On 14 May Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, launched a new 360° virtual guide to help travellers with autism have a smooth and stress-free journey, in a first for the travel industry.
Eurostar worked with charity Ambitious About Autism to carry out a review of its travel experience for autistic passengers. The charity advised that customers with autism are more comfortable travelling after seeing information in advance with sights and sounds in two-dimensions. The virtual guide has been created to reflect this by providing visual information ahead of a journey.
Eurostar offers a unique journey, with stations that combine elements from airports and domestic rail travel and the visual guide has been designed to offer tips and advice for every step, including ticket gates, security checks, boarding, on-board and arrivals.
Amber Kirby, Customer Experience Director, Eurostar, 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.”
Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious About Autism, said:
“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 at https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/travel-planning/travellers-with-autism, and forms part of a number of initiatives from Eurostar to improve customer experience including improvements to making wheelchair bookings and a new process for non-accredited assistance dogs.