The announcement of British Airways and Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) will be working together was made on 3rd December 2022, marking the date as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
As QEF aims to increase the independence of people with physical and learning disabilities, British Airways is showing its commitment to improving its customer experience by teaming up with them.
British Airways has donated real cabin seating to the charity as a tool in their two-stage Tryb4uFly consultation and assessment service, which will allow passengers with disabilities to get acquainted with the entire experience so they can be better prepared. They are also working together to assess and pre-approve seat support devices for BA flights recommended by the charity.
The airline is also supporting some of QEF’s training sessions at QEF’s centre in Carshalton, South London and at London Heathrow Airport for clinicians across the country to ensure they are well prepared to support people with disabilities ahead of their journey.
Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability at British Airways, said, “Almost half a million customers who require additional assistance fly with British Airways each year. We’re committed to doing everything we can to support these customers as part of our BA Better World programme and by working with expert organisations like Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, we’re taking another positive step to improve our service.”
Michelle Giles, QEF Mobility Services Manager said, “QEF provides a range of expert services that support disabled people to be as independent as possible. Advanced knowledge of equipment and support available at the airport and from airlines can make a journey much more comfortable.
“We’re grateful to British Airways for its support in improving our mock cabin with updated seating, so that everyone, no matter who they are flying with, can have a more realistic cabin experience before they commit to a flight. British Airways has also supported our professional training courses with valued insight and access to Heathrow Airport, which has been really beneficial for all involved. We’re looking forward to working closely with BA in the future to improve the experience of air travel for all disabled passengers.”
Through its commitment to providing better customer service to disabled people, British Airways was the first UK airline to be awarded the renowned Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society, the first to formally recognise the sunflower lanyard scheme (partnering with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower), the first to produce a Visual Guide to Flying to help customers prepare for their flight and the first UK carrier to embed British Sign Language (BSL) in its customer engagement centres by partnering with Sign Live.