Passengers on British Airways flights out of the UK will be treated to a new mode of getting to their terminals on time. Following successful trials in Tokyo and New York, BA is bringing the self-driving WHILL power chair to the UK.
The WHILL has been getting to know numerous international airports for the past few months, most recently in Abu Dhabi with Etihad. However British Airways will be exclusively bringing the brand new piece of technology to the UK for use in it is terminals.
The self-driving features will enable passengers to select their destination anywhere inside the airport terminals and get them there in comfort. Featuring anti-collision technology and numerous sensors, those with mobility issues just have to sit back and relax - no more rushing to get to the plane on time!
“Our customers tell us they would like greater independence and control over their journey through the airport, so we were keen to trial autonomous devices and see our customers response to the very latest mobility technology in a real airport environment,” - Ricardo Vidal, British Airways’ Head of Innovation
Once you’ve manoeuvred your way around departures and no doubt a trip into duty-free, the chair will take itself back to charge up after your departure. WHILL colossal selling point is its ability to offer Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), meaning that users only need worry about the product when they wish to use it. No more having to be pushed around airports while your power chair or wheelchair is loaded in the cargo hold.
The WHILL is only one of several services that BA plans to bring in as part of multi-billion pound investment. As they seek to offer their passengers better freedom while travelling and encourage more people with accessibility needs to go with them, they have increased customer satisfaction by more than double.
Innovation like this is encouraging more people with a disability to travel freely. We have already seen a substantial increase in our customers asking about coverage for their mobility equipment. We include coverage for your power chair or mobility scooter while travelling, including while in the custody of the airline. Just give us a call at least 14-days before you go so we can make sure your up to date and enjoy happy travelling.
Mark Bates Ltd