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Photo: Eurostar

Eurostar guides travellers with autism

The high-speed passenger rail service has produced a new virtual guide to its services to help passengers with autism after consulting a charity.

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, on May 14 launched a new “360° virtual guide” to help travellers with autism have a better journey. They claim it is a first in the travel industry.

They worked with the charity Ambitious About Autism to carry out a review of its travel experience for autistic passengers.

The charity advised them that customers with autism are more comfortable travelling after seeing information in advance with sights and sounds. The virtual guide was created to reflect this by providing visual information ahead of a journey.

The visual guide was designed to offer tips and advice for every step, including ticket gates, security checks, boarding, onboard and arrivals.

Amber Kirby, Eurostar’s customer experience director said, “We are committed to providing an effortless travel experience for all our customers, and our new guide provides information for those that may be anxious about what to expect on the journey—specifically travellers with autism. We hope it helps more of our customers feel prepared so that they can relax and enjoy the experience from the moment they arrive at the station.”

Helping all customers
Jolanta Lasota, Ambitious About Autism’s chief executive says, “Many autistic people can find travelling an overwhelming experience so having information about what to expect before they set off is really important.”

“We were very pleased that Eurostar asked us to consult with them on changes that will support their autistic customers’ needs. We hope this new visual guide will help autistic travellers feel more comfortable and confident ahead of embarking on international travel.”

The guide is now available on Eurostar’s website and forms part of multiple initiatives from Eurostar the company says are meant to improve customer experience, including the opportunity to make wheelchair bookings and a new process for non-accredited assistance dogs.

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