Imagine being able to remain in your own wheelchair for the duration of a flight! No hassles with transfers, fewer worries about your chair being damaged in transit, boarding and disembarking as simple as wheeling on and off… it sounds like a dream, but Delta Airlines is making it a reality.
Delta has designed a new seat – the Air 4 All – that will enable power wheelchair users to remain in their own chair for their entire journey.
The Air 4 All seat can function as a regular passenger seat, but it can also be converted to accommodate and secure a wheelchair. People seated in the Air 4 All will have access to a headrest, centre console, tray table, and all of the usual amenities that come with flying.
Delta partnered with Flying Disabled to ensure the design was fully functional and optimised for people who travel with a wheelchair. Chris Wood, the founder of Flying Disabled, says: “An innovation like this in air travel provides those with reduced mobility a safe and comfortable way for them to travel and remain in their own power wheelchair. It has taken truly a collaborative effort to develop this seat and we believe this product provides an optimal solution for all parties.”
The prototype of the Air 4 All seat debuted at the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany. It still has to undergo rigorous testing for certification, but all signs point to a promising innovation to make flying simpler for wheelchair users in the near future.