all travellers to live a #LifeWellTravelled, regardless of whether they need any type of mechanical or other assistance to navigate airports, board and disembark from our aircraft, or make their way through customs and immigration,” says Rakesh Raicar, Country Manager for Cathay Pacific Southern Africa and Indian Ocean.
“We place a high priority on universal accessibility, and have trained our staff and equipped our aircraft to offer every single passenger – regardless of their special requirements – the facilities that they need to enjoy a comfortable flight.
“We would love to see this Tourism Month remind us to encourage those who are not able to move and travel as freely as most that they can indeed enjoy the sights and sounds of the world’s most exciting travel destinations,” adds Raicar.
Cathay Pacific offers various services and facilities that enable all travellers to move freely in its aircraft and on the ground:
All travellers are welcome to use the Cathay Pacific wheelchair service, supported by a trained attendant at no additional charge. The attendant will assist in transporting passengers within the airport area and to the gate or aircraft door (depending on the airport facilities).
Should travellers need assistance moving between the seat and aircraft door or lavatory, an in-flight wheelchair and aisle seats with movable armrests are available to provide the utmost comfort. Cabin crew are also trained in transferring techniques using appropriate transfer equipment available on board the aircraft, and can assist if you are unable to transfer by yourself from the inflight wheelchair to/from your seat.
Additional support such as walking canes, frames, and crutches may be carried onto the aircraft cabin, provided they are stowed in accordance with cabin safety requirements.
Postural Support Equipment
Cathay Pacific recognises that some passengers with disabilities may need to use their own Postural Support Equipment (PSE) when they travel. In order to best accommodate their journey requirements, the following PSE is accepted to ensure universal accessibility and easier travels.
- Aspen Seating Orthosis - allowed for passengers three-years-old and older. For more information, please refer to Aspen's website.
- MERU Travel Chair – allowed for children from three to 11 years of age. For more information, please refer to MERU’s website.
- DAWS Engineering Disabled Children Travel Chair - P/N TC2000-00 - allowed for passengers three years and older.
- Crelling Harness - Model 27 specific - a postural support device that offers a degree of restraint for infants, children and adults to keep them in an upright sitting position. For more information, please refer to Crelling Harness website.
- Supportive body braces - Passengers are free to travel with postural support devices worn on the body and which do not require to be fitted to the aircraft seat (for example supportive body braces).
Hearing and Visual Impairment Aid
If passengers require assistance during a flight, Cathay Pacific encourage travellers to let the airline know in advance how they may best assist you at the time of your booking or during check in. Assistance offered includes services like an escort to and from the aircraft, individual safety briefings, subtitles on safety videos, priority boarding, assistance with in-flight mobility, having a crew member read the menu to you, and describe where food is located on the tray, as well as the use of hearing aids, special headsets and other battery operated assisted listening devices during all phases of the flight.
Tips for Assisted Passengers:
- If you are travelling with your accredited service dog, please contact your local reservations office for prior notice and take note of important information by visiting the service animal section on the website.
- If you use a cane or other assistive device, ask the cabin crew for assistance in loading and retrieving your cane in case it is not collapsible or if it cannot be stowed under your seat.
- All assistive devices will be carried free of charge, just ensure the airline is aware of your needs.
- If you plan to bring a transmitting device on board, please advise the airline at least 48 hours in advance so that they can ensure that it is compliant with its safety requirements.
- If you are planning to travel with PSE other than the above models specified, Cathay Pacific recommends that you contact their local reservations office a minimum of seven days prior to departure and inform them of your PSE specifications.