My name is Richard and I am the founder and inventor of Traveller Chair.
I am a chartered engineer and have worked in management for the manufacturing industry for many years.
I have always looked for solutions to overcome problems and the Traveller Chair was the solution to a very real problem.
Traveller Chair is a carry-on bag that turns into a wheelchair. Traveller Chair helps people with reduced mobility to travel with freedom and independence with their innovative range of products. It’s a revolution for travellers with reduced mobility – in particular anyone who has difficulty walking between modes of transport.
So no more waiting at airport terminals for service providers to bring you a wheelchair.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
As husband to my wife Jane, I have experienced first-hand how stressful travelling can be for people with reduced mobility and their companions. We have been through the experience of our booked travel assistance arriving late, arriving in an unclean state, or not arriving at all!
When myself and my wife Jane, who has cerebral palsy, were left stranded while we waited for assistance to get off a plane in 2019, I knew something needed to be done. So I decided to put my background to good use and designed the Traveller Chair.
Traveller Chair is an innovative product answering a very real problem for travellers and we are based in Derby, UK.
My goal is to help travellers become more self-sufficient. Those of us with limited mobility can often talk ourselves out of a trip because all they can see is the problems ahead of them. Traveller Chair is designed to make travelling easier and less reliant on airports and cabin crew. It’s actually a win-win-win solution for travellers and airports!
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
I would have liked to have known Covid would hit! When we did the risk assessment, we missed spotting a worldwide pandemic that would freeze the travel industry for 3 years! Though receiving the first salable products and presenting one to my wife was a pivotal moment for both the business and for us a couple.
Whilst Covid slowed things down, it enabled me to identify the pain points we were responding to.
The first pain point is that of the traveller. If someone is travelling with someone with limited mobility, purchasing a Traveller Chair can remove a lot of pre-travel anxiety that is often experienced. Worries about getting to gates, through a busy airport or even standing in queues become a world easier with a Traveller Chair.
The second pain point is to offer a solution to the Air Travel industry. In fact someone shared with me recently that there are more passengers seeking assistance when leaving aeroplanes – they cited on particular flight, 158 passengers sought assistance, from an aeroplane of 800 passengers. This puts a considerable amount of pressure on the staff.
It is my intention that airports consider Traveller Chair as another choice available to travellers when this type of thing occurs!
What can we hope to see from the company in the future?
The more people are aware of a solution like Traveller Chair, the more people can take responsibility for their journeys, the more people are likely to travel again.
I would love to pass Traveller Chair to a company with the reach and ambition to take it as far as it can go.