British Airways (BA) is leading this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month announcing a three-year partnership with Alzheimer’s Society. The aim is to keep the airline attuned to the needs of dementia-affected passengers.
- British Airways and Alzheimer’s Society Unite – This new partnership is supported by the BA Better World Community Fund. It will uplift awareness, gather funds, and offer support to passengers traveling with dementia.
- £3.4 Million and Counting – BA’s Better World Community Fund. Since its inception in 2022, has raised an impressive sum, now backing over 170 UK charities.
- Beyond Funding – This initiative isn’t just about money. BA will bring onboard Alzheimer’s Society’s expertise into its operations. That includes specialized dementia training for its frontline staff and the Dementia Friends initiative. Their ultimate goal? To keep BA at the lead of accessible air travel, including for those traveling with dementia.
The Challenges of Travel with Dementia:
Dementia, affecting nearly a million UK residents, manifests in diverse ways, from memory issues to behavioral changes. Knowledge and empathy are crucial in making a difference.
For dementia patients like Rashmi Paun, travel becomes an insurmountable challenge due to symptoms like disorientation and memory loss. Yet, the desire to travel remains. His wife, Maggie Paun, praised BA’s initiative. “The fact is that people like us would still like to travel as much as we used to do,” she said.
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said: “This is a subject very close to my heart, and many of us have experienced a loved one living with dementia and know the added anxiety that travel can bring. Through this partnership, we continue our commitment to make travel accessible for everyone while raising awareness and funds for the vital work this fantastic charity does.”
Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society CEO, emphasized the importance of making travel a better experience for travelers with dementia.
“The urgency to meet the challenge posed by dementia is greater than ever, and we are delighted to be working with British Airways to help improve the travel experience for people affected by the condition. We’re looking forward to being part of the journey.”
A Vision for Accessible Travel:
Importantly, over 500,000 passengers who need extra assistance board a British Airways flight every year The airline’s mission? Ensure every passenger, irrespective of visible or invisible disabilities, feels at ease. From mobility assistance to understanding neurodiverse conditions, BA aims to make air travel accessible for those with disabilities.
Anyone seeking more about British Airways’ accessible travel initiatives can refer here.
How Can You Help?
Feel inspired by BA’s initiative and wish to contribute? Donations to Alzheimer’s Society are accepted through the BA Better World Community Fund. As an incentive, donations made until 31 October 2023 stand a chance to win a dream holiday to Dubai! Get more details here.
Making Air Travel Accessible
Critically, this partnership showcases the potential for change when commercial giants like British Airways unite with charitable organizations. It’s not just about charity; it’s about improving the experience of thousands of passengers.