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Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Delta Flight Products Unveils New Concept Seat for Wheelchair Users

1 year ago

Delta Flight Products (DFP) has partnered with UK-based consortium Air4All on a new prototype seat they say will provide powered wheelchair users with the opportunity to remain in their chairs throughout their entire travel journey.

Credit: PriestmanGoode

The patented prototype, which was debuted at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Germany, folds up to enable a standard passenger seat to accommodate a wheelchair via a restraint, while granting users access to the headrest, center console tray table and cocktail table.

Credit: PriestmanGoode

“Air4All is collaborating with DFP and our strong production and manufacturing capabilities to explore new ways to deliver equal access to comfort, safety, and dignity for all customers. This patented design offers new possibilities for customers with disabilities to enjoy a travel experience they truly deserve,” said Rick Salanitri, president of Delta Flight Products.

In 2022, disability rights activist Tanzila Khan joined us at Skift Global Forum East 2022 to talk on this important subject, and “Why Travel Should Think Like a Community”. You can take a look at the full video below:

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the organizations elevating the travel industry’s role as a force for good by affecting meaningful change, including those leading to social change or benefiting communities.

If you have an exciting project to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards today and start your submission. The final deadline for entries is June 20, 2023.


IDEAS: 360-Degree Airport Tour Launched to Aid Passengers With Additional Needs

1 year ago

Bournemouth Airport, located in the United Kingdom, has launched a ‘pioneering’ 360-degree video experience aimed at assisting passengers with additional needs when preparing to visit the airport.

According to Regional & City Airports (RCA), the owner of the airport, the use of this technology for accessibility purposes is ‘a first in the aviation industry’.

The initiative is being launched with Cranfield University, as part of a wider strategic partnership aiming to develop the technologies required to create a more progressive future for travel.

Credit: Bournemouth Airport

Andrew Bell, chief executive of RCA, said, “We recognize that air travel can be daunting for passengers with additional requirements, and are committed to doing everything we can to make air travel more accessible and inclusive for all our passengers.”

“By providing our customers with the opportunity to explore the airport before their visit, we hope to make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful, and will be closely monitoring the results at Bournemouth to see if and how the concept can be developed further,” Bell added.

Passengers can now access the 360-degree video tour of the airport free of charge via the website, with the narrated tour guiding passengers from the point of arrival through to the boarding gate.

You can view the video below:

Bournemouth Departures 260 Tour

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for airport projects that are defining the future of airports and the traveler experience.

If you have an initiative to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards and start your submission today.

Travel Technology

Expedia Group Announces First Cohort for Startup Accelerator Focused on Underserved Travelers

1 year ago

Expedia Group has announced the first group of tech companies taking part in its new Open World Accelerator program.

The 12 startups were chosen from hundreds of applicants worldwide focused on building tech products meant to improve accessibility for underserved travelers. Each startup or small business must have been founded in the last 10 years and have a minimum viable product. 

The startup participants get technology and business development support, mentorship from Expedia Group personnel and outside experts, a non-equity grant, and access to the Expedia Group platform and products. 

The accelerator was announced in September. 

“Open World Accelerator is specifically designed to drive innovation in the industry, remove barriers to travel, and enable startups and SMBs to build capabilities on Expedia’s Open World™ technology platform that significantly improve the experience for every traveler,” Archana Arunkumar, Expedia Group’s senior vice president of platform, said in a statement at that time. 

Each of the startups are listed with a description on the Expedia website. 

Some of them include: 

  • Becoming Rentable, a short-term rental platform focused on accessible properties
  • Greether, a platform dedicated to women that connects travelers with tour guides
  • Misterb&b, a short-term rental platform dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community