Edinburgh Airport announce a new app for disabled passengers

The welcome app, created by Neatebox, is designed to allow passengers to personalise the assistance they require and request assistance from the airport in advance.

The Edinburgh Airport passengers with Reduced Mobility team will then receive a notification letting them know that guests are on their way and will be sent extra tips on how best to aid the individual.

Edinburgh Airport said the app is yet another provision they offer to ensure the airport is open and accessible to all, regardless of their needs. They recently became the first airport in Scotland to be recognised as autism friendly. Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airports Chief Executive, told Insider: 

“It’s also good to work with local businesses and implement innovative approaches to passenger needs – we pride ourselves on being innovative and we are confident our accessibility will continue to improve with the introduction of Neatebox.”

Research carried out by Euan’s Guide showed 92% of disabled people do not feel confident visiting new places due to concerns about accessibility. Neatebox want to help improve lives through the use of smart technology. They hope that the ‘Welcome’ app will help promote Scotland as the ‘epicenter of innovation’.

Welcome app | Credit: Neatebox

EN4News spoke to Gavin Neate, Co-Founder of Neatebox, about the inspiration behind the innovative app and why it is so important in a customer service environment.  

“ When it comes to disability, we need to have so much more information now. Everyone likes to be interacted with differently. If you go up and you were instantly happy and friendly towards someone with autism, that might not actually be what they need. Therefore if we knew what somebody’s needs were before we met them, then that would be brilliant.

70% of people who are disabled have hidden disabilities. We generally think about providing service for people who have obvious disabilities – a blind person, a wheelchair user, someone with a walking cane. Things like autism, epilepsy and dyslexia – these are all disabilities a person has to self disclose. If you’re standing at a bank or if you’re in a hotel or a Starbucks queue, the last thing you want to do is talk to the person behind the counter and explain.”

Neate added: 

“ I think this Welcome can potentially be massive. We’re also installed with Royal Bank of Scotland, DoubleTree Hilton, the Scottish Government. Ultimately, this could go everywhere. It could help everyone. We don’t just want to help a disabled person get better service, we want to help the customer service person give better service.”

The announcement comes on the same day, East Lothian council announced controversial changes to disabled services in Edinburgh.

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