“Why are airlines (businesses and employers after all) turning away people with disabilities – but people who after all have purchasing abilities and talent?”
Words echoed in Anne Tynan’s report on Airlines and Disabled Customers, The State of Online Marketing.
This report got me thinking – Airlines will struggle to meet their revenue goals by failing to include one of the worlds’ largest untapped market spaces– the disability demographic. At the same time, they are not utilising their potential as not only a reliable service provider but a Champion of system change around disability – one where Ability Business is no longer seen as a charitable cause but a solid business venture.
A positive solution based approach to Ability Business across all industry sectors will allow businesses to, firstly enhance their reputation, revenue and talent sources and secondly lead the way for the economic empowerment and independence of people with disabilities in society.
The report published last month indicates that airlines are missing out on untapped revenue streams because they are not marketing to the disability demographic. To demonstrate this, the websites of 100 airlines were analysed and graded over a six month period (Feb – July 2012), in relation to two key areas;
1. How they Marketed Website Accessibility and
2. The Level of Information made available to disabled people.
A noteworthy point at this stage is that 58% of customers with disabilities say that the way they are treated affects the purchasing decisions of friends and families. Not only are Airline’s failing to win business from people with disabilities but they are also leaving an extensive market pool fall by the waste side – the friends and families of customers with disabilities.
Anne stated; “The findings show clearly that airlines are turning away disabled consumers. This may demonstrate the false but widespread misperception of disabled consumers, focusing on disability to the detriment of an individual’s buying power”
“Airline websites display various social media icons and make use of the latest web design techniques. Why is it so difficult for them to display an Accessibility link and to follow well-established website accessibility?” she added
The Disability Business Case (which underpins all Kanchi Ability Business Initiatives) is the practical approach to implementing strategic changes within business that benefit both the business and disability communities. 82% of customers with disabilities in the UK took their business to a more accessible competitor in 2006.
Ability Business can lead a new way of business and a new way of thinking about disabilities.
Click here for more information about the Kanchi Disability Business Case.