Virgin Atlantic and charity Guide Dogs have announced a long-term partnership, which aims to create a more inclusive air travel experience for those with sight loss. The initiative will offer the airline’s cabin crew bespoke training on how to support those flying with a visual impairment.
As the airline continues to champion the development of inclusive policies for its people and customers, Guide Dogs will provide each cabin crew member with online resources incorporated into their wider training programme, in a bid to improve accessibility for those travelling with sight loss.
“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world and that means ensuring every one of our customers has the best possible experience when they fly with us,” said Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer, Virgin Atlantic. “Our partnership with Guide Dogs is one part of this journey and aims to broaden our understanding of those travelling with sight loss, ensuring that we make flying more accessible for everyone. We recognise there’s work to do but are looking forward to making a real impact together as our partnership evolves.”
Guide Dogs’ training aims to support customers by teaching Virgin Atlantic crew best practices when helping those with visual impairments and covers topics from how to approach someone with sight loss, to navigating narrow or busy spaces, stairs, steps, and doorways, to taking a seat. They’ll also focus on the best position on the aircraft for guide dogs to rest on their long journeys. The airline’s people will also have opportunities to participate in more in-depth practical training where they will learn to safely guide someone with sight loss with confidence, skill, and empathy.