British Airways has marked International Persons with Disabilities Day by pledging its commitment to improving accessibility for its customers.
The carrier’s chairman and CEO Alex Cruz signed a pledge committing BA to The Valuable 500, a global movement aimed at making accessibility a business priority.
BA said that by signing the pledge “Mr Cruz committed to include accessibility on his board agenda and will continue to support investments that improve the journey experience for customers with additional needs”.
The airline said that nearly half a million customers flying with BA each year require additional assistance, with this figure forecast to grow by 8 per cent year on year.
BA said it had invested in a number of initiatives designed to “ensure journeys are as simple and easy as possible”, including a Beyond Accessibility training programme for 30,000 customer-facing staff, and a Visual Guide to Flying which has been endorsed by the National Autism Society.
The airline has also launched a team of “accessibility experts” for travellers requiring additional assistance, with a dedicated phone number and email address for customers.
And in October BA became the first airline to partner with the Department for Transport, on the ‘It’s Everyone’s Journey” initiative.
Commenting on the pledge Cruz said:
“I am really proud of the strides British Airways is making to support customers requiring additional assistance, from our investment in enhanced staff training to the dedicated customer team which, having been in place just two months, has already doubled customer satisfaction levels for the customers they are supporting.
“We know travelling with a hidden or visible disability can be difficult, so through signing this pledge we are making a commitment to get this right for our customers, and providing reassurance that we will do all we can to make their journey easy and stress-free.”
Subscribers to Business Traveller can read Jenni Reid’s recent special report on accessibility in the hotel industry: