Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Mom's Thank You Letter to JetBlue for Accommodating Son with Autism

August 06, 2014

(August 6, 2014) - One mom was so thrilled with her experience flying with her 11-year-old son on a JetBlue flight that she decided to write a heartfelt thank you note. 

In the letter, Shawna details the difficulties her son faces during the airport and flying experience. But with the help of JetBlue, her latest trip was a success! Among other accommodations, JetBlue's online booking system allowed her to include information about his special needs, the airline allowed them an early and silent boarding and the crew was extremely understanding of his needs. Read an excerpt below.

Autism Speaks is proud to partner with JetBlue on our Blue Horizons for Autism initiative, a program that allows individuals with autism and their families to practice the airport experience in a real-life setting. So far, events have been held in New York and California and others are planned for the fall. Stay tuned!

"My son has high functioning autism and, because of the custody arrangement between his father and I, we fly 7-9 times a year out of sheer necessity. Flying, with all of it’s loud announcements and crowded waiting areas and unusual smells, is quite frankly torture for him. He has acute sensory processing issues that affect us even in simple every day situations, so you can imagine how complicated airports and airplanes are for us.

In the past, we have flown other airlines. It has not gone well. As my son was literally banging his head on the wall in the boarding area, I once had the gate agent question why I was asking for early boarding for a child clearly over 5. When I explained that the constant boarding announcements and large crowd were extremely difficult for us, she allowed me to board early, but finished her interaction with me saying, “Just this once,” as if I were getting away with something."