British Airways announced last week that it had become the first UK airline to be awarded the National Autistic Society-accredited Autism Friendly award in recognition for its raising awareness of autism amongst staff and personnel.

The airline’s director of brand and customer experience, Carolina Martinoli said how proud British Airways were to receive the award:

“I am really proud that British Airways has been recognised as the first autism-friendly airline in the UK. 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 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.”

Earlier this year, the airline launched their Beyond Accessibility campaign, the biggest ever global accessibility training programme, which aimed to increase support for disabled passengers, including those who may be travelling with hidden disabilities including autism. This coincided with British Airways introducing a number of enhancements to improve the experience of customers requiring additional assistance.

Tom Purser, National Autistic Society’s head of campaigns and public engagement, said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise British Airways as the first autism-friendly airline in the UK; 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.

“By taking these steps, now and into the future, British Airways is opening up its world-renowned customer service and working with us to help create a society that works for autistic people.”


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