Vienna Airport and Austrian Airlines are pioneering new services to enhance accessibility for passengers, focusing on those with hidden disabilities and visual impairments.
The introduction of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program and the Aira App aims to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all travelers.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower allows passengers with invisible disabilities to discreetly signal their needs by wearing a Sunflower-designed lanyard, badge, or bracelet, available at information counters and on Austrian Airlines flights. This initiative enables staff to recognize and provide necessary support to the wearers, ensuring a smooth and comfortable travel experience.
The Aira App, on the other hand, is a revolutionary service for blind or visually impaired passengers, offering guidance through the airport via live, human-to-human assistance. The app uses a camera to allow a professionally-trained agent to visually interpret the surroundings, assisting with navigation, reading, and explaining the environment, available 24/7 in English, Spanish, and French.
Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport, expressed his satisfaction with the new measures, emphasizing the importance of accessibility and inclusion in enhancing the overall quality of service for all passengers. Similarly, Michael Trestl, CCO of Austrian Airlines, highlighted the collaboration with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in creating an environment catering to individual needs and ensuring relaxed journeys for passengers.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, initiated to aid people with non-visible disabilities, was originally conceived at London Gatwick Airport and has been embraced by numerous businesses and over 220 airports globally, including renowned airlines like Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, and British Airways.
Vienna Airport is the first European airport to offer the Aira App, reinforcing its commitment to barrier-free travel and providing a range of services, including personal assistance, barrier-free parking spaces, and shorter waiting times at check-in, security checks, and at the gate, for people with reduced mobility and non-visible impairments.