For many of us, the prospect of going on an aeroplane, especially for the first time, can be daunting in itself. For those with children, it can be even more of an ordeal – trying to settle nerves, control excitement and quell the fear of the unknown. For those with children on the autistic spectrum, however, the idea of having to travel on an aeroplane can be frighteningly overwhelming.
Here at Belfast International Airport we want to turn that daunting experience into a memorable one.
Like any children, there are those on the autistic spectrum to whom flying poses no problem. For some little ones, however, routine and consistency is crucial to their everyday lives and the thought of doing something as out-of-the-ordinary as flying can be very upsetting altogether.
To help prepare for your trip and to ensure that your airport experience is as enjoyable and as stress free as possible, we have recently produced two downloadable and printable booklets.
The first booklet is for your little ones, showing through pictures and words what they should expect during their journey through Belfast International Airport. There are lots of fun activities and interesting facts along the way.
The second booklet is for adults with Autism and is also a useful guide for parents and carers of children with Autism.
To assist with your journey through the airport we can also offer you a special lanyard. Our teams have been trained to recognise the lanyards and to provide appropriate assistance at every stage of your journey.
The distinctive lanyard informs staff that a member of your family group may need a little more time to process information and may require additional assistance to prepare for check in and security screening. Staff are also aware that passengers wearing a lanyard may need to remain with family or friends throughout the process. Please note, however, that the lanyard does not authorise access via priority security.
An Autism Awareness Lanyard can be collected on the day of travel from the OCS Special Assistance desk in the Check-In Hall.
To request further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org