Requests for assistance for airline passengers with intellectual disabilities have seen an increase of 342 per cent in Middle East and Africa, following a 10-month long campaign to raise awareness of a dedicated Special Service Request (SSR) booking code by travel technology company, Travelport. SSR codes are used in the airline industry to communicate traveller preferences or needs to airlines. They are delivered through standardised four-letter codes defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The DPNA SSR code can be used by travel agents, among others, to alert airlines when a passenger has intellectual or developmental disability and needs assistance.
As part of its campaign to raise awareness of the DPNA SSR code, Travelport has shared educational ‘sign-on alerts’ and graphical ‘prompts’ more than 10 million times with hundreds of thousands of travel agents across the world through Travelport Smartpoint, its flagship Point of Sale solution that is used by travel agents, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms and more. The digital media used to reach travel agents is typically sold by Travelport to travel providers, like airlines and hotels, as advertising space.
Mark Meehan, Travelport’s Global Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Operators, said, “SSR codes play an important role in helping travel agents effectively and officially communicate the needs of travellers to IATA airlines, so it’s important agents are aware of the codes at their disposal and the kind of support that can be requested.”