British Airways has announced a new partnership with Learning Rose, an organisation that creates support material for individuals with autism, in recognition of World Autism Acceptance Week.
As part of this partnership, British Airways has become the first airline in the UK to produce a Visual Guide to Flying, which has been endorsed by the National Autistic Society.
The guide can be downloaded from the airline’s website, and it uses simple icons and text to describe different parts of the flying experience to help customers with autism prepare for their journey and feel comfortable during their flight.
The Visual Guide is just the first initiative of the partnership, and it is accompanied by British Airways staff training and support, as well as bespoke staff consultation sessions, to ensure that the airline’s staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide the best possible service to customers with autism.
British Airways has a dedicated customer care team that customers can liaise with to discuss and arrange appropriate assistance for each individual, whether that be assistance through the airport and on board, pre-allocation of seats, or updating a booking to ensure cabin and ground crew are aware of any support that customers may require.
Rebecca Taylor, founder of Learning Rose and a former British Airways cabin crew member whose son has autism, is proud to partner with British Airways to help ease travel anxieties that people with autism may face.
I know from both my experience working as cabin crew and from travelling with my son that flying can sometimes be overwhelming for people with autism, so I am delighted to be working with British Airways to help ease any travel anxieties that people with autism may face.
British Airways was the first UK airline to be awarded the renowned Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society, and the first formally to recognise the sunflower lanyard scheme, partnering with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.
Calum Laming, Chief Customer Officer at British Airways said,
At British Airways we welcome more than half a million customers who require special assistance each year and we’re fully committed to making sure our service is accessible to all. We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for customers with visible and non-visible disabilities. Our partnership with Learning Rose is just one of the many initiatives we have in place to make flying as stress-free as possible and we’re looking forward to further strengthening and enhancing our partnership going forward.
There are dedicated check-in areas at London Heathrow Airport for those requiring additional assistance, and customers have the option to add any requirements to their booking in advance of traveling through the ‘Manage My Booking’ tool on ba.com.
As a UK-based business traveller, if you or someone you know has autism and will be traveling with British Airways, this new partnership with Learning Rose could be very helpful. The Visual Guide to Flying, endorsed by the National Autistic Society, provides a simple and easy-to-use guide to help customers with autism prepare for their journey and feel comfortable during their flight. In addition, the airline’s dedicated customer care team can assist with arranging appropriate assistance for each individual, whether that be assistance through the airport and on board, pre-allocation of seats, or updating a booking to ensure cabin and ground crew are aware of any support that customers may require.
British Airways’ commitment to making its service accessible to all, as well as its recognition by the National Autistic Society, demonstrates its dedication to providing a comfortable and stress-free travel experience for all of its customers.