Influences of aircraft seat adaptations on wheelchair user perceptions when transferring into and out of the seat: A pilot study

Influences of aircraft seat adaptations on wheelchair user perceptions when transferring into and out of the seat: A pilot study

V. SpartacusC. Gillet S. Paganelli D.H. Gagnon P. Pudlo 

Laboratoire d'Automatique, de Mécanique, et de l'Informatique industrielles et Humaines, UMR CNRS 8201, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, Valenciennes, France

Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal, Montreal Rehabilitation Institute, 6300 Avenue Darlington, Montreal, Canada

School of Rehabilitation, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

Corresponding Author Email:
15 September 2018
| |
31 October 2018
| | Citation



Aircraft seat accessibility for wheelchair users is very complicated. The distance between two seats is very small which creates accommodation deficiencies. Improving air travel experience, and more specifically egress and ingress of aircraft seat could be associated with development of some adaptations. An experimental study was made to propose three removal adaptations on aircraft seat and to collect perceptions of wheelchair users. According to the results the adaptation the most appreciate was when surfaces of the boarding chair and of the aircraft seat were fixed at the same level. The results of this study give perspectives for further researches on the impact of some adaptations which could be provided on aircraft seat. Results might also be used to design products and service to improve sitting transfer.


ergonomic, aircraft seat, adaptation, accessibility, wheelchair user perceptions

1. Introduction
2. Method
3. Results
4. Conclusion

[1] World Health Organization. (2011). World report on disability. Geneva, Switzerland.

[2] Burnett JJ, Baker HB. (2001). Assessing the travel-related behaviors of the mobility-disabled consumer. Journal of Travel Research 40(1): 4-11.

[3] Open Doors Organization. (2005). Research among adults with disabilities: Travel and hospitality. Chicago: Open Doors Organization. 

[4] Open Doors Organization. (2015). Disability travel in the United States: recent research and findings. Chicago: Open Doors Organization. 

[5] Poria Y, Reichel A, Brandt Y. (2010). The flight experiences of people with disabilities: An exploratory study. Journal of Travel Research 49(2): 216-227.

[6] Chang YC, Chen CF. (2011). Meeting the needs of disabled air passangers. Factors that facilitate help from airlines and airports. Tourism Management 33: 529-536.

[7] Chang YC, Chen CF. (2012). Overseas travel choice for persons with reduced mobility. Journal of Air Transport Management 20: 43-45.

[8] Grant RC. (2013). The state of PRM accessibility in single aisle commercial aircraft. SAE International.

[9] Quigley C, Southall D, Freer M, Moody A, Porter M. (2001). Anthropometric study to update minimum aircraft seating standards. Review of AN64

[10] Molenaar C, Gabrielli F, Pudlo P. (2015). The influence of spatial barriers on the ingress/egress movement toward an aircraft seat for persons with reduced mobility: A preliminary study. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 18(1): 2002-2003.

[11] Gabrielli F, Molenaar C, Blandeau M, Pudlo P. (2016). Impact of spatial hindrance on Sit-to-Stand and exit strategies of low mobility passengers. AMSE IFRATH Publication - Modelling C 77(2): 120-29.