New research findings reveal that disabled workers in the UK still feel unable to travel on business.

The survey, conducted by American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), of 500 respondents cited inaccessible travel and accommodations services, a lack of knowledge about their travel needs, and prejudice towards disabled travellers as the main obstacles. As a result, many believe their professional progress is being limited.

The survey, conducted in June 2024, found that of the respondents:

  • 50% have had to decline a job offer because they felt unable to fulfil travel requirements associated with the role.
  • 65% feel unable to travel on business because of their disability.
  • 61% have had to cancel a crucial trip because of accessibility issues.
  • 63% believe able-bodied colleagues progress faster in their careers because travel is more accessible to them.
  • 74% consider business travel a crucial element of career progress.
  • 48% say there is a lack of understanding about their travel needs.
  • 31% believe hotel accommodations are inadequate [for disabled guests].
  • 37% have had disheartening travel encounters with rudeness and prejudice.

Derek Moxam, an accessibility advocate and Agent Coach at Amex GBT, said, 

There are an array of career barriers facing people with disabilities, particularly as it relates to business travel and meetings attendance. I’ve encountered many of the challenges identified in the survey: a lack of awareness and understanding of my needs, inadequate accommodations and services, and the lack of standardization and experience between airlines, hotels, ground transport and ground servicesThese obstacles can be incredibly discouraging and limit our professional and personal growth.

Derek Moxam, accessibility advocate and Agent Coach at Amex GBT

To support disabled travellers, respondents suggested improvements such as working with travel companies that have built-in accessibility support (29%), ensuring contingency plans are in place in case of disruption (27%), and providing detailed travel plans with information and pictures of accessible modifications (19%).

Nearly one in four of the working-age population are classed as disabled in the UK2. To address the challenges faced by disabled workers, Amex GBT created the first end-to-end accessibility solution of its kind to support corporate travellers with visible and invisible disabilities at every stage of their business trip. This includes onboarding, booking, trip disruption, and traveler preferences through a consolidated framework that combines service-based solutions, advocacy, and technology.

In December 2023, Amex GBT announced that IBM became the first client to launch the new solution, which includes the Travelers Requiring Specialty Assistance (TRSA) desk. The TRSA desk provides access to a specialist team of certified travel consultants who deliver an inclusive and distinguished service experience for travellers with diverse needs. Since its launch, the global accessibility solution has added Salesforce as a client and has several more Amex GBT customers in various stages of onboarding.

Moxam added,

Amex GBT’s accessibility solution helps solve the challenges disabled travellers face and alleviates the coordination, finding information, ensuring that reservations are made, equipment is ready, and companions have the right paperwork across airlines, hotels and ground transportation.

Since inception, more than a dozen customers have adopted the accessibility solution into their travel programs. It is also available for Amex GBT employees.




Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.