British Airways becomes the first U.K. airline to officially recognize the sunflower lanyard

British Airways has today become the first UK airline to officially recognize the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. Customers can choose to wear a Sunflower lanyard as an indication that they may require additional support, assistance or simply a little more time while traveling. The initiative forms part of the airline’s continued efforts to make travel simple and easy for customers with additional assistance needs.

The airline’s new partnership with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower will see the organization’s bespoke, high-quality videos embedded into British Airway’s training modules. British Airways colleagues will also have access to specialized videos via the airline’s staff intranet. This training will provide colleagues with an understanding of what an invisible disability is and how to become more confident to approach and support customers wearing a Sunflower lanyard.

Increasing the awareness of non-visible disabilities across the airline and promoting the Sunflower will contribute to enhancing the customer experience for British Airways customers. Those that travel with the airline can be confident that they will receive the support, assistance and understanding they require throughout their journey.

Welcoming the new partnership, Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said:

Supporting customers with additional needs

Aiming to become the airline of choice for customers with invisible and visible disabilities, British Airways has invested in several initiatives to ensure a seamless experience for customers requiring additional assistance.

In 2018, British Airways launched its ‘Beyond Accessibility’ campaign, the airline’s largest global accessibility training program. This program empowers customer-facing colleagues to improve support for customers requiring additional assistance. It includes a new library of digital learning providing information about invisible disabilities and practical advice on how to support customers at each stage of their journey*.

In 2019, the airline created a dedicated team of accessibility experts to assist with customer enquiries, and as a result, British Airways saw customer satisfaction levels more than double for travelers with accessibility needs **.

British Airways also became the first and only airline to be awarded the renowned Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society and is the first airline to produce a Visual Guide to Flying to help customers prepare for their flight. The guide, which can be found on ba.com, is endorsed by the National Autistic Society and explains the sights, sounds, smells and experiences customers may encounter during their journey***.

The same year, British Airways signed up to the ‘Valuable 500’ pledge to make accessibility a global business priority.