Accessibility of products and services
We seek to provide comfortable, convenient, and reliable air travel that is accessible to all of our passengers.
PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES OR REDUCED MOBILITY
The number of Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility (PDRM) flying with us is growing every year. In 2019, more than 1 million PDRM passengers were welcomed :
- Air France : nearly 580,000 PDRM passengers on board ; more than half of these PDRM passengers flew on long-haul flights and more than 80% PDRM passenger traffic took place at Paris-CDG.
- KLM : 428,000 PDRM passengers, a year-on-year increasing number, with the biggest growth shown in the number of wheelchair passengers.
PDRMs are welcomed, providing that air travel is not against medical advice.
Their presence on board calls for appropriate assistance which can involve a degree of complexity, often based on the differences between the EU and US regulations. In the US, the responsibility falls solely on the airline and there are no reporting requirements for US citizens and passengers on flights to/from the US. In the EU, however, it is the airport authority that is responsible for the end-to-end assistance of PDRMs during their journeys through airports, and passengers are invited to report to the airline 48 hours before departure, the airline then being responsible for forwarding this information to the airport authority 36 hours prior to departure. At Paris-CDG, for example, where more than 80% of PDRM passengers are traveling with Air France, Paris Aéroport (ADP Group) oversees special assistance for passengers via its Passerelle CDG and Samsic services. At Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, Axxicom Airport Caddy is the supplier.
Air France dedicated assistance service, known as Saphir (Service d’Assistance aux Personnes Handicapées pour les Informations et la Réservation), offers an array of services, such as easy booking procedures, airport assistance, baggage assistance and special equipment on board. Based in Nice and Marseille, with a dozen of dedicated advisors, Saphir received nearly 83,000 calls in 2019 : phone and online services enable ticket bookings and the provision of appropriate assistance. A special phone assistance service for the hard of hearing or deaf customers is also offered. Some nineteen other Customer Relations Centers around the world are on hand to process requests from PDRM customers.
Air France has also long been a partner to multiple associations dedicated to disability and has developed strong links with the national and European authorities in this field in order to design and develop service improvements.
KLM Cares is a dedicated service assisting customers with the planning and booking of flights. At the airport and on board, KLM offers specially-adapted facilities to ensure a seamless travel experience.
Both Air France and KLM cabin crews are specially trained in the assistance needs of persons with disabilities.
For Air France and KLM, the Net Promotor Score, which measures customer satisfaction, is higher for this category of passengers than the NPS for other passengers. At Air France, a Key Customer Club that includes PDRM passengers has been created to collate feedback from this cohort and help improve services. This includes providing a better flow of information, for both customers and frontline staff, in line with Air France’s Caring Relationship.
Other new initiatives have also been deployed, such as the upgraded pages on Air France’s and KLM’s website devoted to PDRMs, providing a wealth of travel tips and pushing tailored information to all passengers based on their type of disability.
For customer-facing staff, onboard and at the airport, awareness-workshops focusing on the appropriate forms of words and actions to adopt with PDRM customers have been launched, together with online tools to facilitate their care.
At the IFTM Top Resa trade show, Air France won the 2019 Grand Prix Marco Polo which for the first time recognized the airline with the highest CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) commitment. In particular, Air France was recognized for its action to improve the travel experience of passengers with disabilities.
For children traveling alone, which accounts for more than 300,000 Air France flights every year, we created our Kids Solo service. Our service is available for children aged 4 and older. The average age of our young travelers is 11.
We have developed a tailor-made service on our “Air France” app. On their tablet or smartphone, parents can book tickets for young passengers, access and modify their reservations and also monitor their child’s trip in real time, from check-in to boarding, take-off and landing.
Our staff accompanies the child and ensures his or her comfort and safety at the airport and on board. On “Air France Play”, kids can download free content adapted to their age and language. More than fifteen magazines in French, English, German and Spanish are available 30 hours before the flight.
During stop-overs of more than two and a half hours, children are welcomed in Air France lounges reserved for children traveling alone. These lounges are specially equipped to offer activities for everyone.
Upon arrival, children are accompanied by our staff to the person designated for pick-up.