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British Airways today announced the launch of a new team dedicated to the support of passengers with accessibility needs.

We’ve read shocking stories about passengers crawling in airports and plane aisle due to lost wheelchairs or being left unattended on flights, which makes this story a positive step forward. Recently, disabled TV presenter, Sophie Morgan was left in a state of stress with no support on a flight. Frankly reading stories like these makes us all realise that airlines must do more to support people with accessibility needs.

We’re pleased to see that British Airways has launched a dedicated service to meet the needs of people with mobility issues. We hope British Airways hasn’t launched the scheme as part of a vanity project in response to the number of complaints they have received. It should be meaningful, allowing for passenger to have a positive flying experience.

£6.5 billion investment for customers

The press release repeated three times that this was part of the £6.5 billion investment for customers. Yes, we get it, you’re investing in customers. Strategically, if you don’t invest, you’re going to get left behind the competition. An upgrade to your dated cabins are a much needed refresh to an ageing fleet. Read our blog of the new ClubSuites here.

Earlier this year the airline also launched a programme to improve assistance for passengers with disabilities.

What are British Airways saying they are offering for disabled passengers?

  • handpicked team of customer service professionals that have received specialist training. This is to enable them to answer any questions people face via phone or email
  • help with making new flight bookings
  • hotel and car hire bookings
  • help with informing cabin crew and airport staff about specific requirements
  • sharing of information to support and empower customers with the confidence to fly
The new British Airways’ accessibility team

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience said: “I am really excited about the possibilities the new team will open up for the 50,000 customers requiring additional assistance who travel with us each month. Every member of the team is incredibly passionate about helping our customers and enabling them to relax and enjoy British Airways’ unique service.”

In this day and age, if airlines don’t cater for passengers with special accessibility requirements, they should start reconsidering their practices and think about how they can support them more.

I hope the move will result in more positive experiences for people with special accessibility needs. It should not just be a vanity project for British Airways to raise their corporate profile. I hope they’re not paying lip service to the growing demand and can demonstrate that they’re making a difference.

Note: the service is only available from 9-5 Monday to Saturday. Outside of these hours you can leave the team an email.

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