British Airways has established a partnership with the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, falling on 3 December 2022.

QEF assists in the growth of self-reliance in children and people with physical and learning disabilities, as well as those with acquired brain injuries. The airline’s dedication to improving the experience for its passengers, who require special assistance, is highlighted by its collaboration with QEF.

QEF’s Specialized Services

QEF-Specialized-Services
QEF’s specialized services let anxious travellers assess cabin seats. © QEF

In order to help persons with disabilities become more informed and more self-assured about the options that are open to them, QEF’s specialized services provide a wide variety of support, one of which is assistance with flying.

A two-stage Tryb4uFly consultation and assessment service is provided by the charity. This service gives anxious travellers the opportunity to try out the actual cabin seating that British Airways have supplied. Alternatively, they may try out a virtual, immersive experience of what it is like to travel from their home to their destination.

Tryb4uFly is a disability charity registered in the United Kingdom, based in Surrey, with a national reach.

The experience assists in identifying any equipment or additional support needed to make travel simpler for flyers with special needs.

QEF Tryb4uFly Assessment Service

Tryb4uFly-assessment-service
An expert team of skilled specialists offers consultation and assessment visits to discuss passenger needs. © QEF

Passengers may find details on how British Airways and QEF have collaborated to evaluate and pre-approve seat assistance devices recommended by the charity for use on BA flights on the airline’s website or by contacting the airline’s dedicated accessibility team.

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 organizations like Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, we’re taking another positive step to improve our service.”

Both in the QEF centre in Carshalton, South London, and at London Heathrow Airport, employees of the airline are helping out with some of the training sessions that the organization hosts for physicians from all over the nation.

British Airways provides medical professionals with training classes that familiarize them with the layout and operation of the airline’s aircraft cabins and the passenger journey via the airline’s primary hub, Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.

Michelle Giles, QEF Mobility Services Manager said:

“QEF provides a range of expert services that support disabled people to be as independent as possible. Advance 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.”

The airline is committed to delivering a seamless travel experience and has adopted a variety of initiatives as it progresses towards this goal. The company’s ultimate goal is to become the airline of choice for customers who have impairments, whether such disabilities are visible or invisible.

British Airways was the first UK airline to receive the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award, and the first to embed British Sign Language (BSL) in its customer engagement centres by partnering with Sign Live.

 

Will the BA and QEF collaboration improve the passenger experience of disabled people? Share your valuable comments below.

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  • I losty hearing, at the age of 42, during COVID and tbh there are still times I struggle in adapting. I have highly limited hearing via aids but what, for now, remains is so little I fit the criteria to be deemed as deaf.

    I’d flown a fair bit before so flying persay isn’t an issue it’s more communication with the crew and the worry that I wouldn’t hear any announcements in an emergency. A bug bear for me, and strangely my wife who gets Really annoyed about it, is when crew don’t share this info amongst themselves which, especially on long haul flights will result in them seeing me wake up & coming to talk to me about breakfast or some random thing. Until I have my aids in and my body has adapted to the changing pressure then I haven’t a clue what they’re saying as the cabin is dimmed so I can’t lip read. I find it quite embarrassing but the wife gets super annoyed about it.

    BA, who is my most regular carrier is certainly amongst, if not the, best. I won’t name her here but my outbound flight from LHR-DUS last Friday was probably the epitome of their staff where a young lady had checked the manifest and very proactively asked me if I was comfortable her asking how severe my condition was ( and checking with the missus I’d be able to hear her questions) then went to great lengths to announceate and ‘stretch’ her words and went that little bit further in her request for me or the other half to call her at anytime or for any reason along with asking if I would like a personal safety briefing ahead of the normal one.

    Imho it’s the tiniest of extra effort by ground staff or crew that make a world of difference and BA, at least in my experience, do a lot better than most and don’t just pay ‘lip service’ to PRM or disabled pax


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