United has introduced Braille markings on its aircraft interiors – becoming the first U.S. airline to do so – giving travelers with visual impairments the opportunity to navigate aircraft cabins independently.

The carrier states that it has already equipped around 12 aircraft with Braille labels, which are in place to indicate individual rows, seat numbers and information in and around the lavatories. 

Credit: United

United has stated it plans to extend the Braille implementation across its entire mainline fleet over the next three years. 

“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 at United. 

The introduction of Braille is part of an ongoing partnership between United, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB), which aims to explore additional ways to support visually impaired travelers on board its flights. 

“We applaud United for taking an important step toward making its aircraft more accessible to blind passengers. The flight experience is often frustrating for a number of reasons, one of which is the amount of information that is available exclusively through printed signs and other visual indicators. We hope to continue working with United to explore additional ways to make flying more accessible and less stressful for blind passengers,” said Mark Riccobono, president at the National Federation of the Blind.

United joins other carriers, like Delta, which recently revealed a new concept seat for wheelchair users, in a continuing effort to make travel more inclusive and accessible to all passengers.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Tags: accessibility, accessible travel, customer experience, united airlines