United becomes first U.S Airline to add Braille to its cabin interiors

Image of Braille markings for an individual row on a United Airlines aircraft.
Photo Credit: United Airlines

United Airlines has once again made another significant step in helping millions of customers by becoming the first U.S airline to add Braille markings to aircraft cabin interiors.

This move will come as a huge benefit to United customers as according to the Department of Transportation 27 million people with disabilities travelled by air in 2019.

So far the airline has already equipped around a dozen aircraft with braille markings, which can be found above each individual seat row next to the row number on the overhead bins.

You can also find the Braille markings on the doors of toilets as well as inside the toilets. At present, United aims to have its entire fleet retrofitted with braille markings by the end of 2026.

United’s Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President, Linda Jojo came out with a statement saying, “Finding your seat on a plane or getting to the restroom is something most of us take for granted, but for millions of customers, it can be a challenge to do independently”.

She added, “By adding more tactile signage throughout our interiors, we’re making the flying experience more inclusive and accessible and that’s good for everyone”.

Photo Credit: United Airlines


Not just using Braille

As well as using Braille to aid those customers with visual disabilities, United has also said it is currently working with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and other disability advocacy groups to explore the use of other tactile navigational aids within the cabin.

This is to help those people who do unfortunately suffer from such disabilities, allow them to have the most seamless experience when flying United.

However, Braille isn’t the first measure put in place by the carrier to help aid those with visual disabilities as in the past United has implemented measures to the likes of their United app and in flight entertainment screens in order to make it easier to navigate these systems.

“We applaud United for taking an important step toward making its aircraft more accessible to blind passengers”, said NFB President Mark Riccobono.

He added, “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”.

Lastly he said, “We hope to continue working with United to explore additional ways to make flying more accessible and less stressful for blind passengers”.

In addition, ACB Interim Executive Director Dan Spoone said, “United is taking additional steps to create an accessible airline passenger experience through braille signage”.

He added, “We appreciate the airline’s continue exploration of additional in flight navigational aids like large print and tactile indicators and we encourage all airlines to follow United’s lead in making air travel more inclusive for the blind and low vision community”.

Setting the bar

With United being the first U.S carrier to implement Braille to its fleet of aircraft cabins, it is hopefully setting the bar for other airlines not just in the U.S but also outside of the U.S to also include such a feature as well as find their own creative ways to help those with reduced vision when flying.

With that in mind we look forward to see United’s progress in catering to people with disabilities as the airline looks to be more inclusive in this field.

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By Lewis Chesworth 4 Min Read
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