British Airways has become the first UK airline to be hailed autism-friendly.
Flying abroad can be hard work for all parents but for the mums and dads of children with autism, the experience is often harder.
So British Airways has been making improvements to help make the travel experience easier for those on the autistic spectrum.
And today the airline has become the first in the UK to be officially recognised as autism-friendly by the National Autistic Society.
The award was revealed on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2).
British Airways has been working closely with a number of specialist charities, including the National Autistic Society and has implemented numerous enhancements.
These include working on a social story to help explain the travel process for customers with autism and other hidden disabilities.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “We welcome nearly half a million customers who require special assistance each year and we’ll be prioritising further improvements for these customers throughout our centenary year.
“This includes a new, specialist team in our customer contact centres, accessible information on ba.com and further training for colleagues.
“We also understand that our customers with autism often find new environments stressful and overwhelming and that’s why we’re creating a step-by-step guide of the British Airways journey experience, which I’m looking forward to sharing with customers very soon.”
Tom Purser, National Autistic Society’s Head of Campaigns and Public Engagement, said: “The airline has worked hard to achieve our prestigious Autism Friendly Award, making changes to staff training, the kind of information available to customers and the process of getting on and off a British Airways aircraft.”
Earlier this year, British Airways launched its ‘Beyond Accessibility’ campaign, its biggest ever global accessibility training programme for staff.
The airline also endorses the ‘Sunflower’ hidden disability lanyard, a subtle way for customers to let British Airways customer service agents know they have a hidden disability and may require extra help.
Have you found an airline to be autism-friendly? Or do you have any bad experiences to share? Get in touch below, we’d love to hear from you.