Air travel can be extremely difficult for individuals with autism and as a result, many families in the autism community feel they are unable to travel anywhere that requires flying. Autism Speaks has compiled some air travel resources to help make the experience as enjoyable and successful as possible.
To help families prepare for air travel experiences, Autism Speaks has developed a teaching story:
The Autism Speaks Community Outreach team offers training for airline and airport personnel around the country. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the Airlines/Airports!
Airlines also have special assistance teams to help with your travel experience. Be sure to reach out to the airline's disability services to let them know about your child or adult with autism and any accommodations you may need to make the experience as successful as possible. A few links are below:
Visit your airline's website to find their contact information for special assistance.
The Transportation Security Administration has a help line, TSA Cares, to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions during the security process. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.
Blue Horizons for Autism
Autism Speaks is proud to be working with JetBlue Airways to host Blue Horizons for Autism events across the country that provide families in the autism community with the opportunity to walk through the airport experience in the most realistic setting to better prepare them for future travel.
To date, there have been six Blue Horizons events hosted by JetBlue and Autism Speaks. The first event took place at JFK Airport in New York in September 2013. Events in 2014 include a second at JFK; Burbank, CA, Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; and Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Autism Speaks and JetBlue Airways are working hard to bring Blue Horizons for Autism to as many cities as possible! Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for more information about upcoming events!
A special thank you to JetBlue Airways for all of their generosity, hard work and dedication in making these exciting events possible.
Community Connections: Other Air Travel Resources
Preparation is key! Autism Speaks has put together a list of other books, websites, etc. to help you and your family prepare for the travel experience.
Click here to view the list.