British Airways has partnered with Signcode UK to improve its accessibility offering for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers.
This will include new signed video content containing helpful travel information for customers both pre-travel and while on board.
The first video, which is available for viewing pre-travel on ba.com, offers a comprehensive overview of British Airways’ service proposition throughout the entire journey, including booking process, the airport experience, onboard services and the in-flight entertainment offering. It also includes a BSL introduction from Fredrick Da Costa, British Airways’ first Deaf Customer Experience Agent who uses BSL as part of his role.
A second video, available by the end of 2023, focuses on onboard safety features and procedures. This video will be accessible on ba.com and via a QR code that British Airways Mainline cabin crew will have on their mobile devices on board, giving customers the option to choose between receiving a signed video safety briefing on their personal device, or receiving a personalised briefing delivered by crew face-to-face, which is already offered to Deaf or hard of hearing customers.
British Airways and Signcode UK will provide videos in British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) and are exploring the potential to expand into other languages such as Spanish. The airline hopes to grow its BSL video content further in the coming year.
The airline also supports customers who are Deaf or hard of hearing through a minicom system (a small electronic typewriter and screen linked to a phone system, enabling people to send and receive messages), and has an ongoing partnership with SignLive to use British Sign Language in its customer engagement centres.
Customers who use BSL can contact the airline using a Video Relay Service provided by SignLive, a free service that will connect customers to a qualified online BSL interpreter. The interpreter will relay the conversation between the customer and a member of British Airways’ accessibility team.