easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group
The easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group (ESAAG) was established in 2012 to provide feedback and guidance to easyJet on the services it provides to passengers who require special assistance.
The group is chaired by Lord David Blunkett and is made up of experts in disability issues and accessible travel. It meets regularly with easyJet managers to discuss the company’s proposals, best practice and emerging issues. The group takes a pan-European approach and includes members from key easyJet markets: the UK, France, Switzerland and Italy.
easyJet carries more than 400,000 passengers who need special assistance every year. This is a growing number and as societies across Europe age it is very likely that more people will need this assistance in the future. easyJet wants to be an airline for everyone, including people with disabilities and those with a variety of challenges requiring additional support.
ESAAG has helped easyJet to introduce on-board wheelchairs across its fleet. The group has also been involved in changes to cabin layout, which includes a newly designed accessible toilet. ESAAG has also had a role in wider easyJet projects, such as the consolidation of easyJet operations at London Gatwick into the North Terminal and digital developments such as improved information and advice, the on-going reconfiguration of the easyJet website and apps for use in navigating airports.
The customer satisfaction amongst easyJet passengers with reduced mobility was 87.4% in the 2015 financial year, which was higher than for customers in general.
ESAAG is seeking to improve the whole journey for passengers who need special assistance. Customers understandably expect that when they book assistance this will be done seamlessly between the airline, assistance provider and the relevant airports.
This is why ESAAG has this year produced a pan-European charter on meeting the needs of air travellers with disabilities. The Charter recommends best practice for all aspects of aviation special assistance. It was launched at the European Parliament and has since been discussed at a UK aviation industry session jointly hosted by ESAAG and the UK CAA. ESAAG will continue to use the Charter to engage with stakeholders across Europe.
The Charter can be viewed here
Rt Hon The Lord Blunkett, of Brightside and Hillsborough – Chair
Ann Bates OBE – Accessible transport adviser
Roberto Castiglioni – Accessible transport adviser and editor-in-chief of Reduced Mobility Rights
Ann Frye – Member of CAA Consumer Panel, Director, PassePartout Training Ltd, Visiting Professor, University College London
Mervyn Kholer – Age UK
Stefano Medaglia – Accessible transport adviser and architect based in Milan
Jean-Marie Munier – Former adviser at Association pour Adultes et Jeunes Handicap
Marcus Rocca – Mobility International Schweiz