equals-question_mark

Aren’t we all equal Virgin Australia?

Virgin Australia you’ve heard of them right?

So I recently flew back with them from my week long trip from Melbourne.

Fun Fact Virgin Australia Airlines is Australia’s second-largest airline after Qantas

Fun Fact it’s based in Bowen Hills, Brisbane

Fun Fact the airline was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group and former CEO Brett Godfrey.

Fun Fact my Autism doesn’t meet the criteria for a meet and assist.

Yep hold that shocked look that you’ve just made because….

You heard me correctly

Virgin Australia told me in a direct message that my disability – that being Autism doesn’t meet a criteria set out by them in their guest accessibility plan.

You can read which disabled people they consider to be worthy enough of being included in such a plan below because it certainly wasn’t Autism.

https://www.virginaustralia.com/cs/groups/internetcontent/@wc/documents/webcontent/~edisp/guest-accessibility-plan-2018.pdf

This plan is designed to aid and assist those passengers who they class as having a disability (which suits them) navigate their way through and around a busy airport all whilst trying to deal with all the sensory overloads that this can present.

Virgin Australia

After reading their response to my request I have come to the conclusion that Virgin Australia don’t appear to recognise that Autism is a disability. You can read about which services they can offer to those people who they deem to have a proper disability below. Because at this stage Autism doesn’t make the list.

Now here’s the thing and sorry to burst your bubble here Virgin Australia but Autism is a disability, and I shouldn’t be excluded from being able to access a service which I am entitled to receive.

If you click on the link below you will see from a list (which was compiled by the National Disability Service here in Australia) and I’m pretty sure that they know what they are talking about, because the first section titled Intellectual – Autism is first name mentioned!! Imagine that!

https://www.nds.org.au/disability-types-and-descriptions

I personally am not sure that anyone who works at Virgin Australia actually has any clue on what it’s like for someone like me who has Autism and is travelling alone through an airport.

So here then is what it’s like and why I surely deserve the same treatment any disbaled person.

Long waits, pushy crowds, constant noise — all components of contemporary air travel — can exacerbate my Autism and over stimulate my senses these include hypersensitivity to sound, sights and smell. Those stimuli can trigger reactions for an Autistic person like myself. I am also dealing with constant announcements, loud noises, smells, and big crowds of people.

Here is a link explaining what being over stimulated can be like for an Autistic person like myself.

https://www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/sensory-world.aspx

You can watch a video of what it’s like here

https://youtu.be/ycCN3qTYVyo

So if Qantas can offer this service along with other airlines then what is stopping Virgin Australia? Why am I being discriminated against? Why am I being denied something that is in place for other people with a disability but not me?

Because at the end of the day aren’t all disabled people equal?

Unless your Virgin Australia and in that case the answer is you have to meet a set criteria and guidelines before we can even consider if your disability is worth us giving it our time and attention.

I have contacted Virgin Australia this afternoon and I await their response as to why I am being discriminated against once I get a reply I will post their response.

Carry on the Conversation

What are your thoughts? Will you fly with Virgin Australia knowing that you don’t fit their criteria?

Let me know in the comments below.

As always, I can also be found on Twitter: @AutisticNick9 and at my email autisticnick9@gmail.com

If you like what you have seen on the site today, then show your support by liking the Autistic Nick https://www.facebook.com/autisticnick9/ Facebook page

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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