What is the purpose of All Wheels Up?
All Wheels Up currently is the only organization in the world advocating for Wheelchair Accessible Air Travel and crash testing Wheelchairs for Commercial Flight.
How do you expect to make Airplanes Accessible?
Our solution is to test wheelchair restraints from Q’Straint, that could meet the FAA requirements, and work with Airplane Manufacturers, Airlines, FAA, and DOT on creating a standard that can be added to Airplanes. We hope to create a system just like on Buses.
You can see an animation of our proposed solution below. Our final solution might look completely different than this and we are currently working with designers on the best design, but this is the idea we are looking to accomplish.
How are wheelchairs loaded on airplanes now?
Right now, wheelchairs are literally lifted into the cargo hold of the Airplane. You can see how it is done in the video below. It takes 4 baggage handlers to do it and they almost drop it.
What can I do to help?
We will be posting on our social media whenever we need help. We will need help reaching out to Congress on legislation and in many other ways.
What should I do if an airline has damaged my wheelchair?
If an airline has ever damaged your wheelchair or discriminated against you based on your disability, please file a formal complaint with the Department of Transportation. Airlines need to know whenever they are not servicing the Disabled Community properly. The Department of Transportation has a formal complaint system where all complaints are investigated and reports covering the entire airline industry are published every year. The Airlines and DOT need to know what they are doing wrong and what can be addressed.
Are you doing anything for making airplane bathrooms accessible?
While we see this as worthwhile endeavor, we are not working on making airplane bathrooms accessible, but other organizations currently are and have made significant progress. Easyjet worked with Airbus to create the first Airplane Accessible Bathroom. Their solution called the Space-Flex 2 allows 2 bathrooms to be merged into a single bathroom large enough to fit a wheelchair.
All new Airbus A320s delivered to them after May 2016 will feature these new bathrooms and they are currently working on modifying their 76 A320s to have them which should be done by 2018. Many other Airlines are trying to have these bathrooms and other Accessibly designed ones installed on their planes and we ultimately hope all planes have them one day.
Will I be able to fly in a scooter?
Unfortunately no. We are only working on a solution for wheelchairs.
Have wheelchairs flown on planes before?
Yes and the first time actually was on Air Force One. FDR flew on a modified military plane called “The Sacred Crow” to join Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference in 1945. The plane featured an elevator that could accommodate FDR and his Wheelchair.
Military Cargo Planes like the C-130 and C-5 feature tracking that has been used to transport wheelchairs in emergency situations.
Will I be able to move around the airplane?
No. For safety purposes your wheelchair will have to be restrained for the entire flight just like for Accessible Buses. If you need to go to the bathroom during the flight, you will most likely have to move into the transfer wheelchair and wheeled into the bathroom.
When do you expect airplanes to be made accessible?
Air Travel is the most heavily regulated industry and all parts of an Airplane need to be tested and approved by the FAA. While we are currently in the feasibility stage, we honestly do not have a date but it might not be several years to a decade or more until Airplanes are made Accessible.
Are you working to have planes around the world be made Accessible?
Yes. We are working first to get Airplanes in the United States made Accessible and then in Europe and ultimately the rest of the world.
Won’t Airlines fight to adapt their planes?
The Airlines have tremendous power and any new regulations that hurts their businesses are fought heavily. We are trying to show to the Airlines that making Airplanes Accessible helps them reach an untapped market of millions of people in the United States, Europe, and around the world that currently do not fly and that it will lead to more profits. We plan on working with them and Airplane Manufacturers so that the restraints do not take away any seats and keep everybody happy.
Is All Wheels Up a 501(c)(3)?
All Wheels Up is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and all donations are tax-deductible