Fw: The Air Travel Wish List
Sat, 30 Oct 1999 18:43:10 -0400
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 4:52 PM
Subject: The Air Travel Wish List
> One of our e-mail news readers is now working for United Airlines. She
> what deaf and hard of hearing people would most like to see improved, and
> last week many of you shared your wish lists. Here's what you told us:
> COMMUNICATIONS IN THE TERMINAL
> Have text displays of all annoucements (this was the top request).
> - "Domestic flight gates that are used for several flights are totally
> confusing now. When flying by myself I literally hover around the desk
> it gets close to boarding time. International flights that have one gate
> aside are not so scary. But it's awful when everyone else suddenly
> for the phones and you have no idea what is going on. How about setting
> aside a row of seats (for people with disabilities) that face the desk at
> gate so we can watch the staff for clues and the visual displays when they
> get them? It would help the staff to remember that they have a
> who cannot hear what's going on. Some gates used to do that but stopped
> and it's sometimes hard to find a seat close enough to watch."
> - "I was in the airport one time when they were offering free trips for
> anyone wishing to take a later flight. I missed out because I could not
> - "Add text displays at ALL the counters [for boarding announcements]. I
> waiting in a long line while it was real crowded, and the agent
> talked or made some announcements to the passengers to cut off the line..
> didn't know what flight nbr they asked for. It was a hassle with many
> - "I am a frequent traveler (I am on the road at least 50% of the time).
> have learned to fend for myself because the needs of the deaf just don't
> to sink in with the airlines. Gate announcements are terrible, visible
> displays would definitely help. Also, when I was in Portland, Oregon a
> weeks ago (San Diego has this too) there is a visible pager - instead of
> garbled spoken announcements you see the name of the person being paged on
> display with instructions of what/where they are supposed to do/go."
> - "Depending on how often deaf people travel they may or may not know the
> routine for checking in. The law requires a little routine "did you pack
> your bags, have your bags been with you at all times .... etc." Since it
> rote it is harder to follow than normal speech. It took me a long time
> a lot of times of feeling like an idiot before I finally figured out what
> they were saying to me! If the airlines had a card or a visual cue for
> people it would help."
> - "I would like to see the sign display above from the gate door to make
> announcement which seating numbers are next. I had a problem with the
> announcement for seating numbers in the past - I couldn't hear the
> announcement about seating numbers and I went ahead to give my ticket to
> person but he or she told me to wait until the seating numbers were
> I have to 'peek' on any passenger's ticket to see which seating number
> had and follow them. Or I try to board when there are less passengers."
> All televisions in the airport and on the plane should be showing captions
> for everything.
> All inflight movies should be captioned.
> - "If the airlines still refuse to have captions for their inflight
> entertainment how about the check-in desk lending us little TV/VCR units
> captioned videos (or something similar) to use on the plane or even a nice
> selection of new magazines or newspapers?"
> Airports need to make more TTYs available.
> Phones in the airplane should also be TTY compatible and a TTY should be
> Better signs to make it easier to locate the TTYs.
> - "The midfield terminal (at Dulles) that United uses now has TTYs all
> the place which is nice but they are positioned so you have to get down on
> your knees to use them. This seems to happen all the time - do these
> businesses think every TTY user is in a wheelchair? It would be nice
> have more thought used in positioning the TTYs and maybe including a chair
> stool. Then of course all the hearing people would want to use that phone
> too - sigh.."
> - "More public phones equipped with TTY's would be a big help, both to
> of us who need to call the hearing impaired and to the hearing impaired,
> - "Signs should be placed high enough to be read above/beyond other people
> (rather than at eye level), large enough to be read by even those with
> visual impairment and in block letters against contrasting backgrounds."
> INFLIGHT EMERGENCIES
> Text displays that would give instructions during flight emergencies.
> - "It would also help if airlines realizing they have a deaf person not
> assign them to emergency rows - they make an announcement on board about
> can sit in those aisles, deaf or disability is not mentioned but I think
> is obvious deaf people should not sit in that row. In an
> emergency we would not be able to follow instructions (I am not
> our intelligence, rather our ability to understand spoken language during
> such situations. Much as I like the space in an emergency aisle I will
> allow myself to be seated there."
> INFLIGHT COMMUNICATION
> Text displays of some kind that would make it possible to read what the
> or other flight staff announce throughout the flight.
> GENERAL SENSITIVITY
> Have the staff familiar with "Effective Communication with Hard of Hearing
> and Deaf People" (fact sheets available at NVRC).
> OTHER COMMENTS:
> - "My feelings/wishes about Airline Access are the same as for trains,
> convention centers, etc. Audio (PA) Announcements in large, public areas
> such as terminals are usually very hard to understand, even for me and I'm
> not considered hearing impaired. I find text displays of information VERY
> helpful and more available when I need them than verbal announcements."
> should be placed high enough to be read above/beyond other people (rather
> than at eye level), large enough to be read by even those with some visual
> impairment and in block letters against contrasting backgrounds.
> Thank you, Joan Cassidy, Cynthia Clark, Oz Crosby, Blaise Delahoussaye,
> Brenda Estes, Kristine Fisk, Alan Hart, Jon, Anne Kramer, Hilary Relton,
> many others!