Illinois Tourism & Travel

Crazy About Travel

World’s tallest woman takes her first airplane flight with help of accessibility mods

(CNN) — Rumeysa Gelgi, the world’s tallest residing lady, recently boarded an airplane from her property nation of Turkey to San Francisco.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t just any flight. It was Gelgi’s initially, and just one that highlighted a rising awareness to accessibility.
Gelgi, 25, stands at 7 feet, .7 inches tall. Her proportions are a final result of Weaver syndrome, a exceptional genetic situation that brings about bone overgrowth. She has been a Guinness World Document celebrity considering the fact that her teenagers, and holds data in various dimension-similar types, together with the longest fingers on a living individual and the longest back on a living woman particular person.

Gelgi on a regular basis travels to share her story, and utilizes her warm wit to unfold system positivity on social media. Even so, inspite of her global profile, she had never ever flown on an plane right before. Like lots of folks with Weaver syndrome, Gelgi utilizes mobility aids to get around, and a extensive flight would demand particular accommodation for her incredible body.

But in September, Gelgi last but not least took to the skies. In an Instagram publish a number of months later, she shared pictures from her vacation aboard Turkish Airlines, which was created doable immediately after the airlines eliminated several seats on the plane so Gelgi could rest comfortably on a stretcher throughout the 13-hour journey from Istanbul to California.

“A flawless journey from begin to end,” Gelgi mentioned on Instagram, praising Turkish Airways staff and medical staff for their get the job done. Gelgi said that even though it was her initially aircraft trip, “it undoubtedly will not likely be my previous.”

In her images, Gelgi appears to get the VIP treatment, conversing with smiling staff members aboard the aircraft and taking pleasure in a initial-course food.

Gelgi, who is a computer programmer as perfectly as a public advocate, suggests she is shelling out her time in San Francisco working with Guinness World Records.

CNN has reached out to Turkish Airways and Guinness Entire world Information for comment.

Earning air travel far more accessible for all people

Gelgi’s modern vacation highlights a rising awareness of airline accessibility for persons with physical differences and disabilities. Historically, air journey has been inconvenient at most effective for this sort of tourists, and, at worst, abusive and painful.
CNN talked to Linda Ristagno, Assistant Director of External Affairs at the Intercontinental Air Transportation Affiliation, which sets international criteria for air travel. Ristagno, who a short while ago been given the Open Doorways Organization’s Disability Obtain Qualified Award for her get the job done, described what types of global and structural endeavours are underway to improve accessibility for all vacationers.

“We are devoted to guaranteeing all passengers can get pleasure from the freedom of air travel, and we be expecting benchmarks [among participating airlines and airports] to be reliable so the exact same degree of guidance can be presented to everyone,” she explained.

Ristagno says a recent conference of the Intercontinental Civil Aviation Firm (ICAO), a United Nations company, manufactured a historic resolution that will far better make it possible for distinct pieces of the business to get the job done with each other to improve accessibility.

“This resolution encourages governments to collaborate with airlines and incapacity companies, and all actors, which includes vacationers with disabilities, to access remedies,” she reported.

One particular of the most significant priorities this resolution can enable with is the basic principle of “universal style,” in which accessibility is crafted into the extremely construction of buildings and mechanisms, somewhat than addressed as an addition or modification.

Additionally, Ristagno states field groups and condition businesses are also striving to enhance infrastructure and procedures all around the transport of mobility aids these types of as motorized wheelchairs — a individual soreness position when it arrives to accessible journey.

“The root of the problems airlines facial area in the loading and risk-free storage of mobility aids is several have been intended with air transport in mind,” she describes. “That turns into even much more tough as mobility aids expand in sizing, complexity and excess weight. There is possibility of damage in transporting them, and possibility of harming the gadget.”

By hunting at the challenge from all angles, air vacation teams like IATA, ICAO and collaborating functions can discover prolonged-phrase alternatives, together with style and design enhancements that let for easier navigation in airports and on planes, and even better-intended mobility aids.

“You will find an inherent determination to increase specifications, as these travellers depict a rising segment of the desire for air journey,” Ristagno stated. “Also, disability is a medical term. But accessibility is a social term. We want to make sure we are available for all.”