Asiana Airlines opens special lounge for the physically challenged

Hansarang check donation

The Incheon Disabled Community Center accepts a check donation from Asiana Airlines officials.

Passengers using wheelchairs of Asiana Airlines (OZ) now have a special lounge in Incheon International Airport. Asiana has opened the Hansarang lounge on the third floor of the airport, right across its check-in counters. Passengers with disabilities can check-in and board their flight with special access from the Hansarang lounge.

To commemorate the lounge’s opening, executives and staff led by Asiana President and CEO Yoon Young-Doo welcomed the Incheon Disabled Community Center for a wheelchair donation ceremony. “We will continue to differentiate our services in providing the best quality of services towards our passengers,” he said. Members of the community center got to try the facilities first hand during the ceremony.

The Hansarang lounge provides a snack bar with various beverages, an entertainment system with DVD player, games and Internet system. Prior to construction, Asiana consulted an association for the disabled to customize the lounge according to the needs of the passenger. Space for wheelchair movement, curving corners of furniture for smoother movement, and storage space for their carry-on baggage went into the design of the space. Braille has also been installed and the lounge has been set up to the eye level of its wheelchaired users. The lounge has a dedicated staff to serve passengers.

Choi Kyung-Ryul, a person with disability at the event, noted, “Many of the facilities for the disabled in Korea are limited to just toilets. Asiana’s effort in installing a facility to accommodate the disabled is very meaningful. The Hansarang lounge is meaningful to us and is very moving.”

In 2010, over 47,000 passengers with disabilities travelled through Incheon International Airport. Asiana predicts the number will rise from 5-10% this year and that the new lounge will serve up to 70 people a day travelling all over the world.