United Airlines recently became the first US airline to add Braille to aircraft interiors, helping travellers with visual disabilities to more easily navigate the cabin independently.
According to the US Department of Transportation, about 27 million people with disabilities travelled by air in 2019.
The airline currently has equipped about a dozen aircraft with Braille markings for individual rows and seat numbers inside and outside the lavatories. United expects to outfit its entire mainline fleet with Braille by the end of 2026.
"Finding your seat on a plane or getting to the restroom is something most of us take for granted, but for millions of our customers, it can be a challenge to do independently. By adding more tactile signage throughout our interiors, we're making the flying experience more inclusive and accessible, and that's good for everyone,” said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer for United Airlines.
In addition to adding Braille, United is working with the National Federation of the Blind, the American Council of the Blind and other disability advocacy groups to explore the use of other tactile navigational aids throughout the cabin such as raised letters, numbers and arrows.
United was also, for the eighth-straight year, recognised as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ and earned a top score on the Disability Equality Index benchmarking tool, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities.