British Airways awarded Autism Friendly Award

04 April 2019

Business Disability Forum Member British Airways is the first airline to be awarded the renowned ‘Autism Friendly Award’, accredited by the National Autistic Society.

The airline has been recognised for the work it is doing to raise awareness of autism among its staff and for creating a personalised travel experience for autistic customers, allowing them to fly independently and with ease.

British Airways win

As British Airways celebrates its centenary year, the airline has been working closely with a number of specialist charities, including the National Autistic Society, and has implemented numerous enhancements to improve the experience for all customers requiring additional assistance, including those with autism and other hidden disabilities.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “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.”

Autism friendly badge

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.”