Abstract

The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to investigate flight attendants’ perceptions of the onboard flight service needs and expectations of passengers with mobility impairments; and second, to examine the flight attendants’ perceptions of what aspects influence the various types of needs and provide insights for airlines to improve service provided to passengers with mobility impairments. The study was conducted by three focus group interviews among thirteen flight attendants who worked in a European airline. Two major themes were found based on the result of the study: 1) participants agree that most passengers with mobility impairments are independent; and 2) participants’ perceived service needs notably vary by passengers’ demographics, their at-home behavior, severity of disability, and how recent they have become disabled. Implications and future directions were discussed.

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A Constant Comparative Analysis to Identify Onboard Service Needs and Expectations of Air Travelers with Mobility Impairments: Perceptions of Flight Attendants

The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to investigate flight attendants’ perceptions of the onboard flight service needs and expectations of passengers with mobility impairments; and second, to examine the flight attendants’ perceptions of what aspects influence the various types of needs and provide insights for airlines to improve service provided to passengers with mobility impairments. The study was conducted by three focus group interviews among thirteen flight attendants who worked in a European airline. Two major themes were found based on the result of the study: 1) participants agree that most passengers with mobility impairments are independent; and 2) participants’ perceived service needs notably vary by passengers’ demographics, their at-home behavior, severity of disability, and how recent they have become disabled. Implications and future directions were discussed.