With summer travel picking up for the first time since the pandemic began, airport and airline employees around the country will have access to a new training video to help them assist travelers who are blind and visually impaired. Created as a partnership between Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Seeing Eye, two of North America’s largest guide dog schools, and Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, the video focuses on a number of best practices and tips with a special focus on how to maintain social distancing protocols while assisting travelers.
“Since the air travel industry already had so much to contend with during the pandemic, we wanted to share our expertise in a way that would help provide a safe and positive travel experience during and after the pandemic — not only for travelers who are blind but also for the airline and airport employees who serve them,” said Christine Benninger, president and CEO for Guide Dogs for the Blind. “This video is another example of how we have pivoted as an organization during the pandemic to better serve the blindness community.”
The video addresses:
- How to provide superior service while interacting with them and their guide dogs
- How to assist them in navigating the airport, while social distancing
- How to help guide dog teams navigate TSA screening
- How to provide guidance for boarding and exiting a plane
- How to provide physical assistance that doesn’t violate social distancing guidelines
“We are committed to providing the best service to our guests and appreciate the opportunity to work with Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Seeing Eye on this important video,” said Wayne Newton, vice president of airport operations and customer service, Alaska Airlines. “This video will be used to train our employees and ensure we are continuing the support of our guests who are blind and visually impaired in the best ways possible.”
While the video was developed for educating personnel in the travel industry, it also may prove useful for travelers who are blind or visually impaired. You can view the video here.