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Permobil Blog / April 11, 2024

Enhancing Air Travel Accessibility: Insights from Traveler Jason Regier

Enhancing Air Travel Accessibility: Insights from Traveler Jason Regier

In our recent blog post, we delved into the significance of air travel for global exploration, connection, and personal growth, shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities trying to navigate the complexities of air travel. In response to the difficulties people in mobility devices can experience during air travel, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has put forth proposed changes aimed at enhancing the wheelchair assistance services offered by airlines.

To offer more perspective, we reached out to Jason Regier to share his thoughts on the proposed changes. As the head coach for the ParaSport Denmark Wheelchair Rugby Team, Jason is a seasoned traveler who is constantly on the move these days.


You’ve done a lot of traveling. What has stood out to you as a wheelchair user, and do you think the changes in the proposed rule address some of the challenges you’ve encountered?
After reading the proposed rule, it seems like an ambitious effort to significantly improve airline awareness and responsibility – something that is very much needed. I believe the changes outlined in the proposed rule could address some of the challenges I’ve personally faced. For instance, there was a situation where my wheelchair almost didn’t make it onto the plane. I spotted it on the tarmac just as we were about to depart from the gate. Fortunately, I alerted a flight attendant and managed to delay the flight to ensure my chair was loaded. Additionally, I’ve encountered instances where my wheelchair ended up at baggage claim (especially in Europe) instead of being delivered to the gate. Having confirmation of when the chair is loaded or unloaded, along with assurance that it’s being sent to the correct location, would be a very welcome change.

What changes in the proposed rule are you most excited about?
The confirmation of loading would provide huge peace of mind for me.

Are there any other changes you would like to see secured for accessible travel in the future?
I would like to know when mobility assistance will be available at the gate and ready to help me board the plane. Currently, it’s a constant struggle, and sometimes I end up boarding after everyone else, rather than following the typical pre-boarding procedure. When boarding later, there’s not enough time or space to get into my seat and set up in the way I need for the flight. It can also be disruptive to those around me. A significant (future) improvement would be if I could remain in my wheelchair and have access to a bathroom during the flight.

Regier-FamilyJason with his wife Angela and two sons Beckett and Alec

Do you think that people who use CRT/mobility equipment will be more likely to travel if these changes are implemented? Why?
I believe that implementing these changes will enhance the experience for those that already choose to travel. However, it could have an even more significant impact on individuals with more complex mobility equipment, potentially encouraging and facilitating their desire to travel.

What encouragement would you offer someone who is thinking about traveling with their wheelchair for the first time?
The world is big and waiting to be explored! Step out of your living room and start planning your adventures. Connect with others who share similar situations (especially those with similar types of equipment) to discuss essential travel tips. Whether it’s preparation before your trip, navigating during travel, or handling unexpected situations, sharing knowledge can make your travel experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Why is this type of advocacy important to be involved in and how would you encourage others to participate?
Continuing to raise awareness about the needs of individuals with disabilities within the airline and travel industry is crucial. Without this awareness, meaningful change won’t occur. By sharing your unique experiences and perspectives, you can contribute not only to your own well-being but also to creating a safer and more enjoyable travel experience for the broader disability community.


As active participants and champions for change, it is crucial to actively involve ourselves in the DOT's proposal and play a role in shaping policies that prioritize accessibility and elevate the travel experience for all. Let's unite in our efforts to make air travel genuinely inclusive, accommodating, and pleasurable for individuals of diverse abilities.

Submit your comments here and learn how to Advocate for More. 

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Jason-HeadshotJason Regier

Executive and Leadership Coach

Jason is an executive and leadership coach. He began his career in management development, HR corporate leadership training and HR and operations training. As an elite athlete, he has been a consultant and speaker. Jason represented TEAM USA in wheelchair rugby for 12 years, and he’s currently head coach for the ParaSport Denmark Wheelchair Rugby Team. In this position, he’s led Denmark to the 2018 world championships, their first paralympic games in Tokyo (2020-2021), and the upcoming 2024 Paralympic games in Paris (fall 2024).

Categories: Complex Rehab, Power, Manual, End User

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