Virgin Atlantic to offer free assistance for passengers with hidden disabilities

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The airline has designed a special symbol, which, when worn as a badge or carried as a bookmark inside a passport

An airline is walking the extra mile to put pre-flight jitters of its passengers to rest. British carrier Virgin Atlantic has launched a unique initiative to assist passengers with hidden disabilities such as dementia or autism without them asking for help.

The airline has designed a special symbol, which, when worn as a badge or carried as a bookmark inside a passport, will alert the airline staff that the passenger needs special attention.

The Virgin Atlantic team can then arrange for that the passenger to be escorted through the airport, access priority boarding and, if needed, get a preferred seat. The airline has also trained some of its crew in sign language to help visually-impaired passengers, but they need to be pre-booked before a flight.

The airline said in a statement that the service would be offered free of cost.

“Hidden disabilities may not be instantly recognisable, but can significantly impact a person’s life and often mean that preparing for a flight can prove a stressful situation,” Virgin Atlantic said in a statement explaining the reason behind introducing this service.

Geraldine Lundy, Passenger Accessibility Manager at Virgin Atlantic said, “We are committed to giving all customers easier access to travel. The Hidden Disabilities scheme is one of a series of initiatives that Virgin Atlantic is planning on introducing over the coming years, to help those with disabilities overcome any key challenges they may face.”

The airline serves 27 destinations worldwide. It serves India with a daily flight between New Delhi and London Heathrow.

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