July 25, 2024

British Airways introduces accessibility panel

British Airways has held the first meeting of its new accessibility panel.

The Customer Access Advisory Panel aims to “improve the end-to-end experience for passengers with accessibility requirements”. 

Members have both visible and non-visible disabilities. They include Mary Doyle, a wheelchair user and accessible aviation consultant; Neil Barnfather MBE, an entrepreneur and accessibility advocate; and Simon Houghton, a behaviour change consultant who was born deaf.

Meetings will take place every few months to provide feedback, as well as discuss and review initiatives. 

The panel will shape improvements within British Airways and provide practical recommendations on best practices for inclusivity.

Xavier Mascarell, Customer Accessibility Strategy Manager at British Airways and founder of the panel, said: “We work hard to remove barriers and support passengers with accessibility requirements throughout their journey, but know there is more work to be done. 

“The insights and recommendations we receive from our advisory panel members will be vital to improving our accessibility offering. We want to ensure a positive flying experience for everyone and we hope the learnings we gain through these meetings will drive further change.”

Mary Doyle, Chair of the panel, added: “I’m over the moon to support British Airways as Chair of its new Customer Access Advisory Panel as this demonstrates a visible commitment from the airline’s leadership to make flying more comfortable and dignified for everyone. 

“Tailoring the passenger experience is key to our success, as disability is not one size fits all. We have a great team of professionals with lived experience on the panel who are curious, innovative and put the passenger at the centre of all decisions. This team is committed to helping British Airways learn directly from the disability community and we’ll have some fun along the way.”